LONDON, April 5, 2004 ( – A UK study has revealed that improved access to reproductive and sexual health clinics for teens actually increases sexually transmitted disease and out-of-wedlock birth rates. The study proposes that having clinics available fosters a false sense of security, making teens more likely to engage in risky sexual behaviours they might not otherwise have engaged in had there been no easy access to morning-after pills or abortions.  Professor David Patton, author of the report, examined how teens attitudes towards sex changes with the presence of the “safety net” of “family planning clinics.”

STD rates, especially for chlamydia and gonorrhea, have been escalating. There has been a 24 percent increase in the UK since 1999.

Patton, a Nottingham University Professor, studied statistics from 1998 to 2002. He told the BBC on-line that “Increasing family planning provision is having a significant impact on STI [STD] diagnosis rates – but unfortunately in the wrong direction. What happens when you provide these services is that you hope young people who are having sex will use the services and be less likely to get pregnant,” he continued. “But if family planning is more widely available, teenagers may be having sex when they wouldn’t otherwise have done so. For example, if the morning after pill is available in school on a Monday morning, they may be more likely to have sex at the weekend,” he argued.

Patton believes the family planning clinics aim should be at delaying when a child first begins to engage in sexual relations, a move which would positively affect pregnancy and STD rates.  Read the BBC coverage:   Read related coverage: “UK Sex-Ed Backfire: Survey Reveals Increased Pregnancy Rates in Teens Subjected to Program,” at:   “Massive Increase in STD’s Forces Abstinence Push For Teens,” at:   Also see BBC coverage, which revealed that “Almost one in four of all teenage girls aged 16 and 17 in Britain takes the contraceptive pill,” at:   Also see the related coverage “Sex Education Strategy Questioned In Britain,” which relates that the number of girls attending family clinics increased by 144% between 1992 and 2000, while prescriptions for the morning-after pill tripled in the same period. However, conception rates actually rose during this period by just under 1% while sexually transmitted diseases among 16-to-19-year-old females had increased by 58%, at: