Cultivate It: Is Birth Control a Thing of the Past?

By: Tiffani Haynes

With teenagers and young adults reproducing like it’s going out of style it makes me wonder…is birth control a thing of the past? Do people not know how to use it? Is it not accessible? Too expensive? Complicated? It has to be something that’s making so many young people have children out of wedlock and at such a young age.

First, I’m not degrading anyone for having children early. You were presented a challenging situation and dealt with it the best you knew how. I commend young parents for taking care of their children, especially single mothers. Yet, my thoughts occur before the baby is even formed. What happened to the good old days of using birth control? Of practicing safe sex? I mean forget the whole STDs/HIV thing, let’s just focus on pregnancy for now.

The teenage pregnancy rate is steadily rising and there doesn’t seem to be an end in sight. The National Center for Health Statistics released new data in January that stated that the pregnancy rate had increased in 26 states, over half of the United States. This is outrageous.

“We’re seeing increases in both the number of teens having births and also the rate at which they are having births. Both of them are going up,” said Paul Sutton, a demographer with the Center, told USA Today.

While decreases were noticed in certain states (New York, North Dakota, Rhode Island and the District of Columbia) there has been a staggering increase of teen pregnancies in some states, particularly the South. Mississippi remained the highest with a pregnancy rate of 68.4 per 1,000 followed by New Mexico with 64.1 and Texas with 63.1.

teen pregancy graph

Graph Courtesy of USA Today

So it’s obvious that teens are having sex at a young age. We can stop with the “Abstinence Until Marriage” campaign. That’s not working. We need a “real talk” type of sex education that can inform teenagers and meets them on their level.

Simply put, there needs to be a focus on birth control. Someone needs to discuss how to go about getting it, using it properly and staying safe.

So here are some inexpensive and accessible places and methods for birth control:

Target- With a prescription, you can get Ortho Tri Cyclen, the birth control pill, for $9 with no insurance. It’s an easy way to avoid using insurance.

Planned Parenthood- Some Planned Parenthoods give out free birth control. This includes condoms; birth control pills, condoms and shots; as well as free STD testing.

Local Clinics-Your local health clinic or state clinic offers free condoms. Snatch them by the handful if you can’t afford them.

Wal-Mart- Similar to Target, if you bring a prescription, you can get birth control pills for $9. Wal-Mart offers the Sprintec and Tri-Sprintec brands of the pills.  

The easiest and cheapest forms of birth control are condoms and birth control pills. You can get both for under $10.

There’s no need for unplanned pregnancies when you have plenty of means to avoid it. Is producing a child really worth not taking a pill everyday? Or slipping on a condom? I think not. And if it is, perhaps you shouldn’t be having sex. Aside from the financial responsibilities, there are emotional and mental responsibilities that most teens and young adults aren’t ready for. Remember, just because you can do the act doesn’t mean you’re ready to handle the repercussions of it. Act wisely; it could change your life.



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