By Terry Vanderheyden

LONDON, January 16, 2006 ( – Statistics obtained from the UK’s Department of Health revealed that thousands of girls 13 or younger have been given the abortifacient morning-after pill without their parent’s knowledge or consent.

The National Health Service figures revealed that at 302 clinics about 2,400 13-year-old or younger girls had been given the morning-after pill, while another 400 were secretly given long-term (usually by hormonal implant) contraception. The figures do not take into account those girls who obtained the pills independently from pharmacists. The Daily Mail obtained the statistics through the Freedom of Information Act.

“While growing numbers of young girls are being given contraception and the morning-after pill, we are seeing ever-rising rates of sexually-transmitted infections,” warned Norman Wells, director of the charity, Family and Youth Concern.

“We should remember that most of the pills and contraceptives handed out are distributed while the parents of the children involved are kept in ignorance,” Wells added. “(Children’s Minister) Beverley Hughes wants parents to help with teenage behaviour – but if you keep parents in the dark, how can they help?”

Tory spokesman on children, Tim Loughton, meanwhile, criticized the findings: “This is further worrying evidence that the Government is losing the battle for responsible sexual behaviour in young people,” he said. “The potential side effects of giving these contraceptive chemicals to such young girls is also worrying.”