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12-year-old girls having abortions in the UK

1 May 2008

Girls aged 12 have had abortions in Britain. For three years the Sunday Times newspaper had to press the government to release the information. Our source suggests between 10 and 15 such abortions annually in recent years. BPAS, which provides abortions, said the numbers were small and called for sex education. [Sunday Times, 27 April]

John Smeaton of SPUC commented: "BPAS totally misses the point. This story is yet further evidence of the failure of the Government's policy of sex education and of provision to young people under the age of 16, without parental knowledge or consent, of abortion and abortifacient birth control services. In 1999 the British government launched its Teenage Pregnancy Strategy.

"It aimed to cut teenage pregnancies to 50 percent of the 1998 figure by 2010. The strategy relied on making birth control and abortion more easily available to underage children than ever before. It has received £150 million (c. €190 million) in public funds but shows no sign of success, having failed to meet its interim target of cutting under-18 pregnancies by 15 percent by 2004. Official statistics show a fall of only one percent in the under-18 pregnancy rate and six percent among under-16s while actual numbers rose."

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