Monday, January 05, 2009

Guess Which Paper...

...ran today with the headline 'Sex Clinics "To Open" In EVERY School So Pupils As Young As 11 Can Be Tested...Without Parental Consent'? Ten points if you said the Daily Mail. And minus ten points for having ever read it.

Now firstly how can you have a headline with the words "to open" in inverted commas. Either they're going to open or they're not. When they use inverted commas it's a good guess they're not!

Secondly a third of secondary schools already have an onsite clinic which is able to offer sexual health services like contraception and pregnancy testing. So really the headline should be 'Inequality In Provision Of Health Service To Young People "To End"'.

Thirdly all young people are supposed to be able to access these services. They are provided on the NHS at your nearest appropriate clinic. This issue is the inconvenience of having to travel to access these services, especially for young people who may have to rely on others for transport.

Fourthly if children as young as 11 need sexual health services we should DEFINITELY provide them. I think that's obvious.

Fifthly children who have a good relationship with their parents will turn to them when they are worried about sexual matters and sexual health matters. The average pregnant eleven-year-old probably doesn't have the best relationship with their parents. And of course no mention is made of children whose parents (a) would harm their children if they knew they were sexually active, (b) are not interested in their children and wouldn't bother to help them seek out the services they need or (c) are simply not there and their children are fending for themselves or in the care of the state.

But far be it from the Mail to be reasonable about the issue. Instead they quote the crazy comments of the researchers at the National Children's Bureau "Not all young people will need to use a sexual health service at school age, but providing a service in school is the best way of making sure that those young people who need the service can use it.". Does anyone really not get that?

Lets hear instead from anti-sex campaigner Norman Wells: "The fact that these clinics keep parents in the dark is also a great concern. Confidentiality policies drive a wedge between parents and children and expose young people to the risk of abuse and disease."

Now lets remember that 99% of sexual abuse of young people happens IN THE FAMILY - surely offering services confidentially from parents will reduce the risk of abuse by empowering young people to understand what is going on and seek help to stop it. And providing contraception also reduces the risk of disease...

Well I could go on all day. I just believe young people have a right to know how their bodies work and make their own choices. Young people respond poorly to an abstinence-only program because it's based on lies. Sex is not immoral.

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