Morning-After Pill and Condoms Given to Scottish Students by Schools

This Action Will 'Breed Complacency' About Unpotected Sex, Says Health Official

Parents and religious leaders in Scotland are outraged that girls as young as 13 who attend public schools are being given emergency contraception even without notifying the students' parents.

The recent developments caught parents and officials off guard and have been the subject of heated debates in recent weeks.

Students are able to obtain the morning-after pill as well as condoms during school hours from what's been labeled as drop-in clinics. So far, there are seven of these so-called drop-in clinics in seven high schools across Dumfries and Galloway.

"Making the morning-after pill available in this way sends out the message that there is nothing wrong with sex at any age," said Jackson Carlaw, a Scottish health spokesman. He added that this type of action is bound to "breed complacency."

Critics argue that the primary objective for schools is to provide a first-class education to students while leaving the health matters to medical professionals. Blurring the lines would only add to confusion for students and added problems for parents.

"Schools have a relationship with children for 4 possibly 6 years, the relationship of a child with a parent is life long and it's parents who have to pick up the pieces from this kind of behavior. We want to protect children," said Ann Allen, a Family Education Trust executive member. She thinks that the program was "very ill-conceived and badly thought out."

Not all involved have stated that it is a bad program, and supporters cite the added medical benefits of having a clinic on school grounds. These clinics do provide education for young people about the consequences of unprotected sex.

Clare Murphy, of the British Pregnancy Advisory Service, explained that these drop-in clinics would allow young people to "make better decisions" by allowing students to protect themselves from unwanted pregnancies.