Friday, 26 February 2010

Government's Teenage Pregnancy Strategy a Failure

I wasn't going to use the above cartoon as an introduction to this post but decided it was perhaps appropriate after all.

Labour's ten year stategy, costing millions of pounds, to cut the number of teenage pregnancies in Britain has failed to make any serious impact - a considerable embarrassment after the £280 million spent on initiatives they promised would transform thousands of young people's lives.

They blame some local authorities for not implementing the strategy well and accuse some GP surgeries, clinics and pharmacies of failing to make young people welcome when they turn up for advice.

Canada and the US have recorded a marked reduction in teenage pregnancies in the past 25 years yet Britain continues to have the highest rate in Europe.

The government's solution, to be announced today, will be more access to long-acting contraception such as implants and injection and phone texts to remind girls to use contraceptives. The mind boggles!

Could a return to the days of the cartoon be more effective? It worked for many women of my age.



Uncle Marvo said...

Some people may think this is outrageous, but where I live the only way the young ladies (I use the term in its loosest possible sense) can better themselves is to get pregnant.

That way, they get money, housing etc.

So that's what they do. They then spend most of the day in Starbucks or Costa, actually outside because they can't smoke inside, while the wailing kid screams its head off in the pushchair. The mother seems not to hear this, unlike everyone else in a 100 yard radius.

Some people will think this is outrageous because it can't possibly be true.

It think it's outrageous because it bloody well is. Come and see.

I can't think of a policy that would work better, apart from not giving them all this stuff. Their own mothers might then persuade them that they don't want them living at home with kids and chavvy boyfriends who'll shag anything after three cans of special brew. It goes on.

Crinkly & Ragged Arsed Philosophers said...

Marvo, not a very avuncular uncle then!

Uncle Marvo said...

Ragged Arse - certainly not.

The name was given to me by people as a result of the Olde Joke:

(first one, obviously)

Oldrightie said...

Labours' core vote strategy. Import and breed voters. All mushrooms welcome!

subrosa said...

I heard Dianne Abbot last night saying 'girls think being grown up is having a baby'. She may well be right.

Surely then girls should be told it's NOT grown up. The current sex education doesn't work.

Change the message.

subrosa said...

That's it OR. Breed and vote.

I mean, what other country tells its immigrants to find their own house, pop along to the local housing office and they'll arrange the date you move in?

Hythlodaeus said...

The government would probably get a lot further, a lot quicker if it spent time telling males about how much trouble they can be in if they do get a lassy pregnant. 18 years of child benefit payments is a hell of a price to pay for a few minutes of fun, especially when it can be prevented (99.8% of the time) by something that costs a quid. Coupled with the risks of STDs, it really should be enough justification for anyone.

I will say, free condom schemes do seem to work. I used to help with the C-Card scheme in Glasgow. There were various places around the city where people could come for free condoms, dams and so on. No questions were asked (other then first 4 digits of the postcode for statistical purposes), and there was a variety of products on offer to cater for people with allergies, the LGBT community and so on. It was very popular, and I seriously hope it's still running.

One final comment: there should be equal methods made to persuading both sexes of the values of contraception. Placing too much emphasis on it being the place of the man or the woman just encourages sexist attitudes. I know men, who are educated enough to know better, who either don't care if they get a woman pregnant or see it as the woman's responsibility. That kind of attitude is utterly despicable in this day in age.

subrosa said...

Excellent comment Hythlodaeus. After I'd written this I thought about what they could do to get the message through.

Remember the smoking ads on TV with folk dying? How about videos showing the long term effects of STDs? I know some aren't visible but plenty are.

In my youth I remember seeing photos of long term syphilis etc organised by a charity. It certainly opened my eyes.

Crinkly & Ragged Arsed Philosophers said...

Playtex roll on girdles are the answer.

By the time you got past them not only had you lost the urge,you'd lost the will to live.

subrosa said...

So that was the deterrent then RA!!! Nothing to do with parents saying they'd never allow us to darken the door again or that we'd bring disgrace on the family.

You've given me the best laugh of the day!

Hythlodaeus said...

Subrosa, as far as I know, sex education in Schools still includes images of the effects of STDs. I'm not sure how well videos would work, but I'm sure they could come up with something demonstrating the infertility risks, the effects of AIDS and do on.

subrosa said...

Hythlodaeus, thanks for the update. I'm out of the loop these days and I haven't seen the material taught to current children.

What we should be doing is educating the parents and telling them it's their responsibility then, the important part, let them get on with it. I wonder if the figures would fall then?

Parents need re-educating. If the tories said they would rescind all the labour laws which remove any power from parents, then they'd be on a definite winner.

Richard said...

Lack of sex education isn't the problem. Is there a single teenager in the country who doesn't know that pregnancy is caused by unprotected sex?

I've heard teenage, serial mothers say things like "We started trying for a baby as soon as I was 14". The boy faces a charge of statutory, child rape and a life sentence if the girl is under 14. With a baby over a year old, the girl will get a free flat and more money than she's ever seen before by the time she is 16. Legal knowledge like that doesn't suggest a lack of education.

I suspect the teenage pregnancy problem in the UK isn't as easy to solve as middle aged, childless blokes like me tend to think, but here are a few suggestions:-

Stop the former Chief Constable of Dafydd Powys police appearing live on the BBC news and announcing that he allows his 14 year old daughters to sleep with their boyfriends and that he wouldn't 'see men criminalised' for sleeping with girls as young as 9.

The age of consent in this country is 16. It's not for the police, or anybody else to decide to ignore this. The thought of a police caution and a future of disclosing that you are a registered sex offender every time you apply for a job would dampen the enthusiasm of many a teenage lad.

Stop putting young women in a position where their best career option is to give birth to as many children as possible. Baby P's mother was 28 when she was arrested and Shannon Matthews' mother was 32. Those two women have 11 kids by 9 different fathers, and Baby P's mum was pregnant again while in prison. With a £50 per week, tax free pay rise with every new baby, the child welfare alone raked in over £500 per week. Add on housing benefit, tax credits and free everything from school uniforms to Playstations and Karen was in the top 10% of UK earners.

Require women to have long term contraceptive implants if they need state support for their kids. No pills to remember take every day and no queueing up at Boots for the morning after pill once a week either. This scheme works well in some US states.

Pursue the fathers more seriously. Inspector Gadget tells us on his blog that one of his 'regular customers' is not yet 30 but is the father of over 50 children by dozens of women. Put that damned National DNA Database to work and start finding absentee fathers.

Finally, regarding the comments about Playtex girdles, their contraceptive properties are greatly exaggerated by the poster above. Young men of my era knew how to be properly prepared when courting. Packet of three from the barber, two bob set aside for fish and chips on the way back to hers and a portable angle grinder to deal with anything the evil, Playtex Corporation cared to throw at you. I never left home without it.

Mack said...

Here I wanna some information about a Medical term that is called Tubal Ligation reversal ...
For many women, having a tubal ligation (also known as female sterilization or getting your "tubes tied") is a permanent way to manage your family size. Usually done once a woman feels that her family is complete, as much as 25% of women who have had the procedure end up changing their minds. If you have had your tubes tied but now regret your decision, you may want to consider having a tubal ligation reversal.

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