Is it right to allow teen mothers a permanent option of birth control, such a tube tying? As a middle school teacher, I was met by a former student who has entered high school pregnant.  I was...

Is it right to allow teen mothers a permanent option of birth control, such a tube tying?

As a middle school teacher, I was met by a former student who has entered high school pregnant.  I was shocked whn she told me that her physician has given her the option, at such a young age, to have her tubes tied after giving birth.  I did not know if that is right or possible, so I offer this question to be answered by all who are a part of this forum.  

Expert Answers
Jen Sambdman eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I was unaware that this was a legal option actually (at that age). The friends of mine that have become pregnant who wanted their tubes tied were all told at least 28 years old or have had two or more children. I think tube tying is a little extensive since it is irreversible, but what about the cervical implant? It is good for five years I believe. You just sit back and let it do it's thing during that time so the parents don't have to worry about their daughter not taking the pill, not getting the shot, or not wearing the sticker (pill, Depo, and Ortho Evra respectively). Give the parents the opportunity to parent like poster 4 stated. Yeah, the kid should be scared. You shouldn't be having sex unless you are able to deal with the consequences - which happen to be PREGNANCY...duh. So if a parent wants to be a parent and help protected her daughter, let her FORCE her daughter - who is minor and is legally cared for by the parent - to get the implant which will protect the child and leaves the option for children later.

cburr eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I couldn't agree more that I don't think a teen mother is mature enough yet to make a basically irreversible decision like tube tying.  Most kids I've come across (in the Northeast) have the basic education they need (thank goodness), although many don't have realistic access to birth control without getting their parents involved.  Much as parents might wish their girls would consult them about this, many won't.  Parents should raise the topic and offer to get their girl effective birth control (just in case) in addition to reinforcing whatever values and wisdom they may have to impart.  

I have taught troubled teens (who aren't always the poorer ones) and feel that alot of what leads to pregnancy for those kids is the desperate need to be loved and wanted and needed.  Perhaps if we could offer kids better ways to make connections, be grounded, and have a meaningful life to look forward to, we would have less of a problem with teen pregnancy.

amy-lepore eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Why not give this girl an option for birth control like a time-release capsule under the skin or some other option that doesn't require remembering to take a pill daily?  This would give her a viable option for having more children when she is older and perhaps more mature, while preventing her from becoming pregnant again while unmarried and so young.  Personally, I find it unsavory to suggest a young person become "fixed" as if she were a dog whose breeding is no longer needed.  However, it is equally wrong not to address the overwhelming problem of teenage pregnancy in this country.  Parents must do a better job of educating their young people about sexual activity and the choices available to them--it is my belief that they should wait until marriage to procreate, but I am not naive enough to believe that all young people will choose abstinence. 

linda-allen eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The way you've phrased your question requires a "yes" answer. Yes, it is right to "allow" a teen mother any kind of birth control as long as she is fully aware of the consequences and long-term effects it may have. If you had asked whether it is right to offer permanent birth control options to minors, then my answer would have to be no (with the exception of pregnancy's being a risk to the girl's life). Seventeen, twenty, twenty-five are all too young to make such a longlasting decision. It is true that tubal ligations can be reversed, but there is no guarantee that the procedure will work or that the woman will be able to conceive. That kind of decision has to be made after much consideration and planning.

lynn30k eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Wow, what a difficult question. It is so open to abuse, namely pressure from others, to have this done. For a teenager to have to consider such a permanent option is heart-rending. It kind of smacks of the forced sterilizations done on those deemed not mentally fit, in the past. And it has to be considered permanent; even though surgical reversal is possible, I'd think someone who is making this kind of decision won't likely be able to afford it. Even when the reversal IS performed, it is not always successful, for several reasons.

I'd like to think there are less drastic options that could be offered to this young woman.

tpisano eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In my opinon, no.  At such a young age and going through what one can guess is a very difficult time, it is not proper to make such a decision.  If they are given the option, I belive that they must be fully informed of the implications and if they are younger than 18 they must have parental consent.  I could understand a 13 year old pregnant girl wanting this option, but I also think it is one she may come to regret as she gets older.

litteacher8 eNotes educator| Certified Educator
Such a teen should be counseled and given birth control, but anything permanent would be a crime. A teenager has her whole life ahead of her. There is no telling what the future will bring. There are modern alternatives here that can be used for several years and then taken out. That's what I would suggest.
alohaspirit eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I say absolutely not!  The answer to teen preganancy is not to get your tubes tied! This is so ridiculous that a physician would actually suggest this option.

thewanderlust878 | Student

In my mind, this topic goes slightly along the lines of the abortion debate, at least in terms of how I feel about it. I think that at a young age it is difficult to make a decision such as that. I believe that it is a woman's own personal choice as to what she gets done to her body, and no one should be able to tell her differently. However, much like abortions I feel that a girl must have a parent or guardian's permission to get her tubes tied until she is 16. At that age one should be able to distinguish between right and wrong and be able to make decisions themselves. 

atyourservice | Student

It is a really hard choice to consider, and I am on a tight rope about how i feel about this topic. I feel like they shouldn't be given the option since they could make a choice they would later regret but at the same time some people are sure of things even at that age and could really no longer want kids. I would say it should be allowed but only with the full procedure explained and for the teen to be given time to think about their choice and the consequences of it.

rlendensky | Student

I would put the question in comparison to getting a vasectomy as a fifteen year old boy, it seems absolutely ridiculous. For a teen mother to get her tubes tied after giving birth seems to be a permanent solution to a temporary problem. If a girl is pregnant at such a young age, chances are that she is either misinformed on the issue of birth control or overly and unnecessarily sexually active at a young age, both of which are temporary problems which could be solved by education and age, not a permanent solution such as getting your tubes tied. There are hundreds of different birth control methods that are almost as effective as having you tubes tied, young, teen mothers must simply be educated, not operated on.

npoore84 | Student

I believe that it is a woman's right to make this decision, no matter at what age. But, I believe there should be some guidelines that the teenage girl must be made aware of before she goes through with the procedure. The teen mother must be well-versed in the positives and negatives of the procedure; the short-term and the long-term effects. I believe she must be given a time period in which she can research the procedure and actually think about the procedure instead of making the decision on a spur moment due to an unwanted pregnancy. She should be well-versed in other option as well and then make an informed decision. 

inga | Student

If a twelve year old is consensually sexually active is she considered a woman as well?  Where do with draw the line between women and children?  Children have no authority in any other area of life.  Who signs the contract with the doctor allowing such a procedure?  The state in this case would need to give the approval for such a procedure. 

What about the doctor?  In this culture we tend to hold physicians on a pedestal, we never question if they hold the same moral values that our families hold or even the community. They are human beings first, doctors second.  We allow them to make decisions for our loved ones with out every questioning their motives.  

At what point did parents lose their rights to raise their children? Medicating and performing invasive procedures without concern about what is really best for the child.  Oh, the old argument "she is afraid to tell her parents..." She should be, she was doing something she shouldn't have done.  A good parent should get mad, upset and cry when their girl is pregnant, the hopes and dreams for that child are gone in a few minutes.  That doesn't mean that the family is not able to handle the problem in a reasonable loving manner. 

At what point will society rally around families and their rights to raise the best citizen possible?  Instead we rally around the state and all its laws that interfere with families, and their values.  Where did our freedom go?

Rome is burning and no one sees it.