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By Terry Vanderheyden

Morning After PillNORWICH,  GREAT YARMOUTH, UK, August 9, 2006 ( – UK schoolgirls are being handed the morning-after pill in an effort to reduce teen pregnancy rates in a region with one of the highest in Western Europe.

  According to a Norwich Evening News report, two schools in Norwich and five in Great Yarmouth have begun distribution of the abortifacients to girls below the age of consent, which is 16 years of age in Great Britain.

  The schools’ on-site permanent sexual health clinics, which employ so-called family planning workers, are possible because of tax funding through the Norwich Primary Care Trust and are part of a 10-year plan to reduce teen pregnancy rates.

  Norfolk teenage pregnancy strategy unit Lead Officer Becky Oliver said the program is available to girls as young as 11. “This confidential service is available to young people in all years at the participating schools and has the full support of the schools management and governing bodies.”

  New rules introduced in April this year allow girls as young as 12 to be given the morning-after pill over the counter in pharmacies across the country without the knowledge of their parents. (See coverage:

  A 2002 study by University of Nottingham professor Dr. David Paton, a leading expert on teenage fertility, suggested that candid sex education and the availability of the morning after pill actually increase promiscuous sex. The study confirmed the findings of studies conducted in 1999 and 2000 which found that use of family planning information did not lead to a decrease in unwanted pregnancies, and that found that young people who were prescribed the morning-after pill were much more likely to have abortions. (See coverage:

  A survey conducted in the 2005 revealed that teenage pregnancy rates are highest in areas that have been most aggressive in promoting sex education. The report revealed that explicit sex education and providing condoms to young girls simply encourages them to become sexually active.

  Official figures reveal that teenage pregnancies rose in Britain by an annual rate of 800 from 38,439 in 2001 to 39,286 in 2002, despite the £15 million being spent to counter the situation. The pregnancies led to 17,682 of the children being aborted in 2001.

  The number of cases of sexually transmitted diseases has also risen by an alarming 62 percent between 1997’s 25,143 cases and 2002’s 40,821 cases. (See coverage: