The British government’s health program is under fire from pro-life advocates who are uspet that it is handing out condoms and lubricant to kids.
The contraceptive credit card scheme is available to students as young as 13 and the card allows the youngsters to make multiple purchases of condoms and lubricant. The children can sign up for the card without even seeing a doctor or a nurse and without parental notification or permission.
The program is coming under heavy criticism from pro-life groups:
Entitling them to a pack of six contraceptives, the card can be used up to six times before it must be renewed. One promotional website even outlines the different types of condoms on offer. The site’s text includes vulgar fruit innuendos and encourages children to ‘get it on’ with ‘no names, no judgments, no worries’.
The C-Cards can be obtained from advisers at schools, libraries, health centres and pharmacies including Boots and Lloyds. Officials claimed that the initiative would help prevent unwanted pregnancies and sexually-transmitted diseases.
But campaigners insisted it could make youngsters think underage sex was the norm.
‘It’s worrying that the adults in charge of health authorities don’t seem to realise it’s against the law for children to have underage sex,’ said Simon Calvert of the Christian Institute. ‘Rather than helping them to have underage sex they need to be focusing on protecting them from it. Let kids be kids.’
Julia McGinley of Netmums said: ‘Initiatives to prevent teenage pregnancy are to be welcomed. But offering free condoms to underage schoolchildren is highly questionable. The site is designed to look like an ad for a trendy rock gig while the name suggests being sexually active underage is cool.’
The British pro-life group SPUC is also upset, and wants parents to be able to be involved. It’s affiliate group Safe at School has said that parents must be at the center of sex education, in response to the report from the House of Commons Education Committee on PSHE and SRE in schools.
Antonia Tully of Safe at School said: “Parents constantly find themselves having to battle with schools in order to protect their children from inappropriate sex education. The recommendation from the Education Committee that parents can continue to withdraw their children from sex education, isn’t addressing this problem.”
Mrs Tully continued: “We don’t need new sex education guidelines either. We already have guidelines for schools which repeatedly stress that parents must be involved. What is missing is a robust mechanism to ensure that schools really do engage with parents.
“Parents are the primary educators of their children, they are natural sex educators of their children and they are the experts on their own children”, concluded Mrs Tully.