By Interim staff
offered 'morning-after' pill
This past May 30, the Catholic Herald newspaper ran a headline reading: "Killer pill scheme extended in Britain." Apparently, the abortion-inducing "morning-after" pill is to be given to girls as young as 11 without their parents' consent.
Norfolk has become the latest British county to permit the secret provision of the pill to schoolgirls through a network of school-based sex clinics. The scheme began in Oxfordshire and will eventually cover the whole country. The campaign is at the heart of a government strategy that aims to reduce the rate of teenage pregnancy in Britain, which is the highest in western Europe.
Robert Whelan, director of the Family Education Trust organization, says the government is refusing to consider any other ways of dealing with early pregnancy. He suggests that morning-after pills are the key plank in the government's strategy because it is intellectually bankrupt - the government is determined to carry through with its desperate measures no matter what parents wish.
School clinics are being opened that completely bypass the educational establishment, as well as safeguards for parents written into the Education Act. Whelan says his advice is to try what has been done in the U.S., where teen pregnancies have dropped 20 per cent in 10 years because of the promotion of abstinence.
Parents' rights campaigner Victoria Gillick says many school nurses believe the British government's scheme is doomed to fail because girls using birth control or morning-after pills forget to take them or stop taking them while remaining sexually active. She says it must be demoralizing for nurses who realize they have been put in the position of carrying out a policy that will neither reduce the pregnancy rate nor do young girls any moral or physical good.