Well, here’s something to pop your eyes open in case you can’t quite shake that post-election torpor. A county in the U.K. has just authorized pharmacies to distribute birth control pills to girls as young as 13, without parental consent.
It’s a pilot project in the Isle of Wight, best known as a British tourist destination for its ye olde worlde charm. Under the project, teenagers who approach a pharmacist for the morning-after pill will also be able to get a month’s supply of the contraceptive pill without seeing a doctor or informing their parents. After that month is up, girls must make an appointment with their general practitioner or sexual health nurse in order to get any additional supplies.
The campaign is aimed at reducing unwanted pregnancies, which have crept up on the island in recent years. According to Jennifer Smith of the local branch of the National Health Service, which approved the project: “I would suggest that what we’re doing is being entirely responsible by providing [contraception to] these most vulnerable women, for whom, for the most part, pregnancy is not a good outcome. We are linking them with people most able to support them in further decision-making and appropriate behavior in the future.”
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Image: one pill gone by jodigreen via flickr under a Creative Commons license.