Monday, April 16, 2007

UK Schools Handing Out The Morning After Pill

The Daily Mail reported these items:
More schools will be encouraged to hand out the morning-after pill to underage girls after a strong endorsement of the service from Office For Standards In Education, (Ofsted) inspectors.

Around one in three children already has easy access to condoms and emergency contraception - without their parents' knowledge or consent - thanks to sexual health clinics based at secondary schools.

Many more heads are expected to set up contraception services in their schools.

The education watchdog declared that school nurses "provide a valuable service" distributing contraception and advising pupils on birth control, and providing emergency hormonal contraception and advising on other forms of contraception.. The report said: 'School nurses can arrange visits from their colleagues in the community and work with them to promote health and improve young people's access to health services.'

By 2010, ministers want every secondary school to have access to a nurse providing emergency contraception and advice as part of a drive to reduce the number of teenagers becoming parents. Inspectors complained that progress towards establishing the centres had so far been 'modest' but many extended schools are now providing a good range of services.

Family campaigners warned the initiative may simply encourage promiscuity. They pointed out that more than 20 studies have failed to find a link between better access to the morning-after pill and a fewer teenage pregnancies. They say that Ofsted has swallowed the lie being peddled by the sex education and contraceptive industry that using contraception is the mark of sexual responsibility. No less than 23 studies from ten countries have found that increased access to the morning-after pill actually made no difference to unintended pregnancy and abortion rates, yet Ofsted continues to fly in the face of international evidence.

However, Ofsted seems to disagree:
In its latest report on the state of sex education, Ofsted inspectors said handing out the morning-after pill was more effective at reducing teenage pregnancies than promoting abstinence.

'There is no evidence....that "abstinence- only" education reduces teenage pregnancy or improves sexual health,' their report said.

'There is also no evidence to support claims that teaching about contraception leads to increased sexual activity.'

Margaret Morrissey, of the National Confederation of Parent Teacher Associations, said school nurses gave children the chance to talk to someone impartial outside the classroom, where they may be embarrassed to ask questions. But she added: "When it comes to things like morning-after pills and condoms there are many parents who will be concerned if they are not informed. The majority will be quite devastated if they suddenly found that their kids were on birth control pills and they didn't know anything about it."

Official figures show pregnancies among under-18s rose in 2005 to 39,683 - up from 39,593 in 2004 and much higher than the 35,400 recorded a decade earlier in 1995.
With the establishment of school health clinics and national control of education creeping its way along in our country, we will not be too far behind with the implementation of these kinds of programs, funded by our tax dollars. School clinics in some places might already give out birth control and abortion referrals. Some states have policy on this and others do not. As it is now, kids cannot and may not buy a coke from a school vending machine in CT, but they can get an abortion without parental consent. Something is definitely wrong with that picture.. it not only throws parents out of the picture completely but also may further enable kids to engage in risky behaviors, because they know they can just as easily abort the "consequence". Many people will say.. well kids will have sex anyway, so let's give them tools to deal with "the consequences" without their parents even knowing. How can the schools enable sex between minors which is also a crime in many states?

Putting the moral and religious issue of abortion aside, I think the minimization and exclusion of parents regarding this issue is reprehensible. Undermining parental authority and consent is just really wrong, in my opinion. Yet, parents are supposed to be held responsible if their kids break the law or go truant from school?? How come parents are responsible in some instances and not allowed to be included in others?

I would think that school boards should be held liable for the results from negligent referrals regarding "sexual health" of a child. What happens if a child is harmed by either referred procedures or school administered medication like the Morning After pill? Schools and taxpayers will naturally be averse to this type of legal and economic liability.

How are kids being taught responsible behavior without parental guidance, and with the easy availability of repeated abortion on demand? and also, has anyone thought about how much money the pharmaceutical companies are raking in by funneling their drugs through government schools in this manner?? It's a whole separate market for them to target!

For me as a parent, it is yet another reason to homeschool our kids, and be able to more directly and effectively deal with our kids without government enabling of bad behavior and without government inserting itself into the picture.

On a positive note, Idaho just signed a parental consent bill - read it here. Under the new law, all unemancipated, unmarried minors must get consent from a parent or guardian before getting an abortion, or get a judge's permission.