Concerns have been raised by the Family and Youth Concern organisation that giving out the “morning after pill” to under 16s can encourage them to have sex.
“It inevitably results in young men putting pressure on vulnerable girls to have sex by telling them that if they are worried about getting pregnant, they can always go to the school nurse and get the morning-after pill without anyone needing to know,” he said.
He cited a number of studies, 23 from 10 countries, that suggests that increased access to the pill has not made any difference to unintended pregnancy or the abortion rate.
Others in Suffolk, where a number of schools now give the morning after pill to girls as young as 13 in complete confidence, disagree.
Emrys Green, chairman of the Bury St Edmunds Youth Council, said, “I think it’s a good thing the morning-after pill can be given out in schools. At least it gives young girls a choice to live their lives and not their parents’ lives.
“It’s their choice whether they want to involve them or not. Just because the morning-after pill is available it doesn’t mean girls will have sex before they’re ready. If they wanted the morning-after pill that bad, they would go to the doctor anyway.”