Friday 27 March 2009

David Paton on government's teenage pregnancy strategy

David Paton (pictured), chair of industrial economics at Nottingham University Business School, has written an article for the latest edition of the Nursing Times. I suggest reading it in full, though below are a few key quotations. Professor Paton's article, published before the proposal to allow advertising abortion and contraception on television hit the headlines, certainly helps reinforce the widespread feeling that advertising abortion on TV will do nothing to reduce the numbers.

Prof. Paton (among other things) says:
  • "[T]he latest data shows that pregnancy and abortion rates for under-16s are higher now than when the [government's teenage pregnancy] strategy was published [in 1999]."
  • "Many contraceptive methods offer no protection against sexually transmitted infections (STIs). Research published in Sex Education suggests that increased access to emergency contraception may be associated with higher teenage STI rates."
  • "On the positive side, the academic evidence is clear that involving parents in decision-making is crucial."
  • "[A]ll health professionals – and, indeed, taxpayers – should question the wisdom of PCTs spending scarce resources on measures such as school-based provision of emergency contraception that, at best, are ineffective and, at worst, may actually be contributing to poor sexual health among teenagers."