Teenage Pregnancy - KFDA - NewsChannel 10 / Amarillo News, Weather, Sports

Teenage Pregnancy

They're not even teenagers, and they can get a hold of birth control. One middle school in Portland, Maine is now approved by its' school board to have birth control pills and patches for 11, 12 and 13 year old kids.

It may be a shock to some parents, but school officials are just hoping to lower the pregnancy rate in their area.

"The people in Maine know their kids and this is how they're addressing the problem, but they're addressing the problem, not hiding their heads in the sand and saying we don't have that problem," says Sharon Lazar, the Director of Education for Planned Parenthood in Amarillo. 

The teenage pregnancy rate in Potter County is consistently the highest in Texas, according to the Department of State Health Services.

NewsChannel 10's Marissa Bagg explains how young mothers in Amarillo feel about making birth control available at such a young age.

Handing out birth control to middle school students in our area may be out of the question. But young mothers say if they could talk about it in school, things may have been different for them.

This is isiah. He turn one year old last month. His mother Emily is only 16, she loves her son. But she wishes there was more sex education available in school.

"I think they should start teaching kids around 13 or 14. I would've been more comfy talking to my mom and I would've gone on birth control a lot sooner," says Emily Ramos. 

Emily says they learn about STD's in school. But using protection during sex, is lacking.

"If you're open and able to talk with your teacher and classmates it will make you more comfortable talking about it with your parents," says Emily. 

Emily's mother Teresa agrees.

"I tried to talk to my daughter and she wasn't comfortable at the time to respond to me until it was too late," says Teresa Ramos. "I think they should tell them it's ok to talk about it but not to push it on them."

Teresa even agrees with handing out birth control to pre-teens.

"If they're going to do it, it's there for them, and they may not feel comfy going to their parents, they may feel more comfortable going elsewhere," says Teresa. 

Emily says now she is much safer when it comes to her personal life. That's something that makes her and her mother happy. Some agencies say that being open about birth control only encourages teens to have sex. However Planned Parenthood argues that studies show education doesn't lead to curiosity.

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