Wintery Knight

…integrating Christian faith and knowledge in the public square

Government-run health care: NHS handing out morning-after pill to 13-year-olds

Dina sent me this article from the Scottish Sun.

Excerpt:

Nurses dish out emergency contraception to teens at lunchtime ‘drop-in’ clinics.

And it has emerged the meds are being prescribed to young girls WITHOUT their parents’ knowledge at seven high schools across Dumfries and Galloway.

The controversial move was last night blasted by religious and political leaders who say it promotes underage sex.

Scottish Tory health spokesman Jackson Carlaw said: “There is a real danger this will breed complacency about safe sex.

“Making the morning-after pill available in this way sends out the message that there is nothing wrong with sex at any age.”

And a Catholic Church spokesman added: “It is utterly immoral and like throwing petrol on a fire.

“It gives the green light to promiscuity.”

[...]Scotland has one of the highest rates of teenage pregnancy in Europe.

Does handing out contraception normalize premarital sex, resulting in higher rates of abortion and teenage pregnancy?

Let’s see.

This article from the liberal New York Times answers that part of that question. (H/T Mary)

Excerpt: (links removed)

To begin with, a lack of contraceptive access simply doesn’t seem to be a significant factor in unplanned pregnancy in the United States. When the Alan Guttmacher Institute surveyed more than 10,000 women who had procured abortions in 2000 and 2001, it found that only 12 percent cited problems obtaining birth control as a reason for their pregnancies. A recent Centers for Disease Control and Prevention study of teenage mothers found similar results: Only 13 percent of the teens reported having had trouble getting contraception.

At the same time, if liberal social policies really led inexorably to fewer unplanned pregnancies and thus fewer abortions, you would expect “blue” regions of the country to have lower teen pregnancy rates and fewer abortions per capita than demographically similar “red” regions.

But that isn’t what the data show. Instead, abortion rates are frequently higher in more liberal states, where access is often largely unrestricted, than in more conservative states, which are more likely to have parental consent laws, waiting periods, and so on. “Safe, legal and rare” is a nice slogan, but liberal policies don’t always seem to deliver the “rare” part.

What’s more, another Guttmacher Institute study suggests that liberal states don’t necessarily do better than conservative ones at preventing teenagers from getting pregnant in the first place. Instead, the lower teenage birth rates in many blue states are mostly just a consequence of (again) their higher abortion rates. Liberal California, for instance, has a higher teen pregnancy rate than socially conservative Alabama; the Californian teenage birth rate is only lower because the Californian abortion rate is more than twice as high.

This is similar to what we know from other countries like Spain, where promoting contraception actually led to higher rates of abortion.

Here’s the article from Life Site News.

Excerpt:

Abortion advocates often promote contraception by claiming that as contraception use increases, the number of “unwanted” pregnancies and therefore abortions will decrease. But a new study out of Spain has found the exact opposite, suggesting that contraception actually increases abortion rates.

The authors, who published their findings in the January 2011 issue of the journal Contraception, conducted surveys of about 2,000 Spanish women aged 15 to 49 every two years from 1997 to 2007.  They found that over this period the number of women using contraceptives increased from 49.1% to 79.9%.

Yet they noted that in the same time frame the country’s abortion rate more than doubled from 5.52 per 1,000 women to 11.49.

This UK Daily Mail story explains how more contraception means more abortion and more teen pregnancy in the UK.

Excerpt:

Most pregnancies among girls under 18 ended in abortion last year.

Out of around 40,000 pregnancies more than 20,000 were terminated – the first time more had chosen this option than become mothers.

The figure is higher than 2007, when it just hit 50 per cent, and consistent with a steady upwards trend since the Government started its controversial Teenage Pregnancy Strategy in 1999.

Figures out on May 21 will also show that for the first time the number of abortions performed on women living in England and Wales topped 200,000.

The teenage pregnancy strategy, which has cost taxpayers more than £300million, was meant to halve the number of conceptions among girls under 18 in England between 1998 and 2010.

Ministers have tried to slash teenage pregnancies by freely handing out contraceptives and expanding sex education.

But the fall in pregnancy rates has not met Government targets, and in 2007 the rate actually rose.

Teenage pregnancy rates are now higher than they were in 1995. Pregnancies among girls under 16 – below the age of consent – are also at the highest level since 1998.

It is like throwing petrol / gasoline on a fire. The more sex you have, the more abortions and/or teen pregnancy you get.

Should Christians support single-payer health care systems run by a secular leftist government? Of course not. What government-run health care means, in practice, is that businesses and workers will be subsidizing things like abortion, teen pregnancy, sex changes, IVF, single motherhood by choice, no-fault divorce, and other irresponsible choices. Whatever you subsidize, you get more of. Whatever you tax, you get less of. Should we be wanting more abortion and teen pregnancy?

My Dad and I were discussing this article last night and we were thinking about whether sexual activity at age 13 really prepares a woman for life-long married love. This blog has highlighted studies showing that marital stability is increased by pre-marital chastity, and other studies showing that an increased number of premarital sex partners increases the odds of divorce and most recently about how delaying sexual activity in a relationship increases relationship quality. Marital instability is especially bad for children who will grow up fatherless. Children who grow in non-married homes are far more likely to be poor, for example, but also more likely to be exposed to violence. Should we be promoting and subsidizing behaviors that cause these problems? Permitting the behaviors is one thing, but subsidizing them is something else entirely.

This is an issue that libertarians and fiscal conservatives should also care about. Family breakdown will only result in an increase in the size of government to deal with the messes. Not just more police, but more divorce courts, more child protection, more welfare, and so on.

Filed under: News, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

2 Responses

  1. Andrew says:

    …and I bet that if any of the seven high schools where this is happening have to give a student and aspirin for a headache they have to get explicit parental consent.

  2. Observer says:

    Some useful info. This issue is currently an issue in South Africa, so I’ve posted links to your blog on a couple of FB groups – a couple of news items on it:
    http://www.iol.co.za/news/politics/controversy-over-condoms-at-school-1.1398335#.UHK5pBhhNN0
    http://www.iol.co.za/news/south-africa/free-condoms-won-t-encourage-sex-1.1403472

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