Why giving teenagers contraceptives is wrong
Contraceptives as a choice to reduce teenage pregnancies
• 1 in 3 teen girls will become pregnant within two years of initiating sexual activity, even while using contraceptives
• almost half (48.4%) of low-income cohabiting teens using the pill, and 72% of those using condoms as their primary method of birth control, will become pregnant within 12 months
• Numerous studies show that increasing the availability of contraception in a large population does not reduce rates of unplanned pregnancies and abortions, and may increase them
• David Patton, a researcher and author of four major studies, has found no evidence that the provision of family planning reduces either underage conception or abortion rates. He concludes his U.K. experience: “It is clear that providing more family planning clinics, far from having the effect of reducing conception rates, has actually led to an increase…The availability of the morning-after pill seems to be encouraging risky behavior. It appears that if people have access to family planning advice they think they automatically have a lower risk of pregnancy.”
• Reassured by a false promise of contraceptive security, young people tend to be more sexually active, which leads to more unintended pregnancies, STDs and abortion.
Other Problems caused by contraceptives
• The use and availability of contraceptives is linked to the increased spread of sexually-transmitted diseases due to promoting casual sex. Many of these STDs are incurable and some emotionally devastating because they can cause infertility.
• condoms offer almost no protection against the epidemic of incurable viral STDs, such as genital herpes and human papilloma virus (HPV), strains of which cause genital warts and virtually all cases of cervical cancer.
• Numerous studies have found that typical condom use offers inadequate or little protection against even bacterial STDs, such as Chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis. The size of the bacteria causing STDs are much smaller than the size of the sperm so risk of pregnancy is higher.
• Hormonal contraceptives can cause early chemical abortions by preventing implantation of embryo in the uterus
• Contraceptive use leads to an increase in premarital sex, adultery, acceptance of divorce, and abortion.
• Contraceptives like depo-provera increase a woman’s risk of acquiring HIV according to a 2010 study.
• Contraceptive use would allow one spouse to treat the other more like an object of pleasure (Humanae vitae)
• “the negative values inherent in the ‘contraceptive mentality’ . . . are such that they in fact strengthen this temptation to abortion when an unwanted life is conceived” (Evangelium Vitae, no. 13).
Health risks of contraceptives
• Synthetic hormones powerful enough to disrupt a woman’s reproductive system may affect every major system of her body. Depending on the type and strength of the hormonal contraceptive, women experience some of the following symptoms: headaches, nausea, weight gain, acne, mood swings, depression, anxiety, breast pain, dizziness, severe pain during menses, a range of bleeding problems, high blood pressure and a lack of desire for sex. In the case of Depo-Provera, there is loss of bone mineral density after two years’ use.
• Other severe health effects include blood clots in the veins, lungs, heart, and brain, potentially causing heart attack and strokes; breast cancer; potentially life-threatening ectopic pregnancy (in which the embryo most often implants in the narrow tube between the ovary and womb); liver tumors; and ovarian cysts, delayed return of fertility.
• The link between hormonal contraceptives and breast cancer has been known for over thirty years. The World Health Organization has classified synthetic estrogen and progestin in contraceptives as carcinogenic to humans. According to a major meta-analysis, women who use oral contraceptives before age 20 have elevated risk of developing breast cancer.
Only way of reducing teenage pregnancy is:
• To give teens a clear and uncompromising message: keep sex for marriage. It is the best structure by far, to experience parenthood. They and their future children will be happier by all measuring standards. If this message is given repetitively to young people at school, in places of worship and at home, just like it worked to reduce HIV prevalence in Uganda in the 80’s and 90’s, it would reduce teenage pregnancies today.