An NHS scheme heavily criticised by parents and campaigners for offering contraception to children as young as thirteen is now expanding into West Sussex.
The scheme involves giving children a ‘C-Card’ which allows them to pick up a pack of twelve condoms from schools, libraries and pharmacies up to six times.
Critics attacked the programme for promoting the idea that underage sex is the norm.
Let kids be kids
Simon Calvert, Deputy Director of The Christian Institute, said: “It’s worrying that the adults in charge of health authorities don’t seem to realise it’s against the law for children to have underage sex.
“Rather than helping them to have underage sex they need to be focusing on protecting them from it. Let kids be kids.”
Under the NHS-endorsed scheme, children can pick up one of the packs from a clinic or their school, without seeing a doctor or nurse.
Children aged 13 to 15 are allowed to use the ‘C-Card’ to obtain a pack three times. Those aged sixteen or over can use the card up to six times.
One website promoting the scheme encourages children to be sexually active with the slogan “no names, no judgements, no worries”.
Pro-family group the Family Education Trust opposes the scheme because of its detrimental impact on children and parents.
A spokeswoman for the group stressed that: “The role of parents and carers is vital in protecting young people” adding that they are “uniquely positioned to intervene and safeguard”.
“The C-Card scheme denies parents the opportunity to advise and protect their children against the physical and emotional consequences of sex”, she continued.
When a version of the scheme was first announced, Josephine Quintavalle of campaign group Comment on Reproductive Ethics, said: “We are just facilitating and encouraging sexuality without any deeper understanding of the emotional side of relationships.”
News of the latest expansion of the controversial scheme came on the same day that MPs called for compulsory sex education in all state schools.
The Christian Institute has warned that the move would “further marginalise and disempower parents”.