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Horror over teen pill decision

A decision to give the contraceptive pill to girls as young as 13 on the Isle of Wight has left people “horrified,” the Commons has been told.

Under the scheme, teenagers who visit a chemist for the morning-after pill could also get a month’s supply of the contraceptive pill.

The island’s Tory MP Andrew Turner said the pill would be issued to youngsters by pharmacists without the knowledge of GPs or parents.

He told MPs: “On the Isle of Wight the local NHS has decided that contraceptive pills may be given to girls as young as 13. Their parents and even their GPs aren’t involved.

“Nowhere else, I am told, shares this approach. Many of my constituents are horrified.”

Health secretary Andrew Lansley told him: “These were decisions made locally and indeed we do support local decision-making.

“We are going to make sure that issues of that kind are taken not only in the health service but alongside local authorities as part of their public health function.

“It is important that one is clear that a young person is competent to make those decisions. Subject to that, however, we always are clear that patients have a right themselves to access healthcare on their own cognisance if they are competent to do so.”

Copyright © Press Association 2010

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