Giving 13-Year-Old Girls Contraceptive Implants at School Takes Birth Control Initiative Too Far

pre-op formFrom one extreme in school birth control policy to another: Here in the U.S., free condoms in high school and Plan B vending machines in college are controversial measures; over in the U.K., girls as young as 13 have been getting contraceptive implants at school. Without parental consent.

Not surprisingly, this particular method of teen pregnancy prevention is also being considered controversial ... but with good reason! Forget the whole "morality" question -- performing a minor surgical procedure on kids without informing their parents (or their doctors!) is potentially dangerous.

Too little birth control, too much birth control -- can't we find a middle ground here, people??

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So many reasons why this is a bad idea.

Like most hormonal methods of birth control, the implants, called Nexplanon, can cause serious side effects including weight gain, mood swings, and depression. Can you imagine seeing these changes in your daughter and not knowing the reason for them? Schools apparently don't require follow-up appointments after the initial procedure, either, so I can only assume most girls who suffer from side effects do so in silence. Alone. (If you didn't want to tell your parents about the Nexplanon in the first place, why would you go to them for help with complications?)

Contraceptive implants are NOT remotely in the same league of birth control as condoms. Not that condoms are foolproof, but they certainly won't cause systemic side effects like Nexplanon. Oh, and did I mention the schools do this procedure without getting a legit medical history first? Apparently girls have to "fill out a form" beforehand, but the buck stops there. Great, because so many 13-year-old kids know if things like congenital heart defects run in their family.

Seriously. Middle ground!!!

What would you do if your daughter got a contraceptive implant at school without your consent?


Image via Thirteen of Clubs/Flickr

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