Teen Vogue is once again promoting contraception and normalizing abortion among teen girls. Back in 2017, Teen Vogue released an infamous gift guide for what to give a friend who had recently had an abortion. This time, a Teen Vogue advice columnist is coaching minors on how to access birth control behind their parents’ backs.
According to the article, a 16-year-old Michigan reader named Mayah wrote to Teen Vogue, saying, “I want to go on birth control to help with my periods and so, you know, I don’t get pregnant. I have tried talking to my parents but they are super religious and the laws in Michigan state you cannot get birth control anonymously without being married if you’re under 18. Is there any way to get past this?”
The author responds by quoting Planned Parenthood Michigan’s Chief Medical Officer Dr. Sarah Wallett, who claimed that while Michigan law is “silent” about birth control access for unmarried minors, “In the case where the law isn’t very specific, we follow federal law, and federal law allows minors to access sexual health care without parental consent, unless explicitly prohibited by state law.”
The “federal law” she referenced that she claimed grants a “right to privacy” for teens seeking birth control without their parents’ knowledge is better known as the Fourth Amendment, and it actually has nothing to do with birth control access for minors. Instead, the “search and seizure” Amendment refers to “[t]he right of the peoples to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures.”
According to Michigan law, Title X-funded healthcare providers are not required to obtain parents’ knowledge or consent before prescribing birth control to their teens. Even if parents do find out that their daughters were prescribed contraception, they do not have a legal right to access medical information about birth control services provided by Title X-funded healthcare professionals.
Predictably, the Teen Vogue article explicitly recommends that teen girls seek out their local Planned Parenthood centers:
“I think all physicians with the minor’s best interest in mind would provide that care,” says Dr. Wallett, though they would not be required to. For that reason, she recommends visiting “places that are more teen-friendly” like Planned Parenthood or clinics funded by Title X, which “must provide family planning and related services without regard to age or marital status.”
Wallett also claim these facilities are “safe spaces where providers are used to helping teens navigate this.”
Planned Parenthood, however, is no “safe space” for teens. They have told actors posing as sex traffickers how to pose as underage girls’ guardians and have a hideous record of sending teens and pre-teens back to their sexual abusers after aborting their children at Planned Parenthood facilities. In addition, they have been caught encouraging teens to obtain pornography and participate in dangerous and abusive sexual behaviors.
Teen Vogue’s columnist thinks of everything, even going on to advise teens on obtaining birth control without insurance so that unsuspecting parents don’t receive a surprise on their insurance statement.
There are many reasons for parents to be actively involved with a daughter’s choice to take contraceptives. Increased risk of new-onset depression and suicidal ideation amongst teen girls taking the Pill are just one reason that parents should be part of the equation. Frank conversations between parents, teens, and providers about risks versus benefits, especially in light of familial history of blood clots, for example, are eminently reasonable.
By choosing to pit teens against their supposedly backwards and malicious parents, Teen Vogue has proven once again that it is no advocate for teenage girls’ health and wellness.
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