“We find that offering the morning-after pill free of charge didn’t have the intended effect of cutting teenage pregnancies but did have the unfortunate side of effect of increasing sexually transmitted infections. By focusing on sexually transmitted infections, it allows us to test whether there is an impact on sexual risk-taking, and that seems to be the implication.”And as Dr Paton says in the study itself:
"Empirical studies to date suggest that schemes to increase access to [morning-after pills] have failed to result in observable decreases in unwanted pregnancy or abortion rates ... [O]n average, the presence of a pharmacy [morning-after pill] scheme in a local authority is associated with an increase in the rate of STI diagnoses amongst teenagers of about 5%. The equivalent figure for U16s is even larger at 12%."Time and again we see how the culture of death does young people a grave disservice, telling them that:
- losing their virginity before marriage is inevitable
- sex using artificial birth control is consequence-free; and
- abortion is always there as a back-up.
Dr Paton has provided a reliable basis upon which David Cameron's government can safely throw the Labour government's Teenage Pregnancy Strategy - which emphasised increased morning-after pills access (personally endorsed by Tony Blair*) - into the dustbin of history marked "Failed".
*foreword, Teenage Pregnancy Report, Social Exclusion Unit, 1999.
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