Young pregnancy sparks calls for sex education reforms
A 12-year-old pregnant girl, set to become Britain’s youngest mum, has sparked calls for sex education reform.
The West Lothian girl, who cannot be named, told all to a newspaper, revealing that she became pregnant after losing her virginity to a 15-year-old boy while drunk.
She told the newspaper that she plans to keep the baby, due in just a few weeks. The successful birth will make her the youngest mother in the United Kingdom. Dorset’s Jenny Teague is currently Britain’s youngest mum after giving birth at 12 years and nine months in 1997 to a baby girl named Sasha.
The baby’s 15-year-old father, was today charged with statutory rape and will appear on July 10 before Edinburgh’s sheriff court.
The news has brought outcries from many groups, who are condemning the pregnancy as an indication of the disintegration of public morals.
Scotland has a teenage pregnancy rate of 7.5 per 1,000 teenagers aged 13 to 15. The UK has the second highest teenage birth rate in developed countries, at 32 per 1,000 teenagers in this age group.
Scottish Conservative health spokeswoman Nanette Milne says the latest incident highlights the failings of the messages that are being sent out to youngsters in regards to sex and alcohol.
“I hope this incident will draw attention to failings that have allowed such a young girl to go on a night out, get drunk and get pregnant, yet seemingly be ignorant about the risks and consequences,” said Ms Milne.
“Any sustainable change in behaviour and attitudes can only be family and society-driven.”
A spokesman for the Catholic church said: “It is indicative of an increasingly promiscuous culture.
“Scotland does not seem to be as concerned as it should be about underage sexual activity and promiscuous behaviour on the part of older teenagers.”
The Scottish Executive has made no comment on the latest case but has spoken in support of the sex education programme in schools, which it says “stresses the importance of relationships with a family context”.