Concerns over contraceptive pill availability

An NHS report has suggested that the contraceptive pill should be made available at pharmacies without a GP prescription to girls under 16 years of age.  The report suggests that the scheme could significantly reduce teenage pregnancy rates.  The report also offers the suggestion of widening the service to possibly include girls as young as 13.  Two pilot schemes have already been running in the Isle of Wight and Manchester allowing girls as young as 13 access to the contraceptive pill at pharmacies without the need for a GP prescription.

Concerns have, however, been raised by Dr Trevor Summers of Family & Youth Concern who explained that there is, as yet, no evidence to suggest a reduction in teenage pregnancy rates.  He also believed that there may be a negative impact of child protection issues, as most girls between the ages of 13 and 16 do not necessarily have the skills needed to understand the connotations of consenting to inappropriate relations as well as the possibility of inviting unwanted pressure to enter into such relations from inappropriate sources.