13 year olds given contraceptive implants at school
Girls as young as 13 are receiving birth control implants at school without the knowledge or consent of their parents, a survey by The Daily Telegraph has revealed.
The survey found that school nurses have provided contraceptive implants or injections to girls between the ages of 13 and 16 on more than 900 occasions over the last two years.
13 year olds have been given the implants or jabs on more than 20 occasions, and an additional 7,400 girls aged 15 have undergone the procedure at local family planning clinics.
Under rules on “patient confidentiality”, teachers are prohibited from obtaining parental approval before offering the procedure, which involving placing hormone-releasing implants into pupils’ arms to stop pregnancies for up to three years.
The NHS service, provided in schools across Bristol, Northumbria, Peterborough, Co Durham, the West Midlands and Berkshire, is part of a wider strategy to reduce teenage pregnancy rates. But Anthony Seldon, the Head teacher of Wellington College, criticised the practice stating:
“Anything that trivialises or treats [sex] as something mundane or easy, particularly for young people, is damaging their ability to grow up and to properly form a loving lasting relationship.
“It devalues sex, it makes it like an ordinary, everyday thing like going to have a McDonald’s.”
Dr Peter Saunders, CEO of the Christian Medical Fellowship, warned that sex before the age of 16 is illegal and “to facilitate such behaviour behind parents’ backs is unprofessional, irresponsible and morally wrong”.
The number of pupils who have made use of the service is likely to be even higher since full records have not been maintained by many NHS trusts, who claim that making the information public would also constitute a breach of patient confidentiality.
Andrea Minichiello Williams, CEO of Christian Concern, said:
“This service usurps the role of parents, who have the primary responsibility for their children’s education and who have the right to raise their children in line with their moral values and convictions.
“Making contraceptive services available to young children at such ease will only increase levels of promiscuity with damaging and far-reaching consequences.
“Children need to be protected and made aware of the benefits of abstinence until marriage.”
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