Oops! They Kidded Again

My grandsons, age 5 and 3, have big plans for the future.  They are already family planning.  Each wants to have a daughter, and each has already picked out a name for his little princess. Talk about advance planning–they haven’t even started, much less finished, kindergarten.  But at their tender ages, these two sweet boys already get it.  Having offspring is something to be anticipated and planned.

A large number of adults don’t get this concept.  I can attest from my 25 plus years as an adoption attorney that having a baby is often a huge surprise for some in their child-bearing years.  Getting pregnant was not planned because sex is not a thinking act.  If any thought is given to the activity, the individual is likely to think, “Well, it won’t happen to me.”  Surprise! It can and very well might happen.

Back in 2011, almost half of the pregnancies in the United States were unplanned.  The Guttmacher Institute found that 2.8 million unintended pregnancies occurred that year–an amount equal to 45% of all the country’s pregnancies.  Although the Guttmacher Institute did not ask this question, I am fairly certain that pretty much all the birth parents facing unintended pregnancies knew how babies are created.  They just failed to plan–not only for expanding their families but also for having a means to prevent an unintended pregnancy.  As my mother always said, “Failing to plan is planning to fail.”

Failure takes on an added dimension with an unintended pregnancy.  Failing to carry an umbrella when inclement weather is predicted results merely in one getting wet.  Failing to plan for a method of birth control if pregnancy is not desired can have a far-reaching result–the creation of an innocent new life.

But, hey, you are a well-educated person who reads blogs.  What do unintended pregnancies have to do with you?  The answer is more than you might think.  Such pregnancies tend to lighten your wallet because you, a blog-reading tax payer, are footing the bill for medical care for many of these oopsies.  The Guttmacher Institute found that 68% of the 1.5 million unintended pregnancies in 2010 were paid for by public insurance, mainly Medicaid.

So what’s a responsible citizen to do?  To effectively eradicate the problem of myriad unintended pregnancies would require those of child-bearing age to learn responsibility.  That’s a tall order.

My approach to sex education with my children was a bit different given my day to day in the trenches work with adoption.  I stressed to them that sex is NOT a thinking act.  Therefore, the best approach to birth control is not to let yourself get caught in a position (no pun intended) where thinking is required.  If you don’t go to lover’s lane, then saying “no” might not be required.

Yes, I know.  Pie in the sky you are saying.  And you are right.  Not only do most people not think about being prepared for sex, but they also don’t think about planning ahead period,    If we can’t trust them to have birth control lined up, then how can we trust them to think ahead about tempting situations in which they might find themselves where thinking is the last thing on anyone’s mind?

Is the situation hopeless? Oh, far from it.  I have the perfect solution.  The military will ride to the rescue.  It has (unintentionally) discovered a fairly inexpensive but quite effective method for preventing not only unintended pregnancies but sexual activity in general.  What’s the secret weapon?  BCG’s!  For those of you unaffiliated with the military, BCG’s are Birth Control Glasses.  Of course, these glasses were not created for that purpose, but they sure work.  Put on those thick-framed, large lensed brown frames, and you are unlikely to get a date with the opposite sex, much less a spur of the moment bedroom romp leading to an unintended pregnancy.

These glasses have now been upgraded to a much sleeker (i.e., attractive) style, so the weapon’s effectiveness has been diminished.  But the fact that BCG’s exist gives a clue to the key to avoiding unintended pregnancies.  LOOK before you leap=–er, love.  Think about what you are doing and the consequences thereof. Sadly, people probably spend more time thinking about what car to buy than they do preparing for an activity that might result in the creation of a new life.

So, here’s the plan.  Engage your brain before engaging in sexual activity.  Just say no to failing to plan. No more oops, you kidded again.




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