Contraceptive pill at 13?
Today it was announced the start of trials in pharmacies, to supply the contraceptive pill for sale to people as young as 13.
Traditionally, if you were a teenager wanting to go on the pill, you would have to go to your local doctor or family planning clinic, but now you will be able to buy the pill over the counter without even a prescription..
The worrying bit though is, is 13 too young?
The most common form of the Pill is taken everyday for 21 days, then a gap for 7 and then started again.
The thoughts on it though are very defined, 13 is a very young age, to be responsible enough to take the pill as prescribed everyday, then resting and then starting again.
The pill only prevents pregnancy, it doesn’t protect against sexually transmitted diseases, so that means an additional cost of condoms, and in these tough times, if the teenager hasn’t got a job and has to ask the parent for an extra £20+ (for the pill and condoms), they are bound to ask the teen, why they want that extra money, the truth will have to come out somehow.
Another factor to the discussion is all you get is a set of instructions, no doctor is there asking valuable questions or explaining the dangers of not having a break, and answering important questions for concerned young people, a doctor is someone that you can confide with, in full confidence, because of patient confidentiality.
Just letting teenagers go out and buy the Pill like this is like giving a box of knives to a 3 year old and saying ‘thank you, come back again for your next months supply!’ Instead of saying to the 3 year old to be careful, knives are serious things and if used inappropriately could do some real damage, and its not just knives you need to think of, its guns too.
Encouraging safe (but on the other hand underage) sex, is something I am proud to see the government campaign for, but I would like to see something else, perhaps an app for Smartphones that teenagers can download as a reminder to take the pill and websites clearly explaining and helping with the administration.
Growing up as a teenager, gets more and more confusing as the days pass. I just want to do the right thing.
Feel free to comment about how you feel about this!