The People News, a free newspaper serving Cleveland Tennessee (TN) and Bradley County Tennessee (Tn).

Of Bradley County Tn.

MARCH  2013






Birth Control for Kids

by Joe Kirkpatrick

I first wrote the following article in November, 2007 after a middle school in Maine started giving birth control to middle school students without their parents permission. There was a national out cry against them doing that, but I agreed with it. I haven't thought of this article in quite some time, but reminded of it when I was in a grocery store a few weeks ago. Standing in the checkout line in front of me was a mother with three teenage daughters. Each of the daughters was holding their young baby, and one of the daughters was already pregnant again. Here is my original article:

Many people were appalled by the news story recently where school officials in Portland, Maine, voted to make birth control pills available to students at one of the city's middle schools. King Middle School will be Maine's first school to not only offer students birth control pills, but patches and condoms as well. How sick can it be to offer birth control to sixth graders??

When we buy a car, we don't plan to have a wreck. A lot of us maintain our cars to perfection, and are careful drivers. But many of us, no matter how good of a driver we are, or how well we keep our car maintained, end up at some moment having a distraction, and end up causing an accident.

When we buy a house, no matter how well we maintain it, a water pipe might break causing significant damage. Or, perhaps we are distracted by a phone call and forget about that skillet of oil we have heating on the stove and a fire occurs. We didn't think this would ever happen to us.

When we are young, we feel invincible, and expect to live a long healthy life. Most of us achieve that, but some are diagnosed with a terminal illness and die before they are fifty, leaving a wife and three children behind.

What do we do to take care of these things? We buy insurance.

Did you know America has the highest teen pregnancy rate in the Western World?

More than 50% of these teens will have their baby before age 18.

Did you know over 1,000,000 girls in our country under the age of 18 will become pregnant this year?

Did you know 40% of all females in America will have at least one pregnancy before age 20?

Did you know less than 1/3 of girls who have babies before age 18 will ever finish high school?

Does this only happen in "bad" families?

I don't think so! If you go to church, look around - how many families do you know at your church who have had an unmarried child pregnant? Did these girls have "bad parents?" I don't think so. Were these girls "bad girls?" Many certainly are not.

Did you know in America 48% of boys and 45% of girls in grades 9-12 consider themselves "sexually active?"

How many of those parents ever dreamed it would happen to their child?

Do you think it isn't that big of a problem here? For several years, Bradley Memorial Hospital would run the pictures of all of the newborns for the week in the Cleveland Daily Banner with their parent's name under the picture. I kept notes for six months on how many of those babies had only one parent listed, or how many had both parents listed, but they had different last names. The average here was 8 out of every 20 babies born were to unmarried girls.

Parents who refuse to believe it can happen to their child are burying their heads in the sand. I don't find what they are doing in Maine sick, I find it smart!

You think you know your child? You think you raised your child right? Are you sure enough that you are prepared to raise and support a grandchild if you aren't? Because I can tell you that 16 year old boy that impregnated her sure isn't going to be around paying child support.

Many parents still like to use the argument "but giving them birth control pills encourages them to have sex." To them I say, look at the above statistic - there is a 1 in 2 chance your child is already having sex.  How lucky do you feel?

Birth control for kids is not sick - it's just good insurance.


Joe Kirkpatrick

Readers can contact Joe Kirkpatrick at: