Should it be legal for minors to purchase "The-morning-after" pill?
Debate Rounds (4)
As a newbie, I would greatly appreciate no personal threats or personal arguments. I would also like the argument to be based on logic, but any evidence is welcome. I began this debate after reading an article in the newspaper and would like to see how it would do in a debate.
I challenge anyone to this debate (disregarding any difficulty level or years of experience) so long as it does not become personal or out of hand. Thank you!
I accept, I am undecided on this one, I look forward to the debate.
Recently, newspapers from around the country have reported that Obama has backed up HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius' decision to overrule the scientists at the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and ban the over the counter sale of Plan B contraception to to women of all ages. This means that any female under the age of 17 needs a prescription in order to purchase the morning after pill legally.
As of now, minors are not able to purchase emergency contraception on their free will without going through a process and as the Affirmative, or Pro--I believe that it should be legal for a minor to purchase the morning after pill without a prescription.
I ask that the voters judge based on protection. Protection of our own citizens regardless of their age. We need to protect our growing population and rise the falling economy and through this availability of emergency contraception to any person needing it. To achieve this protection we need to make sure that everyone has the equal chance to purchase Plan B, or any other "morning after pill"
My first contention: Goodwill of mankind
Let us say that a minor, under the age of 17 becomes pregnant--whether it be by rape or consensual sex they have the right to buy emergency contraceptives.
Emergency contraceptives mainly work in the first 72 hours, which is a short amount of time when it comes to the legal process of obtaining the morning after pill now. If Emergency contraceptives were made over the counter, or made legal for purchase without a prescription it would strengthen the chance of the contraceptive working.
It is important that contraceptives are bought to those who want them. Women who buy emergency contraceptive (as well as men) buy it because they do not want to run the risk of having a baby. These reasons may include fiscal matters, physical, mental complications, and many other personal reasons. These individuals have a distinct reason to buy these pills and it is necessary to supply them with the tools to allow them to do as they please. With going against them, and limiting them we are taking away their right to happiness. The con may state that they should not have engaged in intercourse to begin with, but everyone makes mistakes, and we must allow the chance to undo them.
My second contention: Fairness
The con may argue that it is "not right" for children being able to purchase the morning after pill along with milk, eggs, or a pack of cards--but it is not our place to judge. Women who have unprotected sex (especially at a young age) engage solely because it is a risky act. Teens drink and drive, text and drive, obstruct property because it is an act of rebellion. Some see sexual activity the same way, and in the end regret their decision. They may even be peer pressured into it.
These minors have a 3 day window to figure out if they can get pregnant, worry about being pregnant, find out how to get "un-pregnant", stumble across emergency contraception, find out that they need a prescription which requires adult and parental assistance, worry about their parents, finally confess to them, get an appointment, and hopefully if it is not rescheduled or if it is without inconvenience the child may purchase the emergency contraceptive. This mental process for a teen is all-together to much for them to process in 3 days, or 72 hours.
Availability for all ages would allow minors who want to correct their mistake (Driven by peers, hormones, or by forceful action) to correct it, and allows for minors to get an idea of what it is like to have unprotected sex, and learn the risks of engaging in such matters.
In conclusion, Kids will have sex. Minors will have sex. Teenagers will have sex. Use any synonym for minors, they will nevertheless engage in sex and risky behavior. Would society rather have these minors become pregnant and have children and run away from their homes, live off of welfare, maybe even perhaps grow these children in poverty and malnutrition? Or would they rather prevent the pregnancy from happening. Because as of now, children under the age of 17 must confront their parents in order to begin the process of obtaining the morning after pill. This will undoubtedly cost teens and pre-teens to become pregnant in a lack of courage (or presence of shame and embarrassment) to confess to their parents that they are socially active.
As adults, and as many parents agree--we need to be there for adults, for the youth of America and supply them for a healthy future. And feeding our kids' kids/ allowing them to see that it is okay to feed off of money they did not earn/ act on impulse and judge one another will not get them any closer to being well functioning adults in society. We need to start small, and show them that the option is there if they need it, and to not be afraid to try and fix an action that was done out of carelessness, peer pressure, or on impulse.
I would like to open by stating that, as a pragmatist and a realist, I will not at any point even begin to consider that young people are going to be either inclined or persuaded to not have sex. Teenage intercourse is an unavoidable fact and also a right of free individuals to practice.
In the same line, I would also like to bring into play the reality that regardless of what the "correct dosage and course" is for any type of synthetic or even natural compound that causes an effect on the human body, there will always be those who disregard recommendations and take the indiscriminately in either excess or paucity. This has been proven time and again for such varied compounds as antibiotics, steroids, NSAIDS and birth control.
The key in the topic for this debate is the word Minor. Meaning anyone under the age of 18, although in this case we could in theory establish a bracket for girls who have already experienced the onset of menarch which on average is at 12 years old, but possibly down to only 9.
I will not deviate from the theme of protection that has been established by Pro, however I will turn the concept from her meaning of protecting the rights of everyone and instead focus on stating that minors need to be protected from themselves.
I do no wish at any point to debate the morality or legality of teenage intercourse. It is a right. However I must disagree with Pro and state that we are not all equal. While from a standpoint of human rights, it must be held true that we are all equal, it is an unarguable biological fact that Minors and Adults are not on equal ground, both mentally and physiologically.
Firstly I will address the physiological issue. Studies have shown that use of contraceptive pills by young girls can increase their risk of breast cancer by up to six times in later life (1), and the earlier they begin using them, the more suceptible they are. In this case, minors must be protected from their own bodies in order to ensure that their health later in life is not adversely affected. The morning-after pill is not indicated for routine use as a contraceptive, which brings which leads into my second point.
Second. Teenagers, especially the youngest of teens able to conceive (11-12 years old), generally do not have the knowledge or mental discipline to be trusted with buying a drug that affects the way their body works and using it responsibly. The possibility of any drug being misused is high even among adults, so the chances of misuse among minors is even higher, if simply because of ignorance.
Allowing teens access to a non-prescription contraceptive that may affect their continued growth and development is irresponsible unless it can be proven that no detrimental side effects of any kind can occur, and even if that were the case, can a child of 12 be trusted with buying and taking a pill of this kind? The mere concept is troubling to think of despite my attempts to remain rational about the debate.
It is unfortunate that teenagers and especially pre-teens who need the morning after pill must resort to their parents for permission to issue consent for a prescription (if this is indeed the case), and I agree with Pro that this is a bad policy because the fear of shame or even punishment may drive teens to debate the issue until it is already too late and they are then pregnant. Teengers retain access to contraceptive methods such as condoms that not only are effective in preventing pregnancy, but also prevent the transmission of STDs and are in general more dependable than hormonal methods.
I will conclude for now by saying that a line does have to be drawn at some point to acount for immaturity and ignorance regarding access to the pill, and for now that line is 17. We may choose to debate the age at which this line can be drawn in the future, but I reiterate the reality that we are not all biologically the same on this topic and equality of rights simply cannoy apply.
I would like to begin my rebuttal with nullifying the cons claims and then supporting my own.
On the Con's first point: Yes, anyone--especially minors--can abuse drugs due to ignorance of the person taking them.
However, I would like to point out that the topic presents "The-Morning-After-Pill" aka an emergency contraceptive pill (ECP) and while birth control pills do include breast cancer as a possible long term side effect (A), ECPs only present short term side effects such as nasea and headaches (B). ECPs are only taken once (unless otherwise directed to take twice) and have no long term side effects. Which proves this point on the Cons side to be irrelevant.
On the topic of the use of condoms. Any person under the age of 17 (legal age to purchase the pill without a prescription) will or will not buy a condom, and of those who do they may or may not use them during intercourse. However for those who do purchase them, and those who do use them, there is a chance that it may break or become improperly used, therefore the rate of protection drops from 99% to about 86% (C) This is when minors (for whatever reason need it) should be allowed to buy in instantaneously.
On the con's Second point, mistakes will happen, and these minors may be afraid of even the thought of having a baby and want to correct it. These minors are scared out of their wits, and this doesn't mean that they would go home and abuse the drug. Common sense indicates to read the bottle of pills before taking them, and as they are minors--most likely taking them for the first time--they will read the directions not blindly take a handful of pills. Statistically only 2.7% 8th graders had taken a prescription drug for reasons other than those intended.(D) That's 2.7% 8th graders in the whole nation which isn't a lot. Yes maybe a few may abuse the pill but keep in mind that the pill costs anywhere from $30 - $60. That's if you are allowed to buy it without a prescription, and without the cost of going to the doctors.
Those who oppose point out the psycological liabilty for minors to purchase emergency contraceptive pills, but if it were maybe more personal to you, like if it were a minor you knew (son, daughter, niece, nephew, ect.) would you have wanted them to miss their chance to fix a mistake they had made, or may have been forced to make?
Should we prohibit all minors under the age of 17 to buying this emergency contraceptive pill and make them feel trapped?
There is a fear, and there will always be a fear of abuse-- but as for the morning after pill and overdosing, Overdosing can only effect the womans menstural cycle.(E) Overdosing will not cause death due to the fact that it is just a dramatic increase of hormones.
It isn't society's place to jude on how it is they become pregnant, or even the risk, but it is society's job to be there for the youth, and at least allowing them access to this emergency drug will be an improvement and a factor only to decrease the numbers of teenage (and minors) pregnancies.
(Source A) http://www.virginiahopkinstestkits.com...
(Source B) http://planbonestep.com...
(Source C) http://www.thelaboroflove.com...
(Source D) http://www.nida.nih.gov...
(Source E) http://www.professorshouse.com...; (Prgh.4)
Doppelgaenger forfeited this round.
I would like to extend my final arguements.
I believe my point has been made for my claim.
Thank you to my opponent, those judging, and those reading this as well.
Doppelgaenger forfeited this round.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by InVinoVeritas 5 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: Con stopped arguing. And con's account is disabled...
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