New Zealand Catholic Bishops Condemn Giving School Girls Morning After Pill

International   |   Steven Ertelt   |   May 6, 2008   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

New Zealand Catholic Bishops Condemn Giving School Girls Morning After Pill

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by Steven Ertelt Editor
May 6
, 2008

Wellington, New Zealand ( — Catholic Bishop Peter Cullinane, the spokesman for the New Zealand Catholic Bishops’ Conference, is condemning a possible decision by the Auckland District Health Board to give the morning after pill to school girls. He said that promotes wrongheaded decisions about sex and abortion.

The board will consider a proposal tomorrow to provide free access to the Plan B drug in local pharmacies.

The drug is currently sold without a doctor’s prescription for about $35 as long as parents consent to their daughters purchasing it.

ADHB planning and funding manager Wendy Hosk told the New Zealand Herald the goal of the idea is to help reduce the number of teen pregnancies, even though statistics show giving away the drug does nothing to reduce pregnancies or abortions.

The plan under consideration involves spending $300,000 on the drugs and to give them away to teen girls until the money runs out.

Cullinane told in a statement that the board might be making it even easier to access the morning after pill: “Is it our aim to encourage sexual activity outside of marriage or to discourage it?”

“Besides, we all know that the drug involved has significant side-effects and risks. Do we want to increase its use as a method of avoiding pregnancy?” he asked.

“In my opinion greater access to this pill has the potential to make women, young girls in particular, more vulnerable to pressure to have unwanted sex," he added. “It is misleading to say, as some are, that the availability of the morning after pill is a strategy for reducing the rate of abortion when we know that one of the ways in which it works is as an abortifacient.”

Bishop Cullinane is also concerned that parental consent will be tossed aside in the new program.

“There is something inconsistent about our society when we rightly insist on parents giving consent for their children’s school activities but allow the same young girls to act without parental consent and support in such a serious situation, particularly when there is the potential for significant medical complications," he said.