Free birth control for teens a priority

Published 12:04am Friday, February 17, 2012

Teenage pregnancy should be viewed as a childhood disease. I knew of a little girl several years ago who delivered a baby when she was 11 years old. She had gotten pregnant when she was 10!

Can you imagine how devastated her life was after having this awful disease — a horrible malady that left its mark on her for the rest of her life.

Teenage pregnancy is, without a doubt, a devastating disease. It is as devastating as say, polio. Polio condemns its victims to a life of misery on crutches or even death, while pregnancy condemns them to a life of misery living in poverty, staying at home and begging for welfare benefits, or possibly even dying.

The baby has a near zero chance of obtaining a higher education. Not only does this disease of pregnancy ruin the mother’s life, it usually destroys the father’s life as well and even the grandparents’ lives in some cases. It is a horrible disease whose tentacles spread throughout the family and friends.

Studies have shown that teenage girls are, for the most part, very poor mothers.

Most unwed teenage mothers feel like they have been left holding the bag and wish they were free. Many teenage mothers soon tire of their new baby and try to shove it off onto someone else — usually the grandmother. Grandmother is usually too old and too tired to rear another family and discipline flies out the window.

This is an ideal environment for rearing a child that will one day grow up to join a gang, thieve, hurt or even kill you.

For that reason, teenage pregnancy impacts everybody with crime and welfare payments and is therefore everyone’s business.

Presently, there is great controversy pertaining to birth control in teenagers. It is due mostly to the fact that our present presidential administration is so out of touch with the American people and has tried to ram it down our throats against our wishes. However, medications such as birth control pills, “morning after” pills and devices such as intra-uterine contraceptives will be effective. Abstinence will not work.

Researchers at the Guttmacher Institute, a sexual and reproductive health think tank, say the pregnancy rate among teens is down 42 percent from 1990 to 2008, due primarily to the use of birth control medications. The abortion rate among teens, they say, has dropped 60 percent since 1990.

In my opinion, providing contraception to teenagers is a top priority.

However, it must be administered with the full knowledge and consent of the parents. Free contraceptives through the health department, to me, would be cost-saving for the state and life saving in the social well-being of our teenagers.


Ed Field

Natchez resident

  • Anonymous

    I agree, but please, it’s not “free”, but “tax payer subsidized”.  It’s never “free”.

  • Anonymous

    “Teenage pregnancy should be viewed as a childhood disease.”

    Wrong, teenage pregnancy is not a disease. The breakdown of family structure, lack of morals and the “culture” that enables risky wanton behavior IS the problem…that and irresponsible parents failure to teach their teenagers right from wrong.

  • vilou09

    WRONG!! How could you compare something as SERIOUS and DEVASTATING as poliomyelitis to PREGNANCY?!
    Are you insane?? The polio virus is transmitted just as the common cold would be– NEVER on purpose; always an accident!
    However, PREGNANCY comes about almost always VOLUNTARILY!!

    How dare you!!!

    Yes, birth control should be offered to teens and young adults for free or a low price (I get mine for $10 a month from a PHARMACY– not a state-regulated clinic). I applaud the state for taking such measures to try and combat the rising population due to idiot kids having kids. But WHY IS IT NECESSARY?!
    I’m with NTZ1978 on this one– the cause of such rapid reproduction among our younger generations is almost

  • vilou09

    *sorry, disqus is acting crazy!

    It’s almost directly correlated with the breakdown- no, annihilation of the nuclear family! That’s mom & dad– MARRIED; kids growing into adults, starting a life, then having kids of their own AFTER they’ve married!
    No, that’s not a storybook fantasy. It’s the way it was intended to be!

    I am still completely disgusted with the comparison of pregnancy to polio!!!! OMG! How can someone be so stupid?!

    In my opinion, everyone should be made sterile at birth, then

  • vilou09

    Once they’ve proven themselves as a PRODUCTIVE citizen of the world, AND a suitable parent, they should be allowed to have children.

    Just my take on it though…

  • Anonymous

    Picking up on the reason the father of the 11 year old’s baby would not make a good father – could it be because he was in prison for statutory rape, or was he a baby himself? Insofar as birth control, aspirin is cheap – put one between the knees whenever the urge hits!

  • Anonymous

    Simple dediuction: production before reproduction.

    Great idea, Ed. Less unwanted PG, more unwanted STD.  
    How about involuntary erectile disfunction for teenage boys?
    Remeber saltpeter? Me, neither.


  • Anonymous

    Very good NatchezMS1978. I was going to say the same thing but read your post and you had covered that base.

  • Anonymous

    I just read the headline again.

    Teens consider free birth control a priority?

    Who took this poll? 

  • khakirat

    Mr. Field a great article of truth but alot of these people want to have as many babys they can so the can get checks for them and what ever else to work the system to a maxium. Also , I have heard in the future these folks will be charged a tax after the third child !! Want that hairlip these folks if it happens!!!!

  • Anonymous

    And even the poor grandparents blessed with a child to take care of get a check for guardianship.

  • Anonymous

    There have been many posts here by others…all agree that teenage pregnancy is not a childhood disease. What is so unbelievable about this “Letters to the Editor” is that is was actually printed…AT ALL.

    Teenage pregnancy is not a disease…its a choice. Alchoholism is not a disease…its a choice. Drug addiction is not a disease…its a choice. Drunk driving is not a disease…its a choice. Suicide is not a disease…its a choice. Abortion is not a disease…its a choice. Armed robbery is not a disease…its a choice. Being uneducated is not a disease…its a choice. Smoking is not a disease…its a choice.

    Too often liberal minded people want to sit back and create a reason, put a name on why bad things happen to people. Putting the “disease” label on the classification helps the liberal minded form a rally cry against “offending” malady. Its easier to blame a fictitious demon than to address or admit the root cause. It all goes back to one thing…P-E-R-S-O-N-A-L R-E-S-P-O-N-S-I-B-I-L-T-Y. Well…unless of course even THAT gets labeled as a “disease” too.

  • Anonymous

    Epidemiologists did… is not just a disease, it is an epidemic!

  • khakirat

    Yea, its a terrible situation that is going to be corrected quite soon to get these people to work!!!

    In a message dated 2/17/2012 1:03:34 P.M. Central Standard Time, writes:


    oldsouthgent wrote, in response to khakirat:
    And even the poor grandparents blessed with a child to take care of get a check for guardianship.

    _Link to comment_ (

  • Anonymous

    According to the American Medical Association, alcoholism is a disease.  It has many genetic and physical aspects that make some individuals more prone to become alcoholics.  Also, according to the AMA, tobacco addiction is a disease.  Drug addiction as well.  Look it up on their website.  If one has seen the pain of depression due to chemical imbalances that can lead to suicide, then one would quickly recognize that it too can  also be beyond the control of the individual.  Young teen agers are not experienced, mentally  developed, or wise enough to make the life altering decisions involving pregnancy.  Teen pregnancy is not a disease, but one would be delusional and ill informed if they believed it’s simply a “choice”.  That’s why we have statutory rape laws that punish the offender, not the victim.  That’s why the military prefers to recruit high school seniors.  That’s why we don’t let 14 year olds vote.  There is no defense for criminal behavior, but having been on the board of several education driven non-profits, I can assure you that there are way too often, outside factors that children have no control of that prevent educational advancement.  It’s very easy to assume that all our experiences, resolve and opportunites are the same, but they simply are not. 

  • Anonymous

    1978, There are conditions and results that are neither decision nor choice. For example and pertinent to your posting, there is stupidity.

  • Anonymous

     ”Free contraceptives through the health department, to me, would be cost-saving for the state and life saving in the social well-being of our teenagers.”
    Um, they’ve been giving out birth control via the health department at no cost for at least about 30 years.

  • Anonymous

    Sorry MisterRational, I disagree. You all have a choice to take that first joint, that first drink, etc. YOU HAVE A CHOICE. There was no disease that made anyone make that first choice to do something they shouldn’t. Proper education at HOME and at school would have helped, it helped me. 

  • Wilson Phillips

    I too was under the impression the the county health units have been giving out free contraceptives for about 30 years. All one has to do is go by there and get checked out and they hand them to you, right there on the spot. I can’t remember if they give the girls a 3 or 6 month supply each time they visit.

    Birth control is much much cheaper than supporting teen mothers and their children for the rest of their lives.

  • Anonymous

    Agreed, I am in my 60s, grew up in the age of aquarius and woodstock, vietnam, and all the other opportunities to smoke a joint.  I can proudly say that I have never even “sampled” one and never wanted to due largely to my upbringing.  I have tipped a few over the years but did not have the need for alcohol when the time was not right.  Nowadays, I very seldom have a drink even when others around me are partaking, just fail to see the purpose.  I have seen others that have an extreme urge to get alcohol at any time of day or night and, if someone becomes “addicted” to drugs, I assume they have the same compulsioin.  My argument would be that it is an addiction, not a disease – my definition of disease is something everyone can get.

  • Anonymous

    I agree. That first step is a choice.  A choice that is influenced by BILLIONS of advertising dollars.  I encourage everyone to watch the ads during the Super Bowl, or any professional or collegiate sporting event.  Beer distillers spend billions on ads because they work and anyone who watchs gets the message.  Drinking is cool and fun.  Mardi Gras is here and featured in the Democrat every day and one would have to be numb not to know that alcohol is involved.  The issue isn’t whether drinking is evil.  The issue is how each individual responds to it, and those responses are as individual as each of us are.  Drugs, tobacco and alcohol are indeed personal choices, but for some folks, the deck is stacked against them.  There is reason models are beautiful.  Sex sells.  It always has.  The pretty girls have the most fun. The handsome boys get the pretty girls.  Wit, money popularity can mitigate attractiveness, but the bottom line is, most of us are influenced by what we are told.  Then we tell our kids what… that’s just TV, don’t do anything you don’t want me to know about?  As to your proper home and school education, I congatulate you, your family and your teachers.  But please remember; your experience is not universal.  Not evereyone has those magnificent  ADVANTAGES.  I’m reminded of the ad back in the ’80′s where Nancy Reagan was saying “just say NO” and the kid comes on and says “In my neighborhood, you can’t just say no”.