Thursday, 30 April 2009

Schoolgirls to Obtain Morning-after Pills by Text Message

I fully understand that people worry about teenage pregnancy. In my opinion, people are not well suited to either have sex or be parents until they have gone through the turbulent years of adolescence and developed a reasonably stable sense of their own identity and an appreciation for the identity and dignity of others. It is even more worrying when very emotionally immature persons, even pre-teens, are having sex - they are being profoundly irresponsible and are doing damage to themselves and to others by not knowing how to set limits for their own behaviour, and in the case of girls they are often exploited by older teens or even grown men.

But how does one discourage this type of behaviour? The Oxfordshire County Council thought it would be a brilliant idea to set up a text message service where school pupils in some of the areas most affected by teenage pregnancies could receive easily accessible medical "support" if they thought they had "taken a risk." According to this article from the Times, the service is primarily directed towards handing out 'morning-after pills' to girls who had had unprotected sex or whose contraception had failed.

Now I, and many others, are asking exactly what good that will do? Apart from the obvious but controversial fact that 'morning-after pills' are usually abortifacient and thus entail the taking of an innocent life, this approach is solely directed towards treating the symptoms of a problem rather than the cause. The service may prevent some teenage pregnancies, but it is very likely that more will result from it since it will be come to seen as a handy 'back-up' plan to contraception, meaning contraception will be taken less seriously - resulting in not only more teenage pregnancies, but also more sexually transmitted diseases!

The rationale for not treating the root of this problem is, as far as I can see, that this would entail an admittance of the fact that the 'cult of orgasm' which is so prevalent in our society and is spreading to ever younger ages, is at some level problematic - that the encouragement of teens and pre-teens to delay sexual relations until they are more mature and responsible, and to develop instead within them the idea that relationships ought to be loving, caring, lasting, and not focused exclusively upon sex would amount to a disqualification of the sexual practices of adults themselves, which are often very far from this ideal. Thus the health and well-being of the next generation is essentially sacrificed in order to protect the care-free lifestyle to which the present one has become addicted.

The fact that there is no parental notification involved also makes this scheme a blatant attack upon the rights (and duties) of parents to be responsible for their children's well-being. It boggles the mind that the article states that "Child protection staff will step in if any girl aged between 11 and 13 uses the service." What of children under 11? Is that an impossible scenario? And, the legal age of consent in Britain is 16, so why set the limit at 13? As if girls aged 14 could not be the victims of exploitative relationships.

(On another note: LifeSiteNews reports that one of the schools involved in the pilot project is a Catholic school, and that the County had unilatererally included it in the project, offering it no option not to participate. Is this what passes for freedom of religion in the West?)

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