Minors and Contraception

Cherish Wyatt (012159165)
Ecology, Pollution or Population Problems
November 17, 2010
The Issue of Minors Having Access to Contraception

For many years, there has been challenges in regards to laws protecting minors and their right to confidentiality within reproductive health services. The challenges include parents perception of their children having access to contraceptives promotes participating in sexual intercourse. On the other hand, minor children may not only seek contraceptives to protect from reproduction, but may also be needed to regulate monthly cycles. In 1985, the U.S. Court of Appeals ruled that a state-operated family planning center has no constitutional obligation to notify parents before providing contraceptive information, devices, and medication to their children (Bornstein, 2001).  
The plaintiffs parents in this particular case argued that their constitutional rights as parents to supervise the education and development of their minor children included the right to participate in their children’s decisions in regards to initiating sexual activity and assuming the substantial medical risk involved with the use of certain contraceptives. The court noticed that the case included many different conflicts due to minor children having the constitutional right of privacy, including the right to obtain contraceptives. Whereas parents have the constitutional right to the custody, care, and nurture of their children.
The risk of limiting minor’s access to confidential health care through mandatory parental notification are high, but the greatest risk is that minor’s who need the care will not receive it and will experience negative outcomes, endangering their own health and often the public health as well (Ford & English, 2002).
Due to the increase in the amount of unwanted pregnancies amongst present day youth, I feel that it is beneficial to maintain services where children can go to obtain contraceptive services without their...