Teen Health 411
Teen Health 411

Keep Teens Safe: Vote No on CA Prop 4

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Marketing seems to have infiltrated politics. The people of California are being encouraged with words like "secret, predator, Megan's law, coercion, & sexual abuse," to make it a law that parents be notified 48 hours before a teen can receive an abortion.

The reality is that teens get pregnant more often by having sex voluntarily with a same-aged peer than by being sexually abused. We have laws allowing teenagers to seek confidential reproductive care to avoid unsafe abortions and encourage teens who do get pregnant to seek care and counseling quickly. Teens that fear their parents finding out that they are sexually active are the ones who do not get birth control, do not use condoms, postpone care, and end up needing abortions.

Yes, it would be great if our schools taught comprehensive sexuality, parents and teens did communicate about healthy relationships and sexuality and teens did not get pregnant, but that is not our reality! We live in a culture that sexualizes youth and sells sex - we promote sexual activity but do not give teens the information they need about birth control and the skills to talk to sexual and romantic partners about sexual risk and prevention.

Parents should be encouraged to talk with their teens, teach them how to recognize unhealthy and potentially abusive relationships, protect themselves from pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections, and encourage them to talk with an adult if they need medical care, but forcing this issue promotes, denial and puts our most vulnerable teens in harms way!

Please talk about Prop 4 and encourage people to KEEP TEENS SAFE and VOTE NO on Prop 4.

Photo credit: alexandralee
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About the Author

Dr. Brown is a developmental psychologist specializing in adolescent health.

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