The Importance Of Contraceptives In Public Schools

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The State of Michigan’s Act 451 of 1976 provides guidelines on which sexual education courses in public schools should abide. This piece of legislation states that “a person shall not dispense or otherwise distribute in a public school or on public school property a family planning drug or device”, explaining that “family planning” means the “use of a range of methods of fertility regulation to help individuals or couples avoid unplanned pregnancies.” Although teenage pregnancy rates have decreased due to improved contraceptive usage, Santelli at el. (2007) found that the United States still has high rates of teen pregnancy compared to other developed countries. This law creates a public health issue because prohibiting adolescents from receiving …show more content…
The Catholic church maintained a ban on contraceptives since Pope Paul VI’s 1968 encyclical letter Humanae Vitae that states that to prevent human life with the use of birth control is intrinsically wrong. The current pontiff Pope Francis reiterated at a speech in Manila, Philippines that birth control remains banned in the church, and encourages natural family planning such as abstinence. Catholics advocate against contraceptives in general due to their religious beliefs, protesting against the Affordable Health Care’s contraception coverage and banning family planning devices in Catholic high schools. Although the New York Times reports that many Catholics support birth control, the church’s religious officials are generally against it. Much like the general Catholic population, parents are stakeholders whose views regarding birth control in schools vary widely. CBS News reported an Associated Press Poll that asked what were people’s opinions on providing teens access to sexual education and birth control and the results were divided racially, generationally, and socioeconomically. 67 percent of respondents favored providing birth control to students and 62 percent believed that providing birth control help prevents teen pregnancy. Those who responded that birth control should remain out of schools completely tended to be whiter and …show more content…
Kenneth Warner noted that state governments have the responsibility to provide for its citizen’s health and welfare. The state government has the power to provide for the health, safety, and welfare of the citizenry (police power) and is supposed to use that power to “defend interests of person incapable of fully informed, rational decisions (ie. children).” Michigan’s teen pregnancy rate for all females in 2013 was 38.2 per 1,000 females aged 15-19. However, between races the disparity was immense. White females aged 15-19 had a pregnancy rate of 26.2 whilst black females of the same age range had a pregnancy rate of 83.2. The disparities were even larger in Detroit, which had a teen pregnancy rate of about 100 for black females. As The National Campaign, the CDC, and other pro contraceptive entities stressed, teen pregnancy can lead to lower achievement and worse health outcomes for teen mothers. Ultimately, this can affect society on a larger scale and worsen poverty, health, financial stability and more. In order to ensure that the future of a state is stable, the government has to intervene in times of major public issues such as

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