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British Schools Giving Morning After Pill to Girls as Young as 11, Without Parents

Steve Ertelt,

Washington, DC ( — Secondary schools in England are under fire for giving the morning after pill to girls as young as 11 years old without the knowledge of their parents. Norman Wells, director of campaign group Family Education Trust, obtained the information from the health department under the Freedom of Information Act.

The information shows that, in Oxfordshire alone, school-based health clinics have given 1,081 Plan B pills to schoolgirls in the last six years.

Staff at the more than 1,000 clinics throughout the UK are not required to obtain parental permission before giving girls the drug, which can cause an abortions in some circumstances if taken after conception.

Wells told the London Times that giving out the pills allows boys to put more pressure on girls to have sex and he complained that it is wrong to exclude parents.

"In fact there’s evidence it may be making matters worse. Confidential school clinics enable boys to put even more pressure on girls to have sex as Mum needn’t know anything about it," he said.

Wells also said that the morning after pills are doing nothing to reduce either the pregnancy or abortion rates.

"Research shows making the morning-after pill more readily available doesn’t make the slightest difference to unintended pregnancy and abortion rates," Wells said.

In June, the British health department showed the number of abortions on young teenagers is up significantly in 2007 compared with the year before.

Across all age groups in England and Wales, abortions appear to have risen 2.5 percent. But the jump in teen abortions is staggering in comparison.

The number of abortions on girls younger than 14 years of age rose 21 percent from 2006 to 2007 — making it appear more cases of sexual abuse are occurring and resulting in more abortions.

Looking at other teen years, abortions on 14-year-olds jumped 11 percent from 2006 to 2007, abortions on 15-year-olds rose 12 percent, and abortions on 16-year-olds increased 10 percent.

Meanwhile, 19-year-old girls once again have the highest rate of abortions for the second year in a row among all age categories, including adults. There were 36 abortions on these teen girls per 1,000 women, up from 35 per 1,000 in 2006.

Despite the fact that the pills aren’t reducing teen abortions, Alison Burton, the Oxfordshire NHS Primary Care Trust’s health improvement principal for youth, told the Times that schools would continue disseminating them.

"Young people seeking advice and support are encouraged to talk to a parent, career or trusted adult," she said.

The Society for the Protection of Unborn Children, one of the leading pro-life groups in England, blasted the health department.

"The figures reflect the Department of Health’s policy of performing an abortion as quickly as possible on any woman enquiring," SPUC’s director John Smeaton said in June when the teen abortion figures were released.