By David Alton
The regional co-ordinator for sexual health in Manchester, recently reported that medical services are close to breaking point due to increased demand for the morning-after pill and incidences of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs).
Manchester, you will remember, was the city which decided to pilot the Government’s policy of distributing abortion pills to children without the knowledge, consent, or involvement of their parents. Now the city is living with the consequences.
The Manchester health authorities were warned when they proceeded with this policy that it would be catastrophic. They were warned that it would destroy the tiny conceived embryo at the very dawn of its life. They were warned that it would lead to the exploitation of children and young people; and they were warned that it would compound not solve the problems of teenagers. We now know that the policy is not reducing the number of registered conceptions or abortions, just putting young people at increased risk.
When they launched their initiative the Government were also warned that this policy would be another assault on the cohesion of the family, with the State usurping the role of parents.
Of course, all the warnings went unheeded and now we are living with some of the consequences. Just consider the grim figures and the effect on the people behind the statistics.
Within the last year, since introducing their policy, Greater Manchester saw a 233% increase in the number of cases of syphilis while cases of gonorrhoea increased by 81% and chlamydia by 113%.
One clinician specialising in the treatment of these diseases tells me that the problem is reaching epidemic proportions.
Releasing this cheerful information during the season of goodwill – and of Christmas and New Year parties – there was not the remotest sign of any regret or a willingness to reappraise their policy. The only comment the authorities made was to urge party-goers to “be prepared” and carry condoms. Perhaps they are simply unaware of the evidence given in Parliament recently that condoms routinely fail in 14% of cases when used by teenagers; and that 80% of unplanned pregnancies result from contraceptive failure (mainly condoms).
And what does that lead to? I will tell you.
Ministers have confirmed to me in parliamentary replies that in the past five years 78 children under the age of 12 have been aborted and in the last year three of those children were aborted after their babies were more than 20 weeks gestation. Just what effect does the Government think such an experience will have on the children involved? Physically and psychologically this is an unmitigated disaster.
I wonder how long it will be before one of the young people or their parents who have been so adversely affected by this policy will sue the Manchester health authority for criminal negligence, and in the case of the children involved, for facilitating child abuse? I suppose it is too much to expect the Police or the media to interview those responsible for these policies, to demand reparation and prosecution – or at least to extract a public apology.