Saturday, March 14, 2009

Sad news indeed

In 1999 the British Government pledged to cut teenage pregnancies by half by 2010. It has spent almost £300 million promoting sex education and handing out free contraceptives and morning-after pills. The result? Teenage pregnancies have increased.

Figures from the Office of National Statistics show that pregnancies in 2007 in girls under 18 were up. Pregnancies in under-16s were up six per cent. And the number of pregnant girls under 18 who chose abortion reached 50 per cent for the first time.

The Government's response? To announce the provision of a further £20 million to promote contraception. Every time more sex education, more free contraceptives and easier access to morning-after pills have failed to stem the tide, the Government has announced its remedy: more sex education, more free contraceptives and easier access to morning-after pills. You would have thought, wouldn't you, that by now it would have occurred to someone that something wasn't working. Alas, no. What we're dealing with here is not reason, but ideology.

The same week these figures were announced, the Government issued new guidance to parents. Parents should not teach their teenage children that it is wrong to have sex, the Government said, lest that discourage children from being "open." Instead parents should encourage children from the age of 13 - three years under the legal age of consent, mark you - to obtain contraception. Why not, says a new leaflet, offer to go with your daughter to visit a local clinic or GP so that she can make a choice that is right for her?

How dare they? How dare they tell parents how to bring up their children when their own teenage pregnancy strategy is such an abject failure?

If I am a parent - above all a father - it is my responsibility to bring up my children to be moral, God-fearing citizens who respect marriage and shun illicit sex.

When it comes to morality, the British Government has lost its way. Yet it still insists on telling parents how to bring up their children. How very, very sad.