Right of Reply: Mike Willis
Wednesday 20 January 1999
THE REDUCTION in teenage pregnancies is once again top of the agenda in the battle for the health of the nation. The Government has set ambitious targets and health apparatchiks have stormed into action.
Just before Christmas, Boots was wheeled into the vanguard of the teenage- pregnancy-reduction strategy. A teenage drop-in centre was established at a branch in Glasgow. Angry parents picketed the store and a national boycott is in place.
This has done little to deter the Health Trust of Glasgow which now wants to extend the Boots drop-in concept into schools. Their strategy appears to be about providing accessible clinics where sexually active youngsters can obtain contraceptives - which, they believe, will tackle the problem of unwanted teenage pregnancies.
The last 30 years have taught us that this is a flawed strategy: contraceptives fail and the more we encourage teenagers to indulge in "safe sex", the more unwanted pregnancies will result.
The ProLife Alliance has been arguing for a complete reversal of sex education policies. Our starting-point is similar to the development of anti-smoking policies for the young. Under-age sex, like smoking, goes on, but it is bad for your health and in the long term it is better for the teenager if this behaviour is changed.
The incidence of sexually transmitted disease among the young is at record levels. Abstinence programmes in the US have achieved startling results in adapting teenage lifestyles. In Michigan, teenage pregnancy rates have been reduced by 25 per cent. Saying "no" is a strategy well worth developing - perhaps it is just too simple for the so-called health professionals.
Potter's attempt to create an Essex Taj Mahal was a lovely treattv
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Woman accidentally shoots herself in the head while posing for a selfie
- 2 Isis burns woman alive for refusing to engage in 'extreme' sex act, UN says
- 3 Puerto Rico, island of lost dreams: People are leaving the debt-hit territory in droves as near neighbour Cuba's star rises
- 4 Female Muay Thai champion hustles coaches to give them a beating
- 5 16-year-old girl beaten and burned alive by lynch mob in Rio Bravo, Guatemala
Eurovision 2015: Graham Norton returns with another cutting commentary - his best lines
Eurovision 2015: The best moments from Australia's random entry to Lithuania's gay kiss
Clarkson, Hammond and May Live: Top Gear trio returns with a blend of fireworks, AC/DC and 'automotive pornography'
Eurovision 2015 winner: Sweden beats Russia and Italy to take the title from Conchita Wurst
Eurovision 2015: Estonia seemingly enters Louis Tomlinson from One Direction
As a white man, I'm surprised more women aren't tweeting the hashtag #KillAllWhiteMen
Scotland may have to leave the EU even if it votes to stay in, David Cameron confirms
Report finds that Britain's wages are the most unequal in Europe
The day that Britain resigned as a global power
Almost a third of school pupils believe 'Muslims are taking over our country', study claims
SNP fury as HS2 finds 'no business case' for taking fast train service to Scotland