Wednesday 26 November 2008

Family Planning Association does Government's and Connexions' dirty work

The Daily Telegraph reports today that schoolgirls as young as 14 could be forced to watch a film that teaches them they have the right to choose an abortion.

This is worrying because a review of FPA's educational material on abortion shows it to be an insult to women, particularly to women who have had an abortion.

I will get hold of a copy of the FPA's film as soon as I can and let readers know whether there's been any improvement.

However, in teaching children under the age of 16 about how to access abortion, the FPA is doing the work of the government. In its "Best Practice Guidance for doctors and other health professionals on the provision of advice and treatment to young people under 16 on contraception, sexual and reproductive health", the Department of Health says:

"Doctors and health professionals have a duty of care and a duty of confidentiality to all patients, including under 16s. This guidance applies to the provision of advice and treatment on contraception, sexual and reproductive health, including abortion ... The benefits of informing their GP and the case for discussion with a parent or carer. Any refusal should be respected. In the case of abortion, where the young woman is competent to consent but cannot be persuaded to involve a parent, every effort should be made to help them find another adult to provide support, for example another family member or specialist youth worker."

This is exactly the message that Connexions advisers are trained* to deliver in our nation's secondary schools.
*Young People and Sexual Health, A Reader for those participating in the Connexions training programme. Let me know if you want a copy. Contact me at