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Informing parents

Regarding the story 'Older GPs block teen access to Pill', should parents be involved in adolescent contraception? From an evidence-based perspective, the answer has to be yes if we are to have any chance of reducing our inexorably increasing abortion rates in teenagers.

As I argued in a BMJ editorial in January this year, parental advisory laws have been introduced in more than 30 US states making it mandatory for parents just to be informed (not to give consent) that their daughter is being given contraception or a termination.

Even allowing for inter-state travel, in no state introducing such a law have underage conceptions or abortions risen. In many they have fallen.

This is not a matter of opinion or morals, it is a matter of policy following the evidence – something which when it comes to sex, UK policymakers flatly refuse to do.

From Dr Trevor Stammers,GP and lecturer in healthcare ethics, St Mary's University College, Twickenham

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