Monday 1 November 2010

Safe at School challenges pill-for-13-year-olds pilot scheme

Safe at School has challenged a pilot scheme launched on the Isle of Wight through which pharmacies will supply hormonal birth control pills to teenagers without prescription.

Antonia Tully of Safe at School and a mother of four teenage children, told the media this morning:
"This is a sad and misguided move. It's sad because it is sexualising young teenagers and priming them for premature sex. It's misguided because over the last 10 years more than £200 million of taxpayers' money been spent on initiatives like this in England and Wales and have failed to have any benefit. Many more teenagers now have sexually-transmitted diseases, and registered abortions have continued at the same high level. The number of teenage births have declined slightly, but nowhere near the 50% target. This result suggests that schemes like this encourage illegal under-age sex, and expose more young people to risk."

"Schemes like this make all teenagers vulnerable to unintended pregnancies and sexually transmitte diseases. Teenagers need parenting, not pills. We need a new approach to the problem of teenage pregnancies, an approach that gets parents involved in this area of their children's lives. This means scrapping schemes which give under-age children contraceptives without their parents knowing anything about it and encourage abuse. I'd like to see programmes which promote self-esteem for teenagers - they deserve better than free contraceptives."
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