Friday, June 14, 2013

Plan B Follow-Up

I like writing about all sorts of things on my blog, including current events that I think are interesting. I guess I opened a can of worms on Tuesday when I expressed my thoughts on the recent ruling regarding Plan B, the emergency contraceptive, or "morning-after pill," and how it's now available to females of any age, no questions asked, no parental consent needed.
What I said in the post was how alarming I thought it was to think about the 12 and 13-year-old girls in my Sunday school class, or my 12-year-old nieces now being able to obtain Plan B without their parents knowing about it. I also said that it's my opinion that Plan B should be more of a "last resort." I definitely think Plan B has its place, especially in the case of rape, for example, to protect a female from an unwanted pregnancy. But it's the thought of young girls taking Plan B without the guidance of a parent or responsible adult that I think is really scary. Teenagers don't have a fully developed brain until their mid 20's and aren't capable foreseeing the consequences of their decisions. I know that there are hundreds of different scenarios where you could make exceptions for this or that. I just think there need to be stricter guidelines in the case of young teenagers and their ability to obtain Plan B without the knowledge of their parents/guardians. (I think an adult woman choosing to take Plan B is completely different than  a young teenager taking Plan B, by the way.)

A bunch of comments were left after I published my post, which was wonderful since I love getting comments, especially now that a friend helped me figure out what my blog settings need to be so that I can actually reply to the comments people leave. :) However, things started to get a bit tense, so I decided to remove what I said about Plan B from Tuesday's post and make this post clarifying my thoughts. It seemed like things were getting taken out of context and some of the comments being made were based more on other comments instead of the original post and there were lots of different tangents going off in all sorts of directions and we were veering off course! I love comments, but when people start debating an issue like this via comments on a blog, pretty soon there's just a jumbled spider's web of comments. I enjoy hearing people share their different opinions, but I don't want my blog to be the place where this discussion takes place getting mean-spirited or volatile. I do apologize, though, if what I said sounded judgmental or offensive, because I didn't intend it to.

This is one of those "hot-button" issues that has the ability to cause people to become heated quickly since it's something that people have strong feelings about (feelings that are tied to their experiences in life, as well as their religious/political/moral views, etc.) Last week I heard someone say, "Opinions are like butts… everyone has one." (I'd never heard opinions defined in these terms before, and I thought it was hilariously true!) Everyone does have an opinion, which they are entitled to, whether it's similar to or different than yours. Whatever your opinion, the important thing to remember is to be kind and respectful of everyone's right to have their own opinion. :)

Recently these pictures of teenage boys that look pregnant were printed in a magazine. They really do get your attention, which is what they were designed to do. I obviously don't have all the answers, but one thing that kids need is education when it comes to the topics of sex and how to prevent pregnancy.


Stephanie said...

Heather -- I think this is an important topic! I guess I'd like you to clarify your thoughts, however. I certainly agree with you that it would be the *BEST* to have a teen have a parent to talk things over with and that they aren't equipped to make major life decisions. Unfortunately, teens *DO* make major decisions -- they may not seem "major" to them at the time, but having sex is a major decision with major consequences. Many teens do not have the relationship with their parents to talk openly and others, sadly, have parents who would be condemning or punitive. I'd much rather teens have access to "back up plans" if necessary. Would it be my first choice? No. However, I'd rather a young woman have access to Plan B, no questions asked, than be required to involve parents who are often painfully judgmental and essentially guarantee the situation will end up damaging to the teen (and/or baby).

Tina said...


I agreed with you 100% on Plan B. This is your blog. Write what you want. I find controversy brings the most views. People love to argue! When I get negative comments, I actually like it. It makes me think someone, besides a relative or friend is actually reading my blog!


Your Utah Friend


Heather (Paralyzed with JOY!) said...

Thanks, Tina… I definitely wasn't trying to do stir the pot by bringing up controversial things, but I guess when you have an emotionally charged subject like this, especially since people feel so differently. I hope you're doing well! :)

Heather (Paralyzed with JOY!) said...

I definitely don't know what the answer should be. This is a complex topic, and everyone's situation is different. Ideally it would be great if teenagers felt comfortable talking to their parents about things like this, but the majority of teens don't feel that way, even if they have great parents. That's just how teenagers tend to be. If a teenage girl is going to be sexually active, then I agree it's best for her to be on some kind of birth control to prevent pregnancy, and to also be educated on topics relating to what does/doesn't constitute a healthy relationship, sex, what sorts of things are normal, what signs to watch out for in regards to safety when dating, etc. Even a mature/responsible teenager can make some pretty dumb decisions. I think they need someone to provide guidance, whether it's a parent, teacher, coach, etc, so that when they do go through hard times and have their personal crises they don't have to face things alone, which can result in even more heartache.

Cricket04 said...

I just stumbled on your story after following Mike Pattersons story. All I can say is that you are amazing. You have the strength and courage like no one I know. Your family sounds wonderful and I am so glad you have them. I am currently a nursing student, having returned to school at the age of 48. I took care of my dad who was wheelchair bound for 7 years before that. I was so angry when I read of some of the care you received when you returned to St Louis. I will never be those nurses ever.
Thank you for sharing your story.

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