Waking Up to the Morning-After Pill : How parents are being undermined by the pro

by Norman Wells and Helena Hayward. *

Waking Up to the Morning-After Pill’ contains data obtained by the Family Education Trust under the Freedom of Information Act showing that 128 Primary Care Trusts (84 per cent) have authorised the supply of emergency hormonal birth control to girls under the age of 16. Of these, 70 per cent are prepared to insist on provision of the drug to underage girls as a condition of granting a pharmacy licence.

While the majority of Primary Care Trusts refer to high teenage pregnancy rates and the government’s teenage pregnancy strategy as the basis for their policies, not one was able to cite any evidence that such an approach would contribute to lower teenage conception rates.

 The report considers why the morning-after pill is failing and concludes that the vigorous promotion of the emergency pill to girls under the age of 16 is misguided and owes more to sheer desperation or blind ideology than to any research evidence. It contains an important message for policy makers, health professionals, pharmacists, teachers and school governors, and also carries a warning to parents about the way in which they are being excluded from their children’s lives in the name of children’s rights.