With teenage pregnancy being ever prominent, it is very important for teenage girls and boys to have access to birth control in order to avoid an unintended pregnancy. Birth control and sex education is a controversial subject in many communities. The type of comprehensive health education or sex education information made available to teenagers through school is dictated by law. In South Carolina, schools are required to teach abstinence and provide information concerning sex as a future reference for family planning between married individuals. According to law, no schools are allowed to distribute contraceptives. (http://www.ncsse.com)
Is there a need for birth control in our public high schools? In 2007, 49% of female students in high school and 55% of male students in high school in South Carolina reported having sexual relationships. During this same year, 57% of females and 68% of males in South Carolina related that condoms were used during the last time they had sexual intercourse. Only 16% of females reported being on birth control pills the last time they had sex. (http://www.ncsse.com) With these statistics, it is clear that between thirty to forty percent of students having sexual relationships are doing so unprotected.
While the numbers of teens becoming sexual active in high school shows that around half of teens are sexually active, the numbers may be much higher. The emphasis on abstinence until marriage in South Carolina is clearly not impacting what is occurring in our society. Instead of putting so much funding and emphasis in community and school-based abstinence education, perhaps the money could be better spent on providing pregnancy prevention. When children are born to teens, we all help foot the cost. Around eleven billion dollars per year is spent by taxpayers in the United States to pay for health and foster care for infants of teen moms. (http://www.thenationalcampaign.org) There is an increased number of teen parents...
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