It is hugely ironic that the Family Planning Association has brought the head of the UK Family Planning Association to NZ to give advice to our politicians on successful strategies in sex education and reducing the rate of teen pregnancies.
In the UK they have been a dismal failure. A report from the Family Education Trust says that explicit sex education leaflets and free condoms provided to under-age girls have simply encouraged them to have sex and demonstrates a direct link between giving young people such sex education and a rise in live births.
Teenage pregnancies have risen fastest in areas of the country where the Government has specifically targeted resources to reduce them. According to Government figures, Cornwall saw a 17 per cent rise in teenage pregnancies, Torbay rose 22 per cent, and York 34 per cent.
Official figures released in 2004 showed that teenage pregnancies in England rose year-on-year by more than 800, despite the £15 million spent by the Government on strategies to reduce them. There has also been a 62 per cent increase in the number of cases of sexually transmitted diseases among young people aged 19 and under.
Teenage pregnancy rates in Britain remain the highest in western Europe.
In fact, just last month, in a radical change of direction by the Government in its drive to cut teenage pregnancies, the Teenage Pregnancy Unit will now tell young people not to have sex – at least not until they are over 16.
The Family Planning Association is the last organisation that should be advising our policy makers on how to reduce the teenage pregnancy rate, and especially the head of the UK branch which has miserably failed in its own country.
Teen pregnancies increase after sex education classes
UK Telegraph 14 March 2004
Just say no – ministers about turn in drive to cut teenage pregnancies
UK Telegraph 15 October 2006