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Teens to Text For Morning After Pill in UK — Good or Bad Idea?

There are more teen pregnancies in the UK than anywhere else in Europe. It might make sense then, that an experiment was conducted at six secondary schools that were considered "pregnancy hotspots" in Oxfordshire. The experiment? Girls from age 11 have been able to text requests for emergency contraception (aka the "morning after pill") if they had unprotected sex or were worried their condoms broke.

Since July, five students (less than one student per school) requested the service. The students don't just get a pill magically at their doorstep afterwards; they get a face-to-face appointment for a full clinical assessment with a nurse. (Incidentally, not one of the five students was deemed eligible after their consultations.)

Not surprisingly, people are divided about this "text-for-pill" trial. Family values groups think it promotes promiscuity among young girls, and those in support of the program want to roll it out to all schools in the county.

Does providing access to emergency contraception (via text and after consultation with health care professionals) to young girls make sense to you?

Image Source: Getty
Join The Conversation
Autumns_Elegy Autumns_Elegy 7 years
Nurse. :p
Autumns_Elegy Autumns_Elegy 7 years
It's good that they get to talk to a burse, because then they get told about the risks of unprotected sex, such as the nastier STI's. I think it's brilliant!
chelseacbboyles chelseacbboyles 7 years
As Donna Martin on Beverly Hills: 90210 once said to her mother "You can build a fence around the pool but the kids are still gonna find a way in! So don't you think you should at least teach them how to swim??" hehe love it! so true
Pistil Pistil 7 years
"not one of the five students was deemed eligible after their consultations." It's not like they're handing the pills out like candy.
MissSushi MissSushi 7 years
I have to agree that just because they have had sex doesn't mean they are promiscuous. Lots of young teenagers have sex and experiment, but it doesn't mean they are having sex with every person of the opposite sex they come into contact with. I think it's better that there is a counseling situation set up, AND that they have to qualify, rather then just automatically getting the meds. They get to explain what and why they did it with a counselor, receive some education on the matter, and it's never a sure thing they are going to get it, so it's not like its a free pass to sleep around. Just like having condoms offered free in schools and health clinics doesn't mean its going to drive every teen to a sex craze.
icecreamsprinkle icecreamsprinkle 7 years
I wonder why this is such a big problem there.
PhillyEagles1 PhillyEagles1 7 years
and BTW, I would be totally against this if they did not provide a consultation meeting
PhillyEagles1 PhillyEagles1 7 years
Yoga, It was kind of hard to not assume that bc why else would you state that fact if they weren't having sex at that time. Otherwise stating they were dating since middle school has nothing to do with the point of the discussion...which is sex.
snarkypants snarkypants 7 years
every time i have ever had to use the morning-after pill, it was with a long term boyfriend. we were being safe, but sometimes things happen. broken condom ≠ being a slut
Yogaforlife Yogaforlife 7 years
CG - you're so conservative on sex ed that I can't imagine you'd think it was okay to make the morning after pill available to teens. I never stated my friends were having sex at 13 - way to go on that assumption . I said they were dating. You can date without having sex in middle/high school. I was illustrating that it is possible for some teens to be in a serious relationship. Dating is not equivalent with sex. And who's not to say a 17 year old senior who's having sex couldn't be in an actual relationship instead of just being promiscuous. Accidents can happen even with protected sex.
lilkimbo lilkimbo 7 years
I think it's a pretty good system. And, underage girls in the U.S. can't just walk into a pharmacy and get the pill, they have to consult a medical professional, as well.
CaterpillarGirl CaterpillarGirl 7 years
Your one friend in middle school just totally made me change my mind about these girls being promiscuous....youre right, 11-12 year olds are old enough to be in a steady relationship.......
Yogaforlife Yogaforlife 7 years
I think it's great. Provide means for sexually active girls to prevent unwanted pregnancies while providing counseling on ways to have safer sex! And who is to say these girls are promiscuous? Albeit they are teens, but that's not to say they couldn't be in a steady relationship with a guy. I just had a guy friend marry his MIDDLE SCHOOL sweetheart - they had been dating since they were 13. Just because a girl is having sex in high school does not mean she is sleeping with multiple guys. Way to be judgmental.
staple-salad staple-salad 7 years
I like this. They have to talk to a health person (who could point them in the direction of safer sex), and they are already promiscuous, so it's not like it's really promoting it, it's just keeping the promiscuous girls safe.
xxstardust xxstardust 7 years
I think it's a better system then what we have in the US, where you can walk into a pharmacy and buy it with no conversation or consultation aside from "cash or credit?". While having it available OTC in the US is important, I think this system of mandated consultation if one wants the pill is much better. Seeing a nurse and having to discuss the sexual encounter and what you or didn't do right, why you shouldn't be doing these things, etc, can help a young girl put things into perspective. The point of the consultation would be to STOP girls from thinking they can "just pop a magic pill" after unprotected sex.
PhillyEagles1 PhillyEagles1 7 years
Not so sure if this is a good idea... girls thinking they can just pop a magic pill after every time they have sex.
CaterpillarGirl CaterpillarGirl 7 years
I think its terrible, here ya go girls, even more permission to act promiscuous. and dont tell me this doesnt open the doors to them getting more std's and mental health issues.
genesisrocks genesisrocks 7 years
Good idea, considering they also get face time with the nurse
mamasitamalita mamasitamalita 7 years
if girls are going to be promiscuous, they're going to be, birth control or not. I think its great that they're giving the option
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