Wednesday, May 23, 2012

World Health Assembly report on early marriages, adolescent and young pregnancies

The 65th World Health Assembly(WHA)meeting this week in Geneva is considering a number of reports one of which deals with 'Early marriages, adolescent and young pregnancies'.

The report issued by the WHA Secretariat is unacceptable on a number of grounds. First it targets children from age 10 upwards and calls for what is termed "effective sexuality education" which in reality is pornographic in content. Second the report seems to treat pregnancy as a disease.

The report ignores issues such as abstinence and fidelity and assumes that all young people will be sexually active so they must be facilitated with comprehensive information and then when pregnancy results, termination must be readily available without any barriers, completely ignoring the fact that the unborn baby is the ultimate victim. The report says that most people initiate sexual activity between 15 and 19 and it recommends that political leaders should provide increased access to contraceptives for adolescents including so called "emergency contraceptives" meaning that access should be made available to early medical abortion.

The report also  says that adolescents should have access to what is termed safe abortion care and it criticises legislation in some countries that uphold parental rights in regard to medical care for minor children particularly in respect of access to so called 'sexual and reproductive health services'. There are some good ideas in the report for example it calls for political leaders to find ways to reduce coerced sex among adolescents and recommends punishment of perpetrators. It also calls for increasing access to skilled antenatal, childbirth and postnatal care for adolescents who become pregnant. The report also calls for availability of information on STI's and HIV/AIDS