Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
Week of May 9, 2005
School nurses prescribe the pill
Que. allows girls as young as 14 to receive Morning After Pill
By DEBORAH GYAPONG
Canadian Catholic News
A week after the federal government gave pharmacists across Canada permission to prescribe the abortificant Morning After Pill (MAP), the province of Quebec granted school nurses the ability to give birth control prescriptions to girls as young as 14 without parental knowledge or consent.
Mary Ellen Douglas, national organizer for Campaign Life Coalition, describes the Quebec move as horrifying.
"Parents have a right to look after their own children and have a right to be protected from the medical profession usurping their rights by coming directly to their children without their knowledge or permission," she said.
Dr. Will Johnston, president of Canadian Physicians for Life, agrees.
"The state is cutting the mooring ropes between children and their parents," he said. "Any capacity the parents might have had to transmit sexual morality is being further undermined."
Canada already allows doctors to prescribe birth control to teenaged girls without parental knowledge.
According to Dr. Yves Lamontagne, president of the Quebec Order of Physicians, the province made the move to reduce the number of unwanted pregnancies. In an April 27 Globe and Mail article, Lamontagne is described as "bemused" when a reporter suggests some parents might object.
The Globe reported 40,000 unwanted pregnancies among young women under 19. Half end in abortion.
"Maybe we're more progressive here in Quebec, but we have to use our heads and acknowledge that teenagers are having sex," Lamontagne said.
Douglas points out that Quebec is worried about preserving its culture, but it can't replace itself demographically because the province is "aborting its culture. "We're aborting ourselves out of existence," she said. "It's horrifying what we're doing to our young people."
Johnston said governments are multiplying their follies and paying no regard to the impact easy access to birth control pills will have on sexually transmitted diseases that can cause sterility and death. "They have completely lost the concept that children could be taught that all sexual urges don't have to be acted on," he said.
"Maybe we're more progressive here in Quebec, but we have to use our heads and acknowledge that teenagers are having sex."
- Dr. Yves Lamontagne
No respect for youth
Douglas said government authorities are showing little respect for children by not telling them they are "able to stand on their own two feet and resist temptation. We don't seem to care for these kids," she said. She notes that birth control pills and the more potent MAP can cause blood clots and the pre-conditions for strokes and heart attacks in susceptible individuals.
Douglas said the ideal of chastity must be upheld. She acknowledged people fail to live up to that ideal, but the ideal needs to be maintained anyway. "If we lower the ideal to the ground we have nothing to aim for."
While the MAP is being touted as a preferable option to a clinical abortion, the drug prevents the implantation of a fertilized ovum. Since a new human being has already been conceived, the pill causes an abortion.
It also poses more health risks than the public is led to believe. Ottawa resident Pat Evans wrote to the Ottawa Citizen about her experience with the MAP when it was available on an experimental basis in Quebec.
"I took it and ended up in a hospital emergency ward a week later with uncontrolled vaginal bleeding," she wrote in an April 26 letter to the editor.
"This is just a warning to all those who consider this a miracle drug and an easy way out of a difficult situation," she said. "It is much better to prevent the situation than to try to fix it later."
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