ONE News 14 Dec 2012
A proposed plan to make the morning after pill freely available to children as young as 12 years old has been blasted as “morally bankrupt” and “medically flawed”. Pharmacies are being targeted to provide the emergency contraceptive pill to Taranaki youth aged between 12 and 24 as part of the development of Taranaki’s Taiohi (youth) health strategy.
Family First has criticised the Taranaki District Health Board for accepting the emergency contraception scheme when the evidence suggests it will do more harm than good. “Sexually active teens need parental involvement – not emergency contraception – and the Health Board should not be handing out contraception like lollies,” said Family First New Zealand director Bob McCoskrie. “What we should be asking is, why are children as young as 12 sexually active, what messages are teens receiving about sexual involvement, and what role are the parents playing.” Family First say a recently released US study has found access to emergency contraception increases the rates of sexually transmitted diseases, while having no effect on abortion rates.
….District health board portfolio manager Jenny James said the teenage birth, termination of pregnancy and sexually transmitted infection rates are higher than many other parts of the country. Ways to combat these alarming statistics as set out in the strategy are providing the morning-after pill for free at pharmacies, reducing the costs of contraception at general practices and encouraging and educating youth about healthy sexuality. James said the results will speak for themselves, predicting a reduction in abortion rates in young people, a lower teen pregnancy rate and fewer cases of sexually transmitted diseases