Girls, 13, given morning-after pill without parents’ knowledge

Mon, 15 Oct 2012

The morning-after pill is being given to girls as young as thirteen at schools in Scotland, without parental consent.

School nurses are giving out the emergency contraception at lunchtime drop-in clinics.

They are also handing out free condoms and pregnancy tests.

Critics

Critics have hit out at the service, which operates out of seven high schools across Dumfries and Galloway.

Jackson Carlaw, Scottish Tory health spokesman, warned that this may “breed complacency” about safe sex.

He said: “Making the morning-after pill available in this way sends out the message that there is nothing wrong with sex at any age.”

Ill-conceived

Ann Allen, Family Education Trust executive member, thinks the programme is “very ill-conceived and badly thought out”.

She said: “Schools have a relationship with children for 4 possibly 6 years, the relationship of a child with a parent is life long and it’s parents who have to pick up the pieces from this kind of behaviour. We want to protect children”.

But Clare Murphy, of the British Pregnancy Advisory Service, said the scheme enables young people to “make better decisions” and protect themselves from unwanted pregnancies – which she deems as being “in everyone’s interests”.

Promiscuity

A spokesman for the Roman Catholic Church said the scheme “gives the green light to promiscuity”.

The sexual health clinics, called C2U, offer a confidential service and provide relationship advice.

The Scottish Government has said its policy was that the morning-after pill and other emergency contraception should not be provided in schools.

But each individual NHS board can make their own decisions on sexual health schemes.

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