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Kids mustn't get condoms without parental approval

Published:Tuesday | April 28, 2015 | 4:00 AM

THE EDITOR, Sir:

I write in response to an article titled 'Hanna says doctors want fewer restrictions to prescribe contraceptives to sexually active children' (April 21, 2015). Not all doctors are agitating to provide contraceptives to adolescents without their parent's consent. Some of us understand that if the young person has to hide to engage in sexual activity, it is clear evidence that they should not be engaged in it.

Children who are provided with contraceptives without their parent's knowledge are left to defend themselves against older persons who take advantage because they know the children are defenceless. These older persons, who prey on children, will be able to hide the effects of their abuse if contraceptives, abortion and medication for sexually transmitted infection are provided without parental consent.

Providing contraception, abortions and drugs for sexually transmitted infections (STIs) does not cover all the problems an adolescent is likely to encounter because of early sexual debut.

For example, long-acting hormonal contraceptive Depo-Provera, which is used in adolescents because it removes the responsibility of taking pills every day, is associated with irregular bleeding, acne and weight gain. Depo-Provera also prolongs the time to pregnancy when a child is desired.

Early sexual debut is associated with increased risk of cervical cancer and, despite treatment for STIs, is also associated with increased risk of pelvic inflammatory disease and infertility.

Undeniably, early sexual debut, contraception, abortion and sexually transmitted disease create problems for teens other than pregnancy and STIs.

Let's find another way to help sexually active adolescents other than repealing or changing the law. Amending the law to allow access to contraceptives without parental consent will undermine parental responsibility and authority.

KAY BAILEY

Paediatrician

glowilone@gmail.com