An NHS report has concluded that the availability of the pill over-the-counter reduces the demand for emergency contraception

A pro-life charity has strongly criticised an NHS report which suggests that the pill should be made available over-the-counter without prescription to under 16-year-olds.

The study by NHS South East London conducted a pilot scheme in the area which found a significant drop in emergency contraception after introducing over-the-counter pill access.

The report recommended over-the-counter access for girls as young as 13 in order to combat teenage pregnancy.

But the charity Life which deals with crisis pregnancies and treating fertility said that such a scheme would be, “morally wrong.”

In a statement they said: “You don’t put out a fire by pouring petrol on it, and you don’t solve the problem of premature sexual activity among young teenagers by enacting yet more measures that helped to create a culture of sexualised teenagers in the first place. There is very little real evidence for the effectiveness of this kind of measure, even among over-16s, and in it is hugely morally wrong for the government to drive a wedge between parents and their children by becoming complicit in children deceiving their families. Under-16s are children, whatever campaigners may say, and the formation of a good and honest relationship with their parents is vital at that age.

“The ideological blinders of the health authorities prevent them from looking honestly at the causes of teenage pregnancy and the limitations of their own approaches. They also seems totally uninterested in addressing the huge problem of STIs among teenagers, a problem which is not addressed in the slightest by the provision of hormonal contraceptives.

“The bottom line is that a Government that claims to be interested in strong families and communities should not countenance this measure. There is a growing body of evidence, compiled by researchers like David Paton, that confidential contraceptive provision to teenagers is not only ineffective in preventing teenage pregnancy, but actually exacerbates the problem.”