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Last Updated: Thursday, 14 April, 2005, 14:53 GMT 15:53 UK
New teen sex strategy published
The new strategy makes recommendations of sexual health
The new strategy makes recommendations on sexual health
Health officials in Tayside are proposing to make condoms available free from chemists and other outlets near secondary schools.

It is one proposal in a new strategy aimed at reducing the high number of teenage pregnancies and abortions.

Dundee has the highest number of young teenagers falling pregnant in the whole of western Europe.

The condom scheme, however, has been condemned by the Roman Catholic Church as unacceptable and irresponsible.

More abortions are carried out in Tayside than any other area of Scotland and sexual infections are also increasing at an alarming rate.

NHS Tayside said a series of new measures was needed to tackle sexual health problems.

These include:

  • Developing emergency contraception services at GP surgeries

  • Further development of sexual infection screening

  • Advertising local sexual health services in secondary schools

  • Free condoms near every secondary school.

Professor Tony Wells, of NHS Tayside, said: "There will certainly not be condoms provided within schools, but what we are looking at is providing services within communities that young people can access, close to their homes, close to their schools."

Roman Catholic Church leaders are opposed to free condoms close to Catholic schools.

Father Ken McCaffrey, from the Diocese of Dunkeld, said: "It does not show any respect for our young people.

"It does not help them make right moral choices, these just being available at any time of the day.

"It would be certainly be irresponsible of NHS Tayside to go ahead with this."

Father Ken McCaffrey said the move was "irresponsible"
Father Ken McCaffrey said the move was "irresponsible"

The health authority is launching a public consultation exercise before deciding on whether or not to implement the plans.

Last year, controversial proposals to reform sex education in Scotland caused division between the Catholic Church and the Kirk.

Scotland's most senior Catholic, Cardinal Keith O'Brien, warned that the Scottish Executive faced a massive revolt if primary school children were offered more explicit sex education.

But the Church of Scotland said it supported the executive's policy and the Scottish Trades Union Congress described Cardinal O'Brien's approach as "most concerning and confusing".

The Catholic Church's stance, however, was backed by the Muslim Association of Britain.

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