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Government Failed to Prevent Rising Teen Pregnancies

owever that only 12 per cent of all those requesting an abortion in 2002 had tried the pill.

Professor Glasier, who is also director of sexual and reproductive health at Edinburgh University said, "Despite the clear increase in the use of emergency contraception, abortion rates have not fallen in the UK."

She did stress that she did not want to make it harder for women to get hold of emergency contraception.

Professor Glaiser said, "It will prevent pregnancy in some women some of the time - and if you don't want to get pregnant anything is better than nothing. Individuals can benefit, if you are a woman who has had unprotected sex because of a burst condom then of course it is worth it. But not as an intervention that will reduce abortion rates."

According to Dr Trevor Stammers, London GP and spokesman for the Family Education Trust, "Making the morning-after pill easier to get has had no effect on teenage pregnancies.

"But it has fuelled the increase in sexually transmitted infections because girls are deprived of medical intervention when they get it over the counter in Tesco." Dr Stammers said that he had written to the British Medical Journal almost five years ago predicting the likely failure of the policy. To complicate matters further, it has also been found that the rates of sexually transmitted infections are soaring, with almost 700,000 new diagnoses last year in England alone.

He added, "It is a blinkered view that complex human behaviour is easily fixed with a condom machine in the boys' loos, next to a machine dispensing emergency contraception.

"This was a central plank of the Government's Teenage Pregnancy Strategy - which has been very lucrative for emergency contraception manufacturers - but it was wrong from the start."

A Department of Health spokesman said: "Our policy has always been that safe sex, using reliable contraception on a regular basis, is the best way fo
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