More Contraceptives Targeted At Teens

But Chastity Programs Gain Support in U.S. – Determined to reduce teen-age pregnancies, many governments promote contraceptives and abortive pills as the solution. Southern Wales is starting trials on the distribution of the “morning-after” pill to girls as young as 9 years old. [Independent, 14Feb01] The Bridgend area of south Wales has one of the highest teen-age pregnancy rates in Europe. Girls will now be able to request the morning-after pill, free of charge and without seeking parental permission. This announcement comes a month after the UK launched a national scheme whereby women over 16 can obtain morning-after pills, although they have to pay £20 ($29). Nurses in state schools in east Kent, Oxfordshire, Derbyshire and South Yorkshire are to dispense the pill to girls under the age of consent without their parents´ knowledge [Sunday Times 7Jan01]. Stuart Horner, professor of medical ethics at Central Lancashire University, is concerned not only about the ethics, but also the potential impact on health: “We are not talking about Smarties here, but significant doses of female hormone which can and does cause problems when it is administered. We do not know the long-term effects, particularly from regular use.” In Canada, too, authorities have approved the distribution of the morning-after pill without the need for a prescription. Saskatchewan is among the first provinces in Canada to make the pill known as Plan B available without a prescription [Globe and Mail, 1 Feb01] Since December, women in British Columbia have been able to get Plan B with the written approval of a pharmacist, and some areas of Toronto are expected to make it available...