13 March 2007
Reacting to the Ten Minute Rule Bill being proposed tomorrow by Angela Watkinson MP stating that parents have a right to know if their child seeks advice on contraception and abortion, Anne Weyman, Chief Executive, fpa said:
“This issue was thoroughly investigated in the High Court just over a year ago when a judicial review determined that under-16s are entitled to confidential advice about sexual health matters.
“Compulsory parent notification of young people's sexual activity is detrimental because it deters young people from seeking the advice they need. It is also not the best way to promote communication between parents and their children. Health professionals encourage young people to talk to their parents, but we know that 40% don't ever talk to their children about sex and relationships.
“Young people at risk from domestic violence and abuse particularly need access to confidential advice. Most young people will confide in their parents if they face an unplanned pregnancy – we also need to remember that the majority of young people (two thirds of boys and three quarters of girls) do not have sex under the age of 16.
“Mandatory sex and relationships education starting at an early age, support for parents so they feel able to talk to their children about sex and relationships, backed up by good sexual health services are key to reducing unplanned pregnancy, abortions and sexually transmitted infections.”
For further information please contact fpa's press office on 020 7608 5264/5265. Mobile 07958 921060.
fpa (Family Planning Association) is the only registered charity working to improve the sexual health and reproductive rights of all people throughout the UK.