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RAGE AT SEX PILL FOR KIDS; Doctors step in after girl, age 11, gives birth.

Worried doctors are giving the Pill to kids without telling their parents, it was revealed last night.

The move comes after one 11-year-old from Cork became Ireland's youngest mother.

But the doctors have been branded "immoral" by Church leaders. And top Munster politician Cllr Con O'Leary claimed doctors were giving young girls a licence to have sex.

Figures show that in 1995 a total of 57 girls aged 15 and under gave birth.

Another 209 girls aged 16 became mums. Only seven were married.

But Cllr O'Leary said: "I believe we should be told if our daughters under 16 have been put under any medication. They should not be allowed to go a doctor and get the Pill when they want.

"The Government must bring in some law and draw the line that kids can't get contraceptives unless they are over 15.

"There's something wrong somewhere and, as a parent, I resent what's happening."

A senior Church source said: "It's sending a wrong message to young girls. They shouldn't even be thinking about sex at that age, never mind taking the Pill.

"What they need is proper education to discourage them from having sex."

But a senior member of the National Association of Parents Support, Elizabeth Quinn, welcomed the doctors' move.

She said: "You can't physically stop children having sex. I'd rather doctors gave my child a Pill than see her getting pregnant.

"Girls getting pregnant at such a young age is bad for their health.

"Most teenagers won't go to their family doctor to get the Pill."

She added: "Many might disagree with me, but what doctors are doing is the lesser of two evils.

"We can't have 11-year-old girls getting pregnant, but that's what happening in this country.

"Last year we also had a girl who conceived at 12 years of age."

The Catholic hierarchy are furious at the move.

The new guidelines for the doctors were drawn up by the Irish College of General Practitioners.

Authors Dr Mary Favier and Dr Michael Boland said doctors were in a dilemma about what to do.

They believe doctors should encourage adolescents to tell their parents of their intentions and involve them in the decision-making - but they cannot force them.

The guide states: "Confidentiality is perhaps the most important concern for adolescents when consulting doctors, particularly if it is their family doctor.

"The doctor should talk to the girl and explain the consequences of her decision.

"If the girl is quite adamant she will continue to have sex anyway, then it is more pragmatic to prescribe contraception and avoid a teenage pregnancy."
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Author:Kierans, John
Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Feb 25, 1997
Words:432
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