It is a “great idea” to allow the morning-after pill to be handed out in schools, a leading GP in England has said.
But there is concern that such a move would seriously undermine parents.
Dr Anne Connolly’s comments came after a group of NHS experts in Scotland called for the Holyrood Government to allow the move.
Norman Wells, Director of the Family Education Trust, said: “Schemes like this are giving girls as young as 13 a licence to engage in illegal sexual activity and denying them the protection of the law that the age of consent is intended to give.
“Health workers who provide under-age girls with contraception without the knowledge of their parents are seriously undermining the role of those parents.”
And Conservative MP Philip Davies said if teenagers were given morning-after pills or contraceptive injections by school nurses, their parents should be told.
Dr Connolly, a GP in Bradford and the chair of the UK-wide Primary Care Women’s Health Forum, praised the idea of giving out the morning-after pill in Scottish schools.
She commented: “Giving out emergency contraception should not be just seen as an easy option done in isolation, but part of a wider programme.”
Earlier this month the Scottish Sexual Health Lead Clinicians Group said: “Why is emergency contraception not available in schools? Why are condoms and contraception not accessible? Vaccination against a sexually transmitted infection (HPV) is given in schools, why can’t pregnancy and other STIs be prevented?”
But the idea faced criticism for being irresponsible and pouring “more fuel on the flames”.
John Deighan, the parliamentary officer for the Roman Catholic Church in Scotland, said: “Children are already being sexualised to an outrageous extent and not enough effort is being made to discourage it.”