• Teen sex, domestic violence, the elderly…

    Here are a few extracts from British newspapers gleaned in the last week of the month of January. They are of interest because they inform us about a  number of social issues and indicate the pitfalls we should avoid in our own environment.

    Monique Dinan

    Le Mauricien  11.02.2011

    Pill handout causes rise in teen sex disease

    Sunday Times 30.01.2011

    An official scheme to give the morning-after pill free to teenagers at chemists has backfired by increasing rates of sexually transmitted diseases and failing to the number of under-age pregnancies.

    New research shows the Department of Health’s policy of handing out emergency contraception to the under-16s encourages them to indulge in riskier sex lives.

    Offering the morning-after pill to adolescents has been a major part of governments’

    teenage pregnancy over the past 10 years. The policy was intended to cut record levels of schoolgirls having babies by giving them medication, taken up to three days after unprotected sex, to end the pregnancy.

    The new study, by professors Sourafel Girma and David Paton, seen at

    Nottingham University compared areas of England where the scheme was introduced with others that either declined to provide the morning-after pill free from pharmacies or did so at a later date. (…)

    The academics found the rates of pregnancy among girls under 16 remained the

    same, but the rates of sexually transmitted infections increased. Paton said: “We find that offering the morning-after pill free of charge didn’t have the intended effect of cutting teenage pregnancies but did have the effect of increasing sexually transmitted diseases.” (…)

    The report to be published in the Journal of Health Economics, found that the sexually transmitted infections, increased by 12 %, amongst the under-16s where the morning after-pill was available free from the chemists. ..

    Britain has the highest rate of teenage pregnancy in Western Europe. In 2008, the latest year for which the figures are available, more than 7,500 girls in England and Wales became pregnant. 12,000 more cases than the previous year, when 470,701 cases were reported. Nearly two thirds of these pregnancies ended in abortion.

    Rates of sexually transmitted diseases are rising in Britain.

    Norman Wells, director of the Family Education Trust said: “Intemational research has consistently failed to find any evidence that emergency birth control schemes achieve a reduction in teenage conception and abortion rates, but now we have evidence showing that not only are such schemes failing to do any good, but they may in fact be doing harm.”

    Pills and promiscuity

    Daily Mail 30.01.2011

    Commenting on the same subject, here is the editor’s comment

    Handing out free-morning after pills to schoolgirls was one of the central planks of Tony Blair’s Teenage Pregnancy Strategy, launched in 2001 and intended to halve England’s under-18 conception rates within ten years.

    Today research real how spectacularly the experiment has failed.

    Comparing areas where over-the-counter pills have been made available with those where they haven’t, economists from Nottingham University find the scheme has had no effect on the figures for teenage pregnancies, which remain the highest in Western Europe.

    Disturbingly, however they note that the infection rates for sexually transmitted diseases were significantly higher in areas where schoolgirls, including under-16s, were given free access to the pills.

    But it is really surprising that distributing contraceptives and abortion tablets like Smarties serves only to encourage promiscuity amongst those too young to cope with its consequences.

    The research comes as the British Pregnancy Advisory Service is seeking High Court approval for home abortions without medical supervision.

    Shouldn’t it make the court think twice before further cheapening the acts of creating and destroying human life?

    Domestic violence costs London £9l8 million a year.

    The Evening Standard 27.01.2011

     Domestic violence costs London at least £2.5 million a day. The huge bill includes the cost of treating victims and the financial toll on the criminal justice system…

    Each domestic violence murder is estimated to cost about 1 million.

    The figures were released by Trust for London and the Henry Smith Charity, which fund domestic violence services in the capital.

    The number of women killed by a partner has risen by more than 40 cent, from 72 in 2008 to 102 in 2010. The figures also show more than one in four women experience domestic violence and that one in three local authorities provides no refuge or specialist support…

    600 die of thirst in care homes

    The Daily Mail 31.01.2011

    … Shocking figures show that scores of vulnerable pensioners were effectively left to starve to death. “The cost of staying in a care home is huge and all of us would want higher standards of service for £800 a week.”

    Some 1,446 died suffering with pressure ulcers-bedsores- where care home staff had not made them mobile in bed.

    Another 4,866 died with septicaemia, or blood poisoning; while 4,881 had fatal falls in what ought to have been safe environments. Many care home residents complain that overstretched or untrained staff who do not help them to eat their food-or even leave it out of reach and take it away uneaten.

    73 care homes closed in 2010 following probes by the Care Quality Commission.

    11/02/2011 Monique DINAN