The prolife charity LIFE today launched a protest against government plans to distribute the morning-after pill in schools. With the support of the Department of Health, many councils across Britain are planning to make this abortion pill available to schoolgirls, with no parental consent and 'no questions asked'. The campaign says school nurses are already distributing it in Oxfordshire. Five secondary schools in West Sussex plan to pilot the project next Spring, along with schools in Wandsworth and Balham in south London. "What the Department of Health, operating through the so-called Teenage Pregnancy Unit, is planning", said LIFE Trustee Nuala Scarisbrick, "is yet another assault on young people - the quick fix by a government bent on reducing teenage pregnancy and abortion rates (or seeming to be tackling them) at whatever cost. "Let's be quite clear about what the government is wanting to achieve. By making this abortifacient available 'on demand' to underage girls - even 11-year-olds - it is abetting seriously criminal activity. Just when it is insisting on parental responsibility in other matters, it is openly undermining parents' authority by allowing school nurses to distribute this powerful drug without their approval. "Recent research has shown that greater access to contraception does not reduce teenage pregnancy rates. It has led in recent decades to the increasing sexualisation of the young and hence more unwanted pregnancy. It has made matters much worse. It is the chief cause of the very problem the government is now trying to tackle. "Levonelle-2 will increase the amount of sexually transmitted diseases, already at epidemic levels in our cities among young people. It will be bad for girls' bodies and minds - and bad for boys, because it will further trivialise sex and make girls even more 'available'. "We urge everyone to write to their local authorities stating that taxpayers ' money should not be used for this scheme, that it will not work, that it will increase the amount of sexually transmitted disease (and infertility) and hence put more burdens on the NHS, that Levonelle-2 is a dangerous drug which should not be handed out at school lunch breaks, etc. "Some councils have already decided not to be pushed down this road by the Department of Health. Well-aimed protests could make a lot of others think again."
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