I can only comment on this subject matter as a mother of 4 boys – the oldest of which is 15; possibly I’d feel differently if he were a girl. I grew up in an area where lots of girls had babies before the age of consent even. I myself, was pregnant at 17 (18 when he was born).
When we were teenagers I remember that you could go to the Family Planning Centre and your parents would know nothing about it. They talked to you about being safe, about being in loving relationships and gave you free contraception. They advised that you not only to take the pill but to also use condoms, to help stop the spread of sexually transmitted diseases.
Now it appears that teenagers are increasing in numbers for having the contraceptive implant, including those under the age of consent.
That some of them are as young as 13, and are having them done at school – without their parents consent. It is believed that this has resulted in the teenage pregnancy rate dropping (by 22% in some areas).
Some parents said that this was morally wrong. They classed it as minor surgery that would affect the girls for some years. Some of these girls may not have even started menstruating.
The argument is that these girls are entitled to their privacy whilst looking out for their health.
What about girls who still become pregnant whilst using this contraceptive? Are girls more likely to have sex because they feel safe? Should we be discouraging sex at a young age? Is this indeed encouraging it?
Is this really about parents knowing so that they can look out for side effects, etc? Is it their child’s health that is in their best interests? Or really do they just not want their child being sexually active?
Is it a belief that only “certain types” of girls brought up a certain way have underage unprotected sex? Is it believed that parents who “do a good job” will have their children be able to come and talk to them?
Should it be up to the parents to ensure that if their child is sexually active that they are protected? Are there any other ways of cutting down on teenage pregnancies? What about if ALL girls were given the injection routinely – like their rubella and parents could consent to it before hand? Or would this encourage sex amongst those under age? Is the age of consent still an appropriate age? Should it be made higher or lower?