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Isle of Wight teenagers to get pill from pharmacies

Category: England

Published: 29th Oct 2010 11:24:33

A controversial scheme allowing girls as young as 13 to obtain the contraceptive pill from pharmacies is being trialled on the Isle of Wight.

Teenagers below the age of consent will be able to get the pill without first seeing a doctor.

Isle of Wight Primary Care Trust said the scheme would allow girls to get important advice about contraception and reduce unwanted pregnancies.

However church and campaign groups have called it "irresponsible".

'Quite unacceptable'

Ten pharmacies will be able to provide a month's supply of the pill, with girls under 16 given a follow-up appointment with a nurse. The pharmacists will not be obliged to inform their parents.

Jennifer Smith from the Isle of Wight NHS Primary Care Trust said: "We are linking them with people most able to support them in further decision-making and appropriate behaviour in future."

Pro-life campaigner Chris Whitehouse, from Totland on the island, described it as "dangerous, reckless and unprofessional".

"For younger children in that age group, the proper context for the care and support they need should be through their GP," he added.

And the Reverend Anthony Glaysher, from the Catholic diocese of Portsmouth, added it "fundamentally attacked the family".

He said: "To allow this to happen to 13-year-old girls is quite unacceptable - their parents wouldn't be aware of what is happening."

The NHS trust insists the service is not focused on younger teenagers.

The latest figures for teenage pregnancy on the Isle of Wight show a year-on-year increase with 96 girls under the age of 18 becoming pregnant in 2008.

More on this issue on The Politics Show, Sunday at 1200 GMT on BBC One in the south and later on the BBC iPlayer.

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BBC News, 2010. Isle of Wight teenagers to get pill from pharmacies [Online] (Updated 29th Oct 2010)
Available at: http://www.ukwirednews.com/news/103506/Isle-of-Wight-teenagers-to-get-pill-from-pharmacies [Accessed 1st Sep 2014]

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