Schoolgirls aged between 13 and 16 in the UK have been given contraceptive implants or injections by school nurses over 900 times in 2 years, reports the Telegraph. In addition, 7400 girls of 15 and under have been given jabs or implants at family planning clinics. UK laws prevent the nurses from seeking consent from the parents of the kids for the procedures or seeking the parents out afterwards to inform them.
Trivialising sex, or cleverly protecting teens?
The findings have caused an uproar as the age of consent is 16 in the UK, and critics are saying that providing an excuse for kids to trivialise sex: One such critic is Dr. Peter Saunders, who insists that “[to] facilitate such behaviour behind parents’ backs is unprofessional, irresponsible and morally wrong”.
The implants prevent pregnancies for up to 3 years by releasing hormones into the bloodstream.
‘Don’t inject my child!’
Parents are livid that the procedures are taking place without their consent and that girls as young as 13 are being offered the treatment.
A survey found that thousands of girls have been treated, according to public record, but the number is likely far higher as some institutions such as trusts may have suppressed the release of figures because of patient-confidentiality laws.
Some have come out in support of the programme, suggesting that it helps to reduce teen-pregnancy statistics, although it has also been recommended that the children and parents discuss sexual health issues openly.
An additional concern is that young teens may not be informed by these school nurses of the potential long-term impact on their health as a result of taking on additional hormones at a point in their lives when their bodies are already dealing with hormonal adjustments, including certain cancers linked to these kinds of treatments and possible infertility later on in life.
Do you think offering contraceptive implants to kids without their parent’s consent is wrong?