British Pro-Lifers Condemn Agency’s Teen Pregnancy Report

International   Steven Ertelt   Dec 14, 2010   |   2:56PM    Washington, DC

The Teenage Pregnancy Independent Advisory Group released a new report saying teen pregnancies will rise unless the government takes new actions to curb them.

But, a leading pro-life group saying spending more money promoting contraception and birth control is a failed strategy that won’t reduce abortions.

The report says the current downward trend in teen pregnancies is jeopardized by budget cuts and a major reorganization of the NHS.

Figures for England show there were 38,750 teen pregnancies in 2008, a drop of 13% nationally but well short of the 50 percent cut backers of the program promised.

Gill Frances, TPIAG chairman, said: “We warn government that teenage pregnancy rates will rise again unless there is sustained commitment and investment in contraceptive services, along with better sex and relationships education.”

But, Paul Tully, the general secretary for SPUC, the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children, panned the report in comments to LifeNews.com.

“The previous government spent £300 million on promoting contraception and school-based sex ed under the teenage pregnancy strategy. It is now widely accepted that that strategy was a massive failure. Yet the group claims absurdly that the rise in teenage abortions is a proof that such a strategy has worked,” he said.

“The group should be bowing out with an apology for accelerating teenage abortions and rising sexually transmitted infections, with all the associated misery. Instead the group has issued a final hurrah designed to dress up its failure with statistical tricks and distortions. To cap the failure, the group calls for more of the same after they have gone,” Tully added.

Tully also questions the figures supposedly showing a massive reduction in teen pregnancies.

“Teenage pregnancy may actually be more frequent now than twenty years ago. The statistics are obscured by the techniques used. The group’s claim that teenage conceptions are the lowest for 20 years excludes an unknown number of babies aborted early in pregnancy by hormonal birth control like the morning after pill, which, according to its makers, may fail to prevent conception and cause an early abortion instead. The promotion of the morning after pill may have masked many conceptions in recent years,” he explained.

He also says Frances’ claim that public funding for contraceptives saves the NHS money is based on a false assumption: that giving teenagers easy access to contraception without parents knowing cuts conception and abortion rates.

SPUC says the British government should re-engage with parents in teaching children about responsible sexual behavior.

“The most effective approach to improving the prospects for teenagers is to support them via their parents,” the group said.

The government should also ban obscene classroom sex-education, SPUC said.

“The current trend to ever more lurid sex education programs – dubbed “kiddie-porn” by concerned parents – must be stopped,” SPUC adds.