The words “Contraception is a pillar in reducing adolescent pregnancy rates” sound eerily like a promotional ad by Planned Parenthood Federation of America. But that is not where these words are found. Rather, they are part of the introduction to a new policy statement from the American Academy of Pediatrics.
The policy statement goes on to say that “adolescents consider pediatricians and other health care providers a highly trusted source of sexual health information. Pediatricians’ long-term relationships with adolescents and families allow them to ask about sensitive topics, such as sexuality and relationships, and to promote healthy sexual decision-making, including abstinence and contraceptive use for teenagers who are sexually active.”
In other words, the family pediatrician is an expert guide for the sexually curious adolescent who might want to have a sexual relationship but does not want to get pregnant as a result. All one needs to do is unpack the philosophical foundation for a statement such as this to see that it is nothing more than Planned Parenthood blather cloaked in the respectability of what was once an upstanding professional organization.
Furthermore, why is the AAP suddenly suggesting that the birth control pill can be bad for adolescents but an implant or an IUD can be better? The answer provided by the lead author of the policy statement is this:
IUDs and hormonal implants cost more, usually hundreds of dollars, because inserting them involves a medical procedure typically done in doctors’ offices. But they’re less expensive in the long run than over-the-counter condoms or prescription birth control pills, said Dr. Mary Ott, an adolescent medicine specialist and associate pediatrics professor at Indiana University. She is the policy statement’s lead author.
Teens have to remember to use pills and condoms consistently. By contrast, IUDs typically work for three to 10 years after insertion, while implants typically last three years.
This arrogant cynicism about young people raises that old argument about kids to a new level. You know the one: How can we trust a kid to take the pill regularly when she cannot even clean her room?
So now parents can look to their children’s doctor to solve that problem by ensuring that a device is put in place that takes the worry about a surprise pregnancy out of the way! The problem is that such policies help to advance the idea that having sex outside of marriage is totally within the bounds of reason as long as the possible baby who might come along is avoided at all costs—even at the cost of the young woman’s future health and well-being!
What people must understand is that the IUD has numerous complications, including the fact that early day abortions can occur. Hormonal implants are no better. In fact, one report lists these side effects: “Implanon (an implant rod that releases a steroidal progestogen): increased risks of ectopic pregnancy and (as per manufacturer’s warning) ‘serious thromboembolic events, including cases of pulmonary emboli (some fatal) and strokes.’”
Sadly the most serious problem with this latest policy statement from the American Academy of Pediatrics is that it implies that young people cannot learn self-control and therefore should be treated like the family dog.
“Spay your kids, don’t pray with your kids” should be the AAP motto!