YouTube bans shocking NHS sex education film

Mon, 18 May 2009

A graphic NHS video for teenagers depicting a schoolgirl giving birth on a playing field has been banned by YouTube.

The video, designed to look like footage filmed on a mobile phone by schoolchildren, was produced as part of NHS Leicester City’s drive to encourage teenagers to use contraception.

It features a screaming teenage girl giving birth at the centre of a shouting and jeering crowd of pupils.

YouTube took the film down 24 hours after the NHS trust posted it.

It is still viewable at Hey-Babe.co.uk, developed by the Leicester City Teenage Pregnancy and Parenthood Partnership.

The home page of the site is designed to look like an open diary, with phrases like “Matt dumped me!!”, “period late” and “go with Sarah to chemist to get condoms (should get pregnancy test as well!)” entered on various days.

The NHS trust said the video was intended to “raise awareness for all under-18s on issues around relationships, teenage sex and pregnancy”.

“We know this film is hard-hitting – but so are the numbers of under-18s getting pregnant in Leicester”, said Tim Rideout, chief executive of NHS Leicester City. “Nearly half the city’s wards are classed as teen pregnancy ‘hotspots’.”

Despite schemes making information about sex and contraception more and more widely available to teenagers, the Government is set to fall dramatically short of its 1998 target of halving teen conceptions by 2010.

Last week it emerged that more than half of all teenage pregnancies now end in abortion.

The Government recently approved plans to bring in compulsory sex education classes beginning at primary level.

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