A spokesman for the Catholic Church has compared a Scottish government plan to set up sex clinics in all secondary schools to “pouring petrol on a fire.”
The government’s report, titled “Do the Right Thing,” plans to create clinics that will offer school pupils free condoms and pregnancy tests. Government ministers hope the clinics will curb the spread of sexually transmitted diseases and stop teen pregnancies, the Daily Record reports.
The clinics will be open to students under the age of 16. Parents will be notified only if the nurses who run the clinics think they are being abused or exploited.
A government spokeswoman said it was “vital” that young people’s services be available “when and where they require them.” She told the Daily Record that services will be provided in all schools that can do so. Where schools cannot provide clinics, an alternative will be provided within 20 minutes’ walking distance.
Peter Kearney, a spokesman for the Catholic Church warned that sexually transmitted infections, teen pregnancies and abortions have “exploded” as these services have expanded.
“This approach is tantamount to pouring petrol on a fire,” he commented, according to the Daily Record.
Catholic schools will be allowed to opt out of the scheme.
Scottish Tory deputy leader Murdo Fraser said sex education must be done in “a moral context” to ensure educators are not “stimulating an interest which might not otherwise be there.”
Scotland has some of the highest levels of teenage pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases in Europe. In recent years there have been 8.1 pregnancies per 1,000 under the age of 16 and more than 60 children under 15 diagnosed with Chlamydia.