A CONTROVERSIAL program that allows girls as young as 13 to get the contraceptive pill without parental consent was launched in the UK today.
The pilot scheme on the Isle of Wight – an island county five kilometres off the southern England coast – will allow girls who ask for the morning-after pill to also get a month’s supply of the contraceptive pill.
After that, the girls must see a doctor or nurse to get further supplies.
The Isle of Wight Primary Care Trust says the program – which involves a third of the island’s pharmacies – will reduce the number of unwanted pregnancies.
Critics say the health care provider is being “irresponsible.”
Local lawmaker Andrew Turner said: “We expect parents to take responsibility for their children. They are undermined if the NHS [National Health Service] hands out contraceptives to girls with no medical examination or consideration of their circumstances. Underage sex is illegal and dangerous.”
Parish priest Father Anthony Glaysher described the program as “depraved,” adding it would encourage promiscuity.
However, one parent – the dad of two girls – welcomed the news.
“In an ideal world, teenage girls would always seek the help and advice of their parents and would not have sex, but we live in a less-than-ideal world,” he told the Isle of Wight County Press.
Jennifer Smith, from the Isle of Wight NHS Primary Care Trust, said: “They are already sexually active – we haven’t encouraged them to be sexually active.”