Selling Girls Contraceptives Like Candy
We’re giving out hormonal contraception to girls like candy. Seriously, it might as well be put in Pez dispensers and loaded into vending machines.
I’m talking about a new app called Nurx.
Nurx says it’s “Birth control. Delivered to you without a visit to the doctor. With or without insurance. Starting at $15 month.”
Girls as young as 12 can use Nurx to get hormonal contraception delivered to their door, without their parents’ knowledge or consent. Nurx is proud that “this birth control app makes it easy for teenagers to get birth control without their parents finding out.”
Nurx stocks over 50 brands of hormonal contraception. These include the patch, the ring, and “emergency” contraception. (Also called “Plan B”: it’s a high dose of hormones marketed for use after “unprotected” sex). All of it available after answering some questions via phone or messaging.
Hormonal contraception shipped right to your adolescent daughter, without your permission. All she has to do is answer a few questions. No doctor visit.
Its stated intention of putting more distance between parents and their children is a clear sign that this is a terrible idea.
The champions of “comprehensive, unrestricted access to free birth control” would have us all believe that hormonal contraception is benign. That it only provides women with numerous and wonderful benefits. But it ain’t so. The truth is, hormonal contraception comes with serious risks to a woman’s health.
The World Health Organization lists estrogen/progesterone contraceptives as a Group 1 carcinogen. Does this really sound like something our growing daughters ought to ingest? How many parents are buying organic milk, organic beef and chicken, but are fine with artificial hormones for their daughters?
Is the teenager who thinks she really needs contraception really a trustworthy patient? Might she be motivated to withhold from the doctor (who’s only reading her message) some important information about her health because she wants the pills? How would the Nurx doctor know what he/she’s not being told? This doctor has never seen or heard from this teenager before. The Nurx doctor (or nurse) can only go by what the teenager says and whatever information the teen provides. How can this possibly safeguard the teen’s health?
Who’s to stop Suzie from getting the pills and giving it to Janie? Suzie’s health may be great, but Janie, well, not so much. The doctor might deny her the contraception, so her friend gets it for her. And Janie’s family doctor has no clue. Neither do Janie’s parents.
And then, there’s the reality that all this contraception does not protect them from sexually transmitted diseases. (Antibiotic resistant gonorrhea, anyone?) All this “birth control” gives them a false sense of security. Teens who falsely believe themselves “safe” will make still more foolish decisions. If she’s on the Pill, why should he wear a condom?
Sex Isn’t Just Physical
We act as though there’s nothing more to sex than the mechanics and the urge, and that the only thing we need to focus on is how to prevent pregnancy. By our attitude and actions we’ve thoroughly gutted the sexual union of its profound meaning and purpose.
Trouble is, the purpose and meaning of the sexual union remain. And the consequences of misusing and degrading that union remain as well. Sex is not merely physical recreation. It has physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual consequences, whether we acknowledge them or not.
There’s no “birth control” in the world that protects a girl’s heart. There’s no “birth control” that honors her dignity as a young woman. No contraception can protect her — body, mind, and heart — from being used for some guy’s gratification. No pill or patch can safeguard what she feels pressured into giving away on the cheap. There’s no pill for regret.
Selling contraception like candy teaches our daughters they are just bodies to be devoured and used. It trains them to regard their fertility as a burden and a curse, which is hardly self-respecting.
It doesn’t teach young men to respect young women. It teaches them to take what they can get. It does not help him see her as a whole person worthy of love and commitment, but rather as parts that can satisfy him with no obligation on his part.
It does not teach them what it means to love one another.
Virtues, Not Pills
Our sons and daughters need the real protection of virtue, not pills and patches. We need to stop laughing at the idea of chastity and self-control. Our kids are not animals. We’re wrong to treat them as though they cannot learn self-mastery.They can, but they need to see it modeled by us.
Instead, we’ve taught them to sneer at abstinence until marriage. Heck, we expect them to indulge in unmarried sex and they know it. Then we program them to disdain the purpose of the sexual union — procreation — and train them to demand sterile sex as an inviolable right. They begin their adult lives well-rehearsed in using and being used.
This app and the destructive promiscuity it promotes is a lousy, irresponsible, and unloving way to treat our daughters. And our sons.