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Last Updated: Tuesday, 25 May, 2004, 10:24 GMT 11:24 UK
Pupils given morning after pill
Contraceptives
The programme aims to cut rates of teenage pregnancy
Pupils at high schools across Worcestershire are to be offered the morning after pill.

Children will be able to get the emergency contraceptive from specialist health workers without the knowledge of their parents.

The programme is being introduced as part of the Teenage Pregnancy and Parenting strategy.

Teenager pregnancy co-ordinator Jenny Kimberlee said everyone has a right to receive advice in private.

"A young person can already go to a GP or a practice nurse without their parents' knowledge," she told BBC News Online.

All of us need some secrets from our parents
Jenny Kimberlee
Teenager pregnancy co-ordinator
"It's the right of any young person to have a private conversation with a healthcare professional - it has been since the early 1980s."

Ms Kimberlee, who is employed by the South Worcestershire Primary Care Trust but who works across the county, said the real issue was about providing advice to pupils who might otherwise find it difficult to get it.

She gave the example of children in rural areas who might not have easy access to a GP.

"All of us need some secrets from our parents - we don't share everything with them," she added.

"Sometimes we need to speak to someone more objective."

'Awful record'

But Veronica Lowe from the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children said handing out the pill was not the answer to tackling teenage pregnancy rates.

"Sex in teenagers is emotionally extremely dangerous, physically disastrous.

"We have an awful record for sexually transmitted infections and the results of that will not show up for 10 or 15 years when we realise what it's done to the fertility in this country."

The issue of contraception advice to schoolchildren has been under recent scrutiny after a school health worker arranged an abortion for a 14-year-old pupil without her mother's knowledge.




SEE ALSO:
Mother angry at secret abortion
13 May 04  |  Nottinghamshire
Teen pregnancy plan 'a disaster'
15 Mar 04  |  Health
Morning after pill 'in advance'
09 Feb 04  |  Health


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