Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Teenagers, Jabs and the Catholic Church

I share Kezia Dugdale's outrage that the lily-livered SNP Government have bought off the Catholic Church's opposition to girls being vaccinated against the Human Papiloma Virus which causes cervical cancer. The deal is that pupils at their school can be vaccinated so long as no information is given to them about protecting themselves from other STIs and pregnancy.

Why on earth did Shona Robison not stand up to the Catholic Church and take the administration of the programme outside schools? Why not make sure that that jabs were offered at GP surgeries and bypass the Church's opposition completely?

I am appalled that anyone would deny a girl a potentially life saving treatment just because they were going to be given some information that they disagreed with.

Let's be clear. It's not as if anyone is trying to make teenage sexual activity compulsory. It's all about giving information in a neutral way which could potentially save their lives or their fertility.

I send my daughter to a Catholic school. I certainly don't want her being sexually active in six years time, as a third of 15-year-olds are. She will be very strongly advised by me that this stuff is always best within the constraints of a strong relationship. I will keep her father well away from this conversation as nothing other than a lifetime vow of celibacy from her will satisfy him. He was working out how he could get rid of her first boyfriend within hours of her being born.....

I want her to be confident about the decisions she makes in her adult life and you can bet your life that she will be getting as much guidance from me as I can lay my hands on about how to protect herself both physically and emotionally. There's always the chance that she'll choose not to take it but I couldn't live with myself if I hadn't warned her.

There's evidence that teenage pregnancy rates are highest where there has been little or no sex education. The Goverment should be acting in the interests of all teenagers and not pandering to the whims of any religious organisation. Shona Robison and Nicola Sturgeon have let down the next generation and as women should hang their heads in shame.

1 comment:

Anne Horner said...

Read, read! I am similarly incensed but not as eloquent as your are. 8)

Girls need more education, not less. Full knowledge doesn't make them go out and do it - the response is usually "yuck" in the sexually inactive, after all.

Only this week I have learned that an almost 17-year-old newly on the Pill is pregnant. Whoever prescribed it obviously didn't point out that it doesn't work for the first couple of months. Her mother assumed it was all taken care of and is now in shock having tried to persuade her daughter to kill her grandchild (without success) and now facing a repeat of her own experience of 25 years ago.

I have waited for six decades for religion to take its nose out of my country's legislation, education and health. Will it even happen within my lifetime?


Related Posts with Thumbnails