Sex advice is being replaced by sex aids! Now 12-years-olds are being made available DIY (do it yourself) abortion kits and vaccinations against HPV, a sexually transmitted infection.
If the new bill proposed by doctors, that is yet to be passed in parliament goes through, British schoolgirls as young as 12, could be given permission for DIY abortions. This has given way to a huge controversy. This would mean that very young kids will be able to undergo termination without supervision, behind their parents’ backs, even as late as 19 weeks.
In the words of Tory Nadine Dorris, a leading anti-abortion MP, “We are talking about very young girls who will go home and abort on their own.” This has scared many a parent and is a cause of great concern for them. Parents feel that this is like giving permission to go ahead and indulge in sex because there is a secret “remedy” and it also creates a risk factor for the child herself, which is what a girl is at 12.
Critics have said this decision by the Government sends out a wrong message to young girls. Even the Christian Institute has expressed disapproval of this plan. The director of the Roman Catholic Linacre Centre for Healthcare Ethics, said, “A massive public health programme which targets girls as young as 10 or 12 may well create more problems than it solves .. sending the message that promiscuity is normal and expected.”
Then there are the vaccinations against HPV. HPV is the human papilloma virus, which is a major cause of cervical cancer. Opponents find the idea of vaccinating young girls against sexually transmitted infection objectionable.
It is feared that abortion kits and immunization programmes would actually lull girls into a false sense of security, which could increase the risk-taking behavior. A young impressionable mind, still learning to make the right decisions, could easily fall into the trap of thinking that a vaccination can shield her against every problem related to sex and boost the appetite for an early sexual life.
Experts take the example of the promotion of condoms some time back. Research showed that the promotion resulted in increased sexual activity because of the false hope of consequence-free sex. Studies over the years show all “harm reduction” approaches to reduce under-age sex have failed. This is seen in the soaring of pre-teenage and teenage abortions in Britain, after the widespread availability of condoms and morning-after pills. In total contrast, abstinence approaches that empower teenagers to remain sexually inactive till they get married have been seen to be far more successful in decreasing teenage pregnancy.
Critics feel that the Government should embrace the same hard-hitting abstinence approach to sex as it has to smoking. Rather than supplying cigarette filters in schools, it tells the children to “say no to smoking.” Similarly, they feel that instead of supplying tools to get rid of pregnancy, it should instead concentrate its efforts on discouraging kids from having sex so young.
Those who are supportive to introducing jabs and abortion kits for young girls wonder how far it is possible to control today’s generation from doing what they want to do.
“Come mothers and fathers throughout the land
And don’t criticize what you can’t understand
Your sons and your daughters are beyond your command
Your old road is rapidly agin’
Please get out of the new one if you can’t lend a hand.”
This song of Bob Dylan reflects the sentiments of the supporters. They stress that we as a community cannot afford to bury our heads like an ostrich about all the things happening in our children’s lives. Every step has to be taken by the parents and the Government to ensure our kids’ safety, because children being children, will anyway go ahead and do what they want to.
Opinions vary and this is a hugely controversial topic – one to ponder with all seriousness. There is no right or wrong answer to this and society will always be divided in its thinking. However, the one thing that both the opponents and proponents agree upon and are concerned about is the safety of every child.