Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Peddling Contraception To Children Behind Parents' Backs

As if all those "sex education" lessons weren't enough, we now have family doctors enthusiastically promoting contraceptive pills to children - without bothering to obtain any form of consent from parents.
...I winked at Jody and left, honoring her privacy and modesty.

Not five minutes later the doctor called me back in. One look at Jody and I knew she was distressed. My motherly alarm system kicked in and I felt my heart speed up. Dr. X left the room and I said,

“What’s wrong?”

“The doctor asked me about birth control,” said Jody. “I don’t even know what it is.”
When they were alone the doctor asked Jody if she was drinking or using drugs. Jody said no and the doctor then told Jody in a firm way how important it was to keep drug- and alcohol-free. Then the doctor asked if Jody had a boyfriend. Jody said no. Then the doctor said, “If you ever get a boyfriend, and you’re having sexual relations, I can give you birth control pills.”
That almost sounds like a sales pitch, than an advice of a healthcare worker. I wonder if he does get some extra income peddling this hormonal trash or if he was merely following someone else's bad advise without considering the consequences. Either way this is not the kind of behavior one would expect from a professional.

He justifies his actions by suggesting this is a "routine conversation" for 12 year-old girls; that it was part of a "community-wide effort to cut down on teen pregnancy". Hmmm... I wonder - how many teen pregnancies is he going to avert by suggesting 12 year-olds that if they want to sleep with each other - they can, as long as they take a few precautionary measures?

A real doctor would be warning 12 year-olds that at this age the body is simply not ready for sexual relations and he would be talking about health risks associated with having sexual relations at such an early age. His advice to a 12 year-old who might be pressured into sexual relations by her "boyfriend" would be - to let the grown-ups know about it right away. He would explain that a "boyfriend" that doesn't want to make the sacrifice and wait until the girl is old enough to get married should not only be told where to go and what to do there, but his departure better be accelerated with something heavy and pointy.

Finally, a true professional would have lauded Jody for her moral convictions. Because a girl who believes in abstinence until marriage is far less likely to become a pregnant teenager than a girl who just can't wait for her parents to look the other way. But this "Doctor X" is more of a "product of our culture" than a health care professional.

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