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Schoolgirls of 12 get contraceptive implants on NHS; 'It exposes kids to exploitation'.

Byline: andrew gregory Political Editor

GIRLS as young as 12 are among children being given NHS contraceptive implants.

Of the 10,600 under-16s given implants between 2015 and 2017, 39 were 12 or under.

Patient confidentiality rules mean that no parental consent is needed, and in some parts of the country the implants are being fitted in schools.

It has sparked fears that the NHS is enabling girls to have illegal, underage sex without their parents' knowledge, exposing them to exploitation.

Tory MP Sir Roger Gale, who represents North Thanet in Kent, where the implants are offered in schools, said: "We have to remember that the child is having underage sex and that is against the law.

"When you start dishing them [implants] out like Smarties in schools, I think that is a very bad idea."

Family Education Trust director Norman Wells said: "The Government needs to wake up to the fact that a casual attitude towards underage sex is exposing children to the risk of sexual exploitation."

However, Natika Halil, of the Family Planning Association, said it was "vital" for under-16s to be able to access advice about sexual health.

The devices are inserted in the upper arm and provide the hormone progesterone to block egg release for up to three years.

Side effects of the implants can include mood swings, weight gain and headaches.

andrew.gregory@mirror.co.uk

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Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Apr 16, 2018
Words:238
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