Thursday 26 February 2009

"More cash for contraception" not the answer says teenage mum

Kizzy Neal from Devon (pictured with her son Kaylib) became pregnant just before her fourteenth birthday. Her son Kaylib is now 22 months old. Kizzy and her parents feel strongly that the sex education at Paignton Community College, which she attended at the time, did not help her to resist becoming sexually active at such a young age.

So what does Kizzy think about the announcement* today headlined "More Cash for Contraception", which is the Government's response to the rising rate of teenage pregnancies - to 41.9 conceptions per 1,000 15 to 17 year-olds, from 40.9 the year before (also announced today)? (*An extra £20.5 million will help young people get better access to contraception and support for teenagers and raise the awareness of the risks of unprotected sex, according to Dawn Primarolo MP, Public Health Minister, and Beverley Hughes MP, Young People’s Minister.)

Kizzy said, " ... As soon as I got into Year 7 we had this big introduction to sex education and it just went on from there. They told us not to have sex, but were pushing condoms and contraception at us."

Kizzy's school also has a sexual health clinic, called Tic-Tac (Teenage information centre - Teenage advice centre). Both Kizzy and her parents blame the clinic for creating a culture of sexual activity in the school.

Kizzy said, "With the sex education and Tic-Tac you just got caught up in the whole thing of having sex. We got used to it. We thought it was just a joke really."

The government's announcement of a further £20.5 million pounds in support of their failed teenage pregnancy strategy follows their announcement two weeks ago to give bonuses to doctors to give contraceptive implants and jabs to teenage girls.

Sadly, the government will ignore Kizzy's eloquent testimony just as they ignore the soaring rate of sexually transmitted infections and the clear published evidence that "family planning" drugs and devices, and increased access to it, increases the likelihood that teenagers will indulge in sexual activity. (Professor David Paton's paper "The economics of family planning and underage conceptions" is not available free online, but if you would like a copy please contact me.) The Government cares no more about young people than it does about their unborn children.

Enough's enough. To join SPUC's leafleting and petition campaign against the government's sex education strategy - establishing school based health and sex clinics in all secondary schools - contact