The Instigator
queenofmayhem
Pro (for)
Losing
2 Points
The Contender
subgenius
Con (against)
Winning
3 Points

Should teenage girls be allowed to get birth control without the consent of their parents?

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 1 vote the winner is...
subgenius
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 3/18/2014 Category: Health
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,347 times Debate No: 49373
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (6)
Votes (1)

 

queenofmayhem

Pro

The first round will be acceptance, the next round will be arguments, and the final will be rebuttals.
I am looking for someone who can argue that teenage girls should not be able to get birth control without parental consent.
I look forward to a great debate, good luck to my opponent.
subgenius

Con

The acquisition of birth control implies sexual activity and introduces the legal statute of "age of consent". Since the assertion calls into question a prohibition of this acquisition it must also question the legality of any age of consent being imposed upon a teenage girl. The age of consent pertains, specific to this topic, the legal competence of a teenage girl to consent to sexual acts. While the specific age may vary across different jurisdictions the legal impact is the same. An age of consent can be a determination for whether statutory rape has occurred - which is to say, a 14 year old girl who is manipulated by a 35 year old man into a sexual act would be without any defense if she were allowed to acquire birth control on her own account.
This also applies to teenage being considered legal to participate in pornography and in some jurisdictions prostitution.
I do not know of any reliable evidence that concludes with teenage girls being of a consistent maturity whereas they are personally capable of discerning what sexual acts are appropriate for their normal and healthy development.
Within this same restriction of "age of consent" we are able to protect teenage girls from intimate development issues through privacy protections whereas parents exert control and bear responsibility, both legally and morally, for their children. Should these protections be removed by omitting parents from this "consent" then teenage girls would legally be responsible for burdens that they are otherwise incapable of bearing - such as financial obligations or liabilities from transmission of disease, etc.
Therefore, it is erroneous to assume that all teenage girls, which assumes a wide category of girls at varying stages of physical and mental development be allowed to acquire birth control without consent of their parents. The mere fact that the term "girls" is being used can lead to no other conclusion.
Debate Round No. 1
queenofmayhem

Pro

I suppose I will take that as your argument and I shall now give you mine and rebut.

As a teenage girl, I know that whether it be protected or not, teenagers have sex. And tons of it at that. In this decade alone, teenage pregnancies have skyrocketed, raising the drop out rate and facing young girls with a huge decision: keep it, abort it, or give it away.

We cannot ban sex. We have attempted creating an age of consent, however we still have fourteen and fifteen year olds having sex. However, we can give young girls the means necessary to avoid such a huge responsibility. I know many girls who could never go to their parents for birth control, or are too embarrassed or ashamed. I think if birth control was offered so that a girl could go through the tests and have it administered without the consent of a legal guardian, that would be an ideal way to lower the disturbingly high statistics.

Now that I have made my argument, I shall begin my first rebuttals.

Birth control by no means affects the age of consent. A girl under the age 16 (average age of consent) still has every right to file lawsuits should she be manipulated or coerced by a predator (and of course is protected from pornography and prostitution). After all, teenagers under the age of consent are on birth control right now, so that is proof that it does not affect that crucial law. I am addressing the fact that this luxury of being able to go to a legal guardian is not available to everyone. Birth control without parental consent is merely a solution to the teenage pregnancies that happen as a result of a girl who has no way of getting on the pill.

Due to sex education in school, teenage girls (and boys) are fully knowledgeable about the risks that stem from engaging in sex. I personally was first exposed to these risks (pregnancy, STDs, etc...) when I was in sixth grade. Sex is a choice that many teenagers choose, and with it comes a consequence. And should they not take the time to buy condoms, they very well may get a sexually transmitted disease. However, birth control has no effect over whether or not they get infected. I believe in freedom of choice, but not if that choice harms another person. Whether or not a teenage uses condoms (which are available to all ages) effects only them, however if a teenager gets pregnant this now involves a newborn baby.

In conclusion, the best way we can avoid teenage pregnancies is opening up the option of birth control to the teenagers who have no legal guardian they can go to or trust. We will never be able to ban sex or punish a teenager for engaging in it, we can only implement a plan that can make sure we have as few cases of thirteen, fourteen, and fifteen year old pregnancies as possible.
subgenius

Con

(As a teenage girl, I know that whether it be protected or not, teenagers have sex. And tons of it at that. In this decade alone, teenage pregnancies have skyrocketed, raising the drop out rate and facing young girls with a huge decision: keep it, abort it, or give it away.)
People still commit murder even though it is illegal, this is not a justification for making murder legal. Just because teenage girls are having sex does not justify supporting that activity. The increase in teen pregnancy exemplifies the notion that teenage girls are not mature enough to handle the consequences of unprotected sex - as you admit getting pregnant is a "huge decision" and as such they are seemingly unaware of this decision when engaging in sexual behavior.

(We cannot ban sex. We have attempted creating an age of consent, however we still have fourteen and fifteen year olds having sex.)
Again, just because some people run stop signs is not a just cause to remove all stop signs. Many people do stop. You are trying to make the exception the rule and that is an unsupported and irresponsible position.

(However, we can give young girls the means necessary to avoid such a huge responsibility.)
Since you admit it is a huge responsibility then you recognize that every "girl" is not capable of taking this responsibility on, or even capable of understanding that responsibility. This is why a parent is necessary. Teenage girls do not consistently have the maturity to make such life altering decisions. A good example is why our society does not let 13 year old girls (or boys) vote in government elections.

(I know many girls who could never go to their parents for birth control, or are too embarrassed or ashamed.)
Being too embarrassed or ashamed to approach one's parents on this subject is a sign of not being mature enough to handle the responsibility. What you are describing is the justification for not allowing teenage girls unfettered access to birth control.

( I think if birth control was offered so that a girl could go through the tests and have it administered without the consent of a legal guardian, that would be an ideal way to lower the disturbingly high statistics.)
You may "think" that but you have not proven that with any evidence (and what "tests" are you referring to?). While access to birth control may bring down unwanted pregnancy rates it also increases the spread of communicable diseases, has unnecessary emotional and psychological effects, and increases a legal exposure that may not be enforceable on minors. This last point meaning that the parents (or legal guardian(s)) would be legally liable for the actions of their teenage girl. To deliberately exclude the parents from an aspect of their own child's life which may have consequences for which they have to bear the burden in unjust, unfair, and unkind - all characteristic which our society strives to avoid, especially with regards to our legal system.

While everyone understands the teenage angst of having to cooperate and communicate honestly with one's parents, it is from an established position of emotional and physical maturity as well as from a legal liability that teenage girls should not be allowed access to birth control without the consent of their parents.
Debate Round No. 2
queenofmayhem

Pro

A) (People still commit murder even though it is illegal, this is not a justification for making murder legal.)
My opponent has rebutted my claim by using murder as an analogy. Murder and having sex are two very different things. Having sex hurts no one except the people involved., while murder is a federal offense.

B) (The increase in teen pregnancy exemplifies the notion that teenage girls are not mature enough to handle the consequences of unprotected sex - as you admit getting pregnant is a "huge decision" and as such they are seemingly unaware of this decision when engaging in sexual behavior.)
Should we ever make a law banning sex for teenagers under a certain age, to enforce it would be entirely unconstitutional so ultimately, it would be a failure. Due to this, whether teenagers be emotionally mature enough to be having sex or not, we must accept that this is something we cannot stop. However, teenage pregnancies is something that is in our power to cease.*

C) (Again, just because some people run stop signs is not a just cause to remove all stop signs. Many people do stop. You are trying to make the exception the rule and that is an unsupported and irresponsible position.)
My opponent has made a claim that many teenagers don't have sex, so it would be irresponsible to offer birth control without parental consent. However, he has not offered any evidence to support this claim.
On the other hand, I have found some statistics that will shed some light.
Sexually Active: If one is sexually active, it means they engage in sex or sexual activities on a *regular basis*.
These statistics do not state how many teenagers have sex, but rather how many teenagers have tons of sex.
In 9th grade (age 14 and 15), 21% of students claimed to be sexually active at the time.
In 10th grade (age 15 and 16), 30% of students claimed to be sexually active.
In 11th grade (age 16 and 17), 40% of students claimed to be sexually active.
In 12th grade (age 17 and 18), 51% of students claimed to be sexually active.
The above statistics all of come from 2011.

D) (Since you admit it is a huge responsibility then you recognize that every "girl" is not capable of taking this responsibility on, or even capable of understanding that responsibility. This is why a parent is necessary. Teenage girls do not consistently have the maturity to make such life altering decisions. A good example is why our society does not let 13 year old girls (or boys) vote in government elections.)
What we must come to realize is yes, if a teenager has a parent in their life that can support them and guide them, that is ideal. However, our society is not like that. "3 in 10 children grow up (or live in) broken homes and (these) children account for 71% of teenage pregnancies[2]." This statistic is huge in my case; the vast majority of teenage pregnancies happen most likely because birth control is entirely out of reach.

E) (You may "think" that but you have not proven that with any evidence (and what "tests" are you referring to?). While access to birth control may bring down unwanted pregnancy rates it also increases the spread of communicable diseases, has unnecessary emotional and psychological effects, and increases a legal exposure that may not be enforceable on minors. This last point meaning that the parents (or legal guardian(s)) would be legally liable for the actions of their teenage girl. To deliberately exclude the parents from an aspect of their own child's life which may have consequences for which they have to bear the burden in unjust, unfair, and unkind - all characteristic which our society strives to avoid, especially with regards to our legal system.)
*This I will use not only as a defense of my argument but to expand on my points above where I left my asterisk. To have sex is a choice, a choice that hundreds and thousands of teenagers will make whether we want them to or not. As I have said before, we must be honest with ourselves: we live in America and since won't hurt sex anyone except for those involved, teenagers have that freedom to do so. However, pregnancy does bring potential harm to an innocent: the fetus. I know I am now approaching a very controversial topic, so I will keep this brief. Due to the fact that the responsibility of a baby is being brought into the picture, pregnancy is something that needs to be dealt with.

My opponent has ignored my argument regarding age of consent, so I will take that as a concession. He has also disregarded what I have said about STDs, sex education, and freedom of choice.

Sources:
http://www.childtrends.org...

http://www.timesdispatch.com...
subgenius

Con

(My opponent has rebutted my claim by using murder as an analogy. Murder and having sex are two very different things. Having sex hurts no one except the people involved., while murder is a federal offense.)
The analogy accentuates my opponent's logical fallacy of appealing to popularity, or the fact that many people do something as an attempted form of validation. Teenage girls having sex is not sufficient cause to allow them to acquire birth control without consent of their parents.
https://yourlogicalfallacyis.com...

(Should we ever make a law banning sex for teenagers under a certain age, to enforce it would be entirely unconstitutional so ultimately, it would be a failure. Due to this, whether teenagers be emotionally mature enough to be having sex or not, we must accept that this is something we cannot stop. However, teenage pregnancies is something that is in our power to cease.)
There are laws "banning' sex for teenagers, and its is the basis for the crime known as "statutory rape" where sexual activity occurs with someone who is under the age of consent. While some states have enacted "Romeo and Juliet" laws to prevent harsh criminal prosecution for participants with little age difference, these laws are not Federal, not in every State, and - most importantly - were not a remedy for any Constitutional issue. The age of consent is, in fact, Constitutional with regards to the USA.

(My opponent has made a claim that many teenagers don't have sex, so it would be irresponsible to offer birth control without parental consent. )
I did not make this claim. What my argument has clearly stated is that "all" teenagers do not have sex, and "all" teenagers are not at a stage of physical and psychological development whereas they are capable of making a responsible decision for themselves - ergo they are not legally competent. Because of this fact, age of consent laws have been passed in every jurisdiction of the USA. This age is surely not by random and my opponent surely agrees that age of consent should occur and should not be arbitrary - or does my opponent propose that a 10 year old girl is legally competent enough to determine if she is going to star in pornographic films?

(What we must come to realize is yes, if a teenager has a parent in their life that can support them and guide them, that is ideal. However, our society is not like that. "3 in 10 children grow up (or live in) broken homes and (these) children account for 71% of teenage pregnancies[2]." This statistic is huge in my case; the vast majority of teenage pregnancies happen most likely because birth control is entirely out of reach.)
My opponent commits the fallacy of "false cause" or that correlation is somehow causation. There is no evidence that concludes with these 3-out-of-10 teenagers not becoming pregnant if they have unsupervised access to birth control. They may well refuse such responsibility due to their circumstance.
https://yourlogicalfallacyis.com...
My opponent is incorrect in concluding that "vast majority of teenage pregnancies happen" due to lack of birth control. The vast majority of teen pregnancies occur from irresponsible sexual behavior. Many males and females have access to condoms, education about abstinence, and the risk of becoming pregnant from unprotected sex - but they proceed anyway. Thus reinforcing their position of being incompetent when it comes to governing their own sexual behavior - and this behavior would be exaggerated with unfettered access to birth control for teenage girls.

Freedom of choice does not excuse one from the consequences.
Debate Round No. 3
6 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 6 records.
Posted by subgenius 2 years ago
subgenius
your "rules" were ambiguous.
While you said that first round was acceptance, this was not an exclusive condition. Other debates will note accordingly - "first round is acceptance ONLY" or "first round is acceptance, no arguments".
However, your "rule" was not definitive to either including or excluding arguments. At best you were relying on inference or implication, which is arbitrary and not binding.

Your next post's initial statement was "...I will take that as your argument ...", which is clearly a concession and not a protest. Your protest being offered only as ploy to gain votes in lieu of relying on your argument.
Posted by ESocialBookworm 2 years ago
ESocialBookworm
Well, she did say that the first round should be for acceptance
Posted by queenofmayhem 2 years ago
queenofmayhem
My rules were clear. First round was to be acceptance. When you failed to do this, with no means of contacting you I left in the comments that this was an unfair debate should you get another argument.
Posted by subgenius 2 years ago
subgenius
the rules did not exclude any argument from being presented in the first round. However, you conceded this notion with your subsequent post in round 2 where you stated:
"I suppose I will take that as your argument and I shall now give you mine and rebut...."
thus giving you an additional round of rebuttal (whereas you offered argument and rebuttal in same round).
Your own deviation from the loosely prescribed format would deserve penalty as well...at which case the debate should be voted as stands.
Posted by queenofmayhem 2 years ago
queenofmayhem
Due to the fact that my opponent has failed to follow my rules regarding round one being acceptance, it would be an unfair debate should he get an extra argument. He is not accepting messages at the time, however I must insist that for the final round he puts "no round as agreed upon" or else it will reselt in a 7 point deduction for an unfair debate.
Posted by Blade-of-Truth 2 years ago
Blade-of-Truth
I'd say yes, but the real question is should there be an age-limit like 14, 15, 16? And is an age limit even an appropriate standard considering women's body's all mature at different rates?
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by Geogeer 2 years ago
Geogeer
queenofmayhemsubgeniusTied
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Total points awarded:23 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro argued more for why girls should have access to birth control and Con argued more about why they shouldn't have access to birth control without their parent's consent. On the whole I believe that con's arguments were more on topic. Pro had better sources.