Giving teens easy access to birth control makes them easy targets for sex crimes

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MANILA, Sept. 30, 2012—Rather than provide an environment that fosters academic achievement and possible collaboration with students’ parents, the New York City Department of Education is adding yet another to the host of birth control drugs and devices available to high school girls in 13 public schools.

By making so-called “emergency contraception” or morning-after-pills – a known abortifacient – available to girls as young as 14 years and with no need for parental consent at that, not only are values such as self-mastery, chastity and respect for the gift of sexuality brushed off; more importantly, schools are indirectly compromising the safety of their female students from sexual predators.

“Legally, it gets me thinking about how this phenomenon could even be encouraging cover-up for crimes like statutory rape – defined as sex with minors, even if it is consensual – or even sexual abuse. How else would sexual predators get away with misdeeds? By hiding what normally results from sexual intercourse, which is pregnancy,” said Nirva’ana Delacruz of YouthPinoy.

By making contraception – including methods that have abortive mechanisms such as morning-after pills – easily accessible to students in high schools, underage girls consequently become easy targets for sexual predators, and crimes can be swiftly concealed.

Delacruz pointed out that based on research, girls who engage in sex for the first time at age 14 or younger are often forced, with a partner who is usually older.

“A clueless girl, considering her options of breaking up with an abusive partner or finding a ‘band-aid solution’ to a possible pregnancy, will most likely choose the latter — to just pop a pill.”

Apart from exposing teenage girls to more potentially dangerous situations, the recent move made by the state’s Education Department is a step backward in the business of forming the youth as regards responsibility and prudence.

“With easy access to ‘emergency contraceptives’ like the morning-after pill, etc., we are also encouraging a bankruptcy of values in unimaginably young people! To put it simply, we are teaching kids early on that we need not be answerable for our actions if it doesn’t suit us or we can desperately put up the appearance of doing so, because sooner or later, 14-year olds who started taking pills will start feeling the health side effects as a supposedly blooming 24-year old at the peak of young adulthood,” Delacruz explained.

“It seems the US is really setting up increasingly younger generations to swallow the ‘contraceptive way of thinking’ mindlessly,” she added, “while ignoring the fact that it, in fact, does not succeed in reducing teen pregnancy rates.”

Advocates of comprehensive sex education and of providing free birth control to teens have lately been harping again on the increasing incidence of teen pregnancies. Reports on the rising number of HIV-AIDS cases in various countries have also been cited, followed by calls for addressing the need for oral contraceptives and condoms to address such problems.

However, mainstream media has put hardly any emphasis on the findings that with the aggressive marketing of condoms in countries such as Thailand came a sharp increase in the number of HIV-AIDS cases.

“In 1984 was the AIDS breakout in the Philippines and in Thailand at the same time. The response in the Philippines was to promote abstinence; the response of Thailand was to promote condoms. Twenty years later, the rate of AIDS infection in Thailand was 50 times higher than in the Philippines,” said American chastity speaker Chris Stefanick to Philippine audiences earlier this month.

Also, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) — a World Health Organization (WHO) body — has classified the pill as a Group 1 carcinogen, putting it on the same level as cigarettes and asbestos.

The availability of oral contraceptives and other birth control drugs and devices is one of the reasons for the staunch opposition of Filipinos to the reproductive health (RH) bill. Access to birth control drugs and devices is considered a reproductive health right, and under the bill, even pre-teenaged and unmarried girls who ask for contraceptives from health centers – or from schools or wherever else the State decides to make these available – will be within their rights. (CBCP for Life)


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