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Last Updated:  Tuesday, 1 April, 2003, 08:31 GMT 09:31 UK
Contraception scheme worries parents
Morning after pill
Pupils access to the morning after pill through the school nurse
A scheme to allow school children as young as eleven in Nottingham to take the morning-after pill, is being fiercely opposed by a pro-life group.

The Nottingham branch of the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children (SPUC) says the drug encourages unprotected sex and carries health risks.

The government is currently trialling the drug in schools in parts of the country in an effort to reduce teenage pregnancies.

Many parents and teachers in Nottingham are concerned pills are being given out without parental consent.

Contraception availability

Two years ago the decision was made to give out the morning-after pill to some state school pupils in an attempt to reduce the number of teenage pregnancies.

Nottingham has twice the average national rate for teenage pregnancies.

Ann Lynch is from Nottingham SPUC: "We are saying the availability of contraception doesn't seem to affect behaviour.

"We are very concerned about the girl's health issues and the secrecy that develops between parent and child, after all parents are responsible for their children.

'Informed choices'

"Perhaps if you haven't got the facility of a morning after pill, a girl won't be under such pressure to have sex."

There are conflicting opinions over whether the availability of contraception and the morning after pill actively encourages young people to have sex or whether it makes pregnancy less likely.

The Nottingham Primary Care Trust which has responsibility for the sex education in schools said in a statement that it was not condoning underage sex.

Concerned parents and teachers are to hold a meeting to discuss whether school nurses should be issuing the pill without parental knowledge.

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