Target: United Kingdom House of Commons
Goal: Don’t allow minors to undergo dangerous breast implant surgeries.
Recently, a British mother made headlines for urging her 14-year-old daughter to get breast implants, publicly stating that the young girl was going through a ‘funny phase’ for not wanting the procedure. While implants pose serious health risks for all women, young girls are particularly at risk due to the fact that their bodies are still maturing. In spite of the danger, the UK currently has no minimum age limit for breast implants, a serious issue that needs to be corrected.
The youngest girl to undergo breast augmentation in the UK was 12 years of age. While this may not be the norm, increasing numbers of girls under the age of 18 are preparing for breast augmentation. Even more disturbing is the fact that parents are granting approval for the operation.
Health risks that accompany implants are expansive and serious. Females with implants are twice as likely to die from brain cancer, three times more likely to die from lung cancer, and four to five times more likely to commit suicide. Implants can lead to infections such as deadly toxic shock syndrome. They make tumors 50% less visible during mammograms, decrease ability to breast feed, and require additional surgery every five to ten years. The younger the age at which surgery is undergone, the more likely infections and complications are to arise. This does not even take into account the psychological implications that come with a child transfiguring and sexualizing her young body.
The fact that parents would allow their young daughters to take on these risks for cosmetic reasons clearly demonstrates that not all parents know what is best for their children. This decision should be taken out of their hands. By signing the petition below, you can ask the United Kingdom House of Commons to change current laws in order to ban breast implants in children under the age of 18.
Dear House of Commons,
Currently, there is no minimum age at which a girl can obtain breast implants in the United Kingdom. With the consent of a parent, girls as young as 12 have undergone cosmetic breast augmentation in your country. While parental consent requirements are in place, they do not protect from poor adult decision making. Recent news stories have shed light on the number of parents who not only allow but encourage their young daughters to get implants.
The health risks caused by breast implants are disturbing — they leave females twice as likely to die from brain cancer, three times as likely to die from lung cancer, and four times as likely to commit suicide. Other risks include deadly infections such as toxic shock syndrome, the obstruction of mammograms, complicating breast feeding, and implants require additional surgery every five to ten years. In girls whose bodies have not fully matured, these risks are only increased. In addition to these physical ramifications, the psychological effect of transfiguring and sexualizing a child’s body is unknown and sinister.
Parents who would expose their young daughters to these dangers should not be given the choice in the first place. Please protect the innocence and well-being of your country’s young girls by prohibiting breast augmentation under the age of 18.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Perfecto Insecto via Flickr.