From The Blog

Teen Sex: Lessons From Europe (Again)

Well, here’s something to pop your eyes open in case you can’t quite shake that post-election torpor. A county in the U.K. has just...

Well, here’s something to pop your eyes open in case you can’t quite shake that post-election torpor. A county in the U.K. has just authorized pharmacies to distribute birth control pills to girls as young as 13, without parental consent.

It’s a pilot project in the Isle of Wight, best known as a British tourist destination for its ye olde worlde charm. Under the project, teenagers who approach a pharmacist for the morning-after pill will also be able to get a month’s supply of the contraceptive pill without seeing a doctor or informing their parents. After that month is up, girls must make an appointment with their general practitioner or sexual health nurse in order to get any additional supplies.

The campaign is aimed at reducing unwanted pregnancies, which have crept up on the island in recent years. According to Jennifer Smith of the local branch of the National Health Service, which approved the project: “I would suggest that what we’re doing is being entirely responsible by providing [contraception to] these most vulnerable women, for whom, for the most part, pregnancy is not a good outcome. We are linking them with people most able to support them in further decision-making and appropriate behavior in the future.”

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Image: one pill gone by jodigreen via flickr under a Creative Commons license.

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  1. Asa November 4, 2010 at 7:50 pm #

    That is so good. So nice to here. Thanks for all you news reporting.

  2. Chris November 5, 2010 at 5:55 am #

    That just doesn’t make much sense because with most birth control pills you have to be on them a month BEFORE you are protected from pregnancy. Any doctor will tell you when starting a contraceptive pill that you need to use another form of birth control the first month.

    • delialloyd November 5, 2010 at 12:08 pm #

      yes chris but they are getting them b/c they are at pharmacy in the first place to get the morning after pill. the idea is to get them to think ahead next time. thanks for stopping by.

  3. Shelley November 5, 2010 at 1:16 pm #

    Funny, I always thought of the Isle of Wight as being pretty well off and that rich kids don’t have those sorts of problems…obviously I’m mistaken. From the last few harangues I’ve had with family in the US, I’m thinking that whilst we may have separation of church and state, we don’t have separation of separation of religion and politics. Britain is far better at that than the US.

    • Simon November 16, 2010 at 11:42 pm #

      The Isle of Wight is not particularly well off at all. Rich retirees moving here for the climate skew earnings figures and keep house prices artificially high, but in fact unemployment is very high and there are a lot of poverty-associated social issues. Cornwall has very similiar problems.

      • delialloyd November 17, 2010 at 11:10 am #

        thanks simon. good to know. i know it only as a tourist destination. thx for stopping by…

  4. Erin November 5, 2010 at 1:38 pm #

    Good Lord! The only thing I was riding at 13 was my horse. What kind of world is this? I think it’s fantastic that they’re offering this to teens who need it but I worry about my daughter. I seriously hope she isn’t interested in birth control at 13. Maybe I should look into horse riding…

  5. Daryl Boylan November 7, 2010 at 10:30 pm #

    Well, bully for the Brits yet again — as for USA government sexual health policy, I guess the all-American response to the Isle of Wight is:”Stop making sense!”

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