DEAR HARRIETTE: My teenage daughter came to me and told me that she wants an intrauterine device before President-elect Trump is sworn in. She told me this has been a popular movement and wants a form of birth control that will outlive the presidency, but she's only 17 years old. I feel like this is too young to be on birth control. She doesn't even have a boyfriend! I told her I would think about it. Should I let my daughter go through with this? We are a conservative family, but I definitely do not want to be an unplanned grandma. -- Five Years of Protection, Baltimore
DEAR FIVE YEARS OF PROTECTION: Your daughter's precautionary concerns bring up many contemplations. On one hand, it may be like the cries of moving to Canada that people on both sides of the aisle threatened if their candidate lost. On the other, there is a question as to whether Roe v. Wade is in jeopardy of being overturned. While no one anticipates or desires that they or their child would have an abortion, if that option goes away, there are serious health implications for sexually active people. All indicators suggest that it will take years to reverse that ruling, if it ever gets removed.
You need to find out more about your daughter's thoughts and experiences. Investigate to find out if she is considering sexual activity. Framing it as protection against the incoming administration could be a real worry -- or it could simply be a way to get birth control. Talk to your daughter's doctor about the use of an IUD and the health implications. Learn everything you can, and then present an informed decision to your daughter. Know that an IUD may prevent pregnancy, but it will not protect against sexually transmitted diseases.