Wednesday, 14 June, , A booklet giving advice about abortion to teenagers as young as 14 has angered anti-abortion groups. The UK Family Planning Association's pamphlet explains attitudes to abortion, what procedures are followed, the law and where to get further advice. Pro-lifers say it encourages under-age sex, sells abortion and does not promote choice. But the FPA insist youngsters do not regard abortion as taboo and want to be educated on all aspects of sexual health.
Do you think year-olds are too young to learn about terminating pregnancies, or is it sensible to make young people aware of their options? Send us your views.
Speaking as a parent with two young daughters, I would much prefer ALL the various forms of pregnancy prevention and "cure" be presented to my children and myself in a clear and understandable way.
It is then up to me to make sure that my children understand their responsibilities in the matter. Ian Thomas, England A 14 year old is not considered mature enough to drive a car yet has the power to make a life or death decision Anita Menezes, Canada A 14 year old is not considered mature enough to drive a car yet has the power to make a life or death decision. Why can't the brochure focus on contraception instead of the extremely traumatic "final solution" - abortion?
Anita Menezes, Canada How reassuring to see the 2 sides of the debate unchanged. The "pro-choice" people offering informed debate, and the anti-abortion lobby howling about how it is wrong to destroy "God's creation". When are they going to realise that such pompous rhetoric does nothing except alienate them from the vast majority of young people in the UK who are more pragmatic than they realise? Do yourselves a favour, and let people decide for themselves. Give them ALL the information and let them get on with it.
Russell, UK I think it is interesting to note that the majority of people who have a problem with abortion seem to be men! They are not the ones that have to go through the trauma of pregnancy and labour. Jenni, England It seems that many people view pregnancy in terms of black and white and that isn't the case. People shouldn't be forced to have a child if they don't want it or if they are unable to cope.
Whilst there are alternatives such as adoption, these can come back to haunt the individual in later years. Jen, UK You can never be too young to learn about abortion.
Some may say this encourages unprotected sex and abortion is an "easy" way out. I am not promoting abortion or sex. What I am trying to put across is that it is better to take precautions when you can rather than seek precautions when you have no choice. Steve, Malaysia Who else is aware that human life begins at conception? Also, some so-called "forms of contraception" really cause abortions which kill a newly conceived foetus by preventing its implantation in the womb e.
Gareth Knowles, UK If a girl wants an abortion she should be able to find the information she needs as easily as possible Anne, UK Girls as young as 12 are now having babies. In light of this I think that information on abortion is vital as too many young girls will miss out on an education at both secondary and university level to look after their children.
If a girl wants an abortion she should be able to find the information she needs as easily as possible. Anne, UK This society is saturated with sexual imagery and no one in films seems to take precautions. Sex is portrayed as uncontrollable or something that happens shortly after meeting anyone. While abortion should be a possibility, it should also be a last resort. Elsie Townley, UK When are we going to teach teenagers how to say "no"?
Prevention must be better than this ghastly "cure". Chris Klein, UK I am sick of people who brand the pro-lifers as "narrow minded bigots". If we must make this information available, it should contain ALL the facts, including the possibilities of infertility, serious internal damage, and long-term guilt. John S, UK It's about time women took responsibility for their own actions instead of being looked after by men all the time Philip Johnson, England The leaflet is irrelevant.
Information on this stuff is available from many other sources, e. Do the anti-abortion groups want to shut that down too? Our views do not matter, the kids will always be able to find stuff out.
Sahan Amarasekera, UK If children are to be given the full facts then it should be mandatory to show details of the full abortion procedure.
Something hidden from the majority of adults. Michael Willis, Scotland The world population needs to be reduced. Abortion education would be most beneficial in addressing this issue.
Winston Purges, USA It's about time women took responsibility for their own actions instead of being looked after by men all the time. Philip Johnson, England How many of the millions of unborn children that have been aborted could have made a valuable contribution to society?
Current levels of abortion are far too high and cast shame on our so-called civilised society. Virginity is a precious gift and young people should be encouraged to retain it until they are mature enough to fully cope with the consequences of their behaviour.
Chris, UK They should be given advice on "how not to get pregnant" instead of "how to get rid of your child". It is not a choice, but a life. The choice should be made beforehand with the use of a pregnancy prevention device or, no sex at all.
Fran Williamson, English living in U. This debacle simply typifies society in England today. We see 14 year old girls having sex and we teach them about abortions, this disgusts me. Why don't we teach them about life and morality? Why don't we send them to school, show them the satisfaction of education? Why don't we show all these people that this is unacceptable? Tomasz Domanski, United Kingdom I have not seen the pamphlet under discussion but as a general principal I would support anything that enables the making of an informed choice.
I am firmly pro-life, for both mother and child, and am firmly pro choice, both before sex and after pregnancy. It is high time that we refused to get into entrenched positions on such important matters, and took into consideration that each individual mother and child is unique and have their own long term needs and priorities.
The first thing that God gave to humanity was freedom of choice. It has never been taken away. Tony, UK Girls should be taught about abortion at an early age. More importantly, they must be taught how to handle the selfish bigots who protest against abortion rights. And the earlier they learn how to avoid these misguided, selfish zealots, the better. Charlene, Canada I was absolutely disgusted to see this leaflet was given out to 14 year olds.
To portray abortion as just another form of birth control is plainly wrong. Dave, UK As a physician, I can tell you that even as early as 3 weeks, the "object" being terminated has little hands, like yours, little feet, like yours, and a heart beat, like yours. Let's call "it" what "it" is This brochure, if its going to be accurate, should be providing girls with pictures of what exactly will be in their bellies when they get pregnant.
But pro-choice advocates don't consult physicians like me when they create their brochures! Winn, USA If we were less prudish in our schools and society about sex, and treated the subject in a frank, honest and matter-of-fact manner I am certain fewer teenagers would ever get to the stage of requiring an abortion. Of course it isn't a method of contraception, but pragmatically, it is sometimes necessary. Let's limit these incidences and show young adults the respect they deserve by giving them a decent education on all aspects of life.
Jo, UK When I was 11 years old I started receiving detailed sex education lessons with abortion as a topic under that umbrella, our teacher went to a lot of detail with us about the different types of abortion and at how many weeks different methods could be implemented.
At no time were we under the impression that abortion could be used as a method of contraception as indeed it shouldn't Kate, UK This is all part of the furore going on at present that wants to keep our children ignorant on the facts of life see also Section Anyone who thinks ignorance is a cherished quality ought to walk around with a blindfold on for an hour, then they will know the benefit of knowledge!
Trevor, UK It is ironic that children are not legally adult until 18years and yet there are still some people who still want to treat children as adults!!!! Young girls do not need to have a booklet telling them where they can get advice on abortion. It should not be performed on children!! Hasn't the government learned that spending money on these kinds of things does not work!
Vanessa, London Anyone who knows about sexual intercourse should also be taught about abortion. It's not a question of ethics, it's a question of sexual sagacity. I was given school sex education lessons at 11 and even then I think is too old.
If you want to educate children on such things as abortion and safe family planning then it should be done early and before the ever early onset of puberty in most teenagers. And when children are taught about abortion, I think it is important to stress what it entails; the killing of another human being. Benj'min Mossop, Britain Abortion is not a family planning method - it is a highly traumatic operation which has a huge social stigma attached to it Christopher Stalford, United Kingdom The problem with these pamphlets arises not from the fact that they were given to year olds, but rather from the fact that they depict abortion as the only way out for young girls who are unfortunate enough to fall pregnant.
I have no problem whatsoever with people being educated about family planning methods such as contraceptives etc. For the Family Planning Association to portray it as the only alternative is both unfair and unjust to young girls. Christopher Stalford, United Kingdom If children knew all the facts, we wouldn't have such a high pregnancy rate in the first place!
Abortion is one topic in what is a wide ranging subject area. Personally, I think 10 - 12 year olds should be learning sex education. Teaching this to 14 year olds is quite simply too late in far too many instances. The statistics prove that! Alex Banks, Wales I live in the north of Scotland, the most narrow-minded part of the country. We have the highest rate of abortion in the country, so any education is worth its weight in gold.
If I became pregnant accidentally I am glad it is my choice what to do about it. This was then a regular feature until the age of 17, sometimes disguised as biology, other times as information given from the school nurse.