Free Contraception For Teens Flawed & Harmful

Media Release 30 June 2015
Family First NZ says that calls for free contraceptives to be made available to teens is flawed, morally bankrupt, and will actually do more harm than good. It will also undermine the important and protective role of parents and ignore their valid concerns.

“The decreasing proportion of teens wanting to be sexually active need parental involvement and good advice. Contraception deals with unwanted pregnancy, but there’s no mention of the danger of sexually transmitted infections and increased sexual activity. Making it free and even more accessible is going to continue to alienate parents from the role they should be involved in. What we should be asking is, why are young teenagers becoming sexually active, what messages are teens receiving about sexual involvement, and what messages do parents actually want their children to receive,” says Bob McCoskrie, National Director of Family First NZ.

“Teen girls deserve to be informed of the serious consequences of early sexual activity including the impact on emotional and mental welfare and academic performance, rather than given a false sense of security and being encouraged to take risks by adults who should know better.”

“Rates of teen abortions and sexual involvement have fallen significantly recently for teens, but it has nothing to do with contraception, and everything to do with decreased sexual activity and education and awareness for teens on the actual consequences,” says Mr McCoskrie.

A US study found increased access to emergency contraception increases the rates of sexually transmitted diseases, risk taking and a false sense of security, while doing nothing to reduce the number of abortions.

There are many different side-effects that can be experienced when a woman has Jadelle inserted. These range from such things as nausea, depression, nervousness, headaches and weight gain to pelvic pain and changes to the menses where it can become irregular, prolonged or more frequent. It can also lead to liver dysfunction and blood clots (thrombosis) if used when contraindicated.

In 2013, the Ministry of Health’s Medsafe stepped up warnings to GPs about Jadelle, with concerns about the side effects not being made clear to patients. Doctors are finding they migrate around the body and can become so difficult to remove women require expensive specialist treatment. The UK’s Medicines and Healthcare Regulatory Agency has reported 36 instances of Implanon devices migrating from their original location until August 2012, with five cases of infertility when the implant was unable to be found at all.

The use of Jadelle’s predecessor Norplant ceased in the US after more than 200 lawsuits (involving more than 50,000 women) were brought against the manufacturer Wyeth-Ayerst Laboratories. The lawsuits alleged inadequate warnings of side-effects.

“Ironically, getting a good education could be the best form of contraception for teenagers, according to a recent UK study,” says Mr McCoskrie.

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