When I was working minimum wage there was also the working poor: they needed every penny. If they called in sick you knew they were sick. If you asked them to work overtime they did their best to take it because the extra money was needed (they often couldn't find a sitter on short notice though). They didn't stay in minimum wage for long, their efforts were noticed and they were offered promotions to management (not all accepted because management often meant moving away from family, but in that case they still got maximum raises until they reached the top of the pay scale).
Note that many of the working poor got themselves into that position because of their choices, generally they had a kid at 16 and dropped out of school as a result (at best finished at the bottom of their class). They were failing to dig themselves out of the hole of their bad life choices because that kid takes the time needed to get a better education. In short they lack moral fortitude in that they were (and are...) sleeping around, but not in that they are not working hard for their employer.
The vast majority of teenage mothers in the United States do not choose to get pregnant and do not have the choice of terminating their pregnancy. They either do not have access to abortion providers - the majority of women in the United States do not have access to abortion clinics because of fundamentalist Christian activists and politicians: https://www.guttmacher.org/united-states/abortion/state-poli... - or they are coerced by their fundamentalist Christian parents into not having an abortion.
Teenagers around the US do not as a rule have convenient access to contraceptive pills. That's because the FDA refuses to approve them for OTC sale, despite their safety relative to many other OTC meds. The stated reason for refusing OTC sales is that allowing them would prevent women from seeing their doctors for other medical issues (this is also the reason you can't buy extremely useful and safe meds like Ondansetron OTC). I feel like I'm on firm ground when I add that this is unlikely to be the only reason you can't buy OTC contraceptive pills.
Meanwhile, about half of US states require parental consent for most minors before doctors can issue prescriptions for birth control.
As a fun additional wrinkle, churches, and in particular the Catholic church, run some of the largest hospital and health chains in US metro areas. Church-run hospitals routinely refuse to provide access to contraceptive services. In Chicago, the Loyola health system --- an otherwise well-regarded health services chain! --- won't prescribe contraceptive pills to adults even for non-contraceptive reproductive health purposes!
I don't think we need to spend too much time talking about Planned Parenthood clinics; the issues there are obvious to anyone familiar with the state of reproductive health in the US.
So, no, I don't think it's reasonable to argue that any teenaged girl in the US should be expected to be fully armed with all the tools of modern contraception.
You're also giving teenagers a pass for having unprotected sex as if they don't know there's a risk of 1) getting pregnant and 2) getting an STD.
Certainly some birth control measures are less accessible to teenagers, but what I'm arguing is the parent's claim that "The vast majority of teenage mothers in the United States do not choose to get pregnant"
That's not accurate unless what is meant is that "the vast majority of teenage mothers don't want to get pregnant (but choose to forego readily available birth control / condoms)". I'd believe that.
It's common knowledge how reproduction works. You have condoms, birth control pills and copper rings among other options.
That's simply not a reasonable argument. Don't move the goalposts now.
If you don't use a condom no matter what age you are and get an STD - same thing - that's on you too.
Your argument about post-conception options - I agree that not everyone has the same access. But I'm not talking about that.
Condoms work. Teenagers know the risk. They're just being dumb and it's on them.
Now - your argument that making birth control more available - sure I think that's a good thing too. But the notion that "the vast majority of teenage mothers in the United States do not choose to get pregnant" is irresponsible because almost all of them got pregnant by being wreckless while viable options are readily available. Specifically condoms.
(The comment I just replied to was edited extensively after I replied to it. That's OK; I said what I wanted to say.)
Under those circumstances, it's not surprising that teenagers have sex, don't know how to do so safely, and end up pregnant without meaning to. That is: a teenager absolutely can choose to have sex without choosing to get pregnant, simply because the society around them has conspired to make sure they don't understand how one leads to the other.
It's strategic: prevent women from accessing the tools and knowledge to keep themselves safe, then justify denying them rights "to keep them safe."
Things could be better, of course, and that's worth talking about, but your argument has turned into a caricature.
You also have minimal->zero private money and come from a poor background so it's too expensive. Your parents are religious and it's difficult to privately have & use birth control. Copper IUDs create pretty bad periods and are more painful to insert if you never given birth. Giving yourself a megadose of hormones with other implants is pretty freaky.
But your 16 years old and have a lot of hormones...
That is part of the reason why the entire obamacare free birth control fight was pretty emotional in the USA.
Wouldn't you rather call it the failure of a community - a society - to prepare its new members to the complexities of life?
Oh but it's easy to climb up the high horse, brandish the sword of Morals and throw the erring off the tower (incidentally, it's the same ISIS does to its own "deviants")
Religion comes into play because the lobby against making birth control available to teenagers is also the lobby against abortion clinics (and any clinics that offer health services and birth control to teenagers) is also the lobby to teach abstinence in schools (or not teach sex ed. at all), and that lobby gets most of its funding from religious organizations.
So, the slightly awkward week in sixth grade where my teacher gave us anatomy lessons and a birth video is something my daughter didn't get to experience, even though I brought my family back to my hometown. Instead, she gets the even more wonderfully awkward talk from her parents, which my wife likes to paraphrase as "your mouth won't get pregnant" (thanks Bill Clinton).
Teen pregnancy is not currently a common issue (it has been declining since 1990), but that doesn't mean it won't start going back up if we continue making it more difficult for young women (and men) to have access to birth control and education about safe sex.
We even had some discussion in school about how to reduce the risks of experimenting with drugs, though I don't think many people followed those directions.
Religion never worked great, but it was all they had.
You are looking at a problem with a simple and well-understood solution, and instead of talking about implementation you're going "Tsk, tsk, it's their own fault for being stupid." So, yes, you're absolutely moralizing.
> it's not some arbitrary religious code.
Giving teenagers worthless abstinence education instead of proven sex ed is the definition of an arbitrary religious code.
I carefully avoided passing a moral judgement on their acts. However the fact is sex at 16 immediately jumps into moral issues (not just Christian - most world religions encourage marriage). I did my best those to focus on the fact that as a result of that choice they have eliminated their ability to get a head.
YOU are the one placing moral judgement on their choices and trying to make it look like my judgement.
I don't buy for a second that being sexually active as a teenager somehow equates to lack of moral fortitude.
There's plenty of teenagers that are aware of birth control and use it appropriately. Do they lack moral fortitude, too?
Or put it another way, you cannot talk about kids having sex without everybody bringing their own different morals up. The two are very intertwined.
I never looked at it as pure spending money - it was mostly saving for an education and a start in my adult life. Might be why I'm one of the few of my generation that doesn't think the entire economy is stacked against them?
Edit:I did say _anyone_ in the past 20 years so that is some unfortunate hyperbole on my part
This doesn't make a lot of conceptual sense. If 100,000 people move into a town of formerly-3000, they will severely outnumber the open job slots from before they moved in, but that doesn't mean no work is available for any of them. Most of them will find work just as most people everywhere find work.
Work is available to anyone who can do something productive.
Some US based acquaintances recently discussed the college options and choices of their kids.
A year at the cheapest college they discussed cost more than twice (tuition, without a room) as much as my German B.Sc. and M.Sc. combined: that is, 5 years of study (or longer - I decided to study part-time and earn real money in parallel. It costs little extra).