Proposals that schoolgirls in Council care should be allowed abortions have brought protests by anti-abortion grows. Wiltshire County Council. announced that girls hi their care. would be allowed to have abor
tions, even against parents' wishes, and girls below the age of consent may be put on the Pill.
Dr Peggy Norris, Secretary of the Federation of Doctors who Respect Human Life, said this was another example of parental authority being undermined, and wants to have the Wiltshire Council prosecuted as accessories to under-age sex.
She said that already 80% of abortions were for "social reasons", and that there was no reason to extend this facility to unmarried teenagers. Most of these girls were physically capable of having a baby and should do so, even if this put added stress on adoption agencies.
She said that the Abortion Act was only designed to permit abortions, and not to make them a normal fact of life. The Wiltshire decision was putting pressure on girls to have sex. The American experience where Medicaid does not cover abortions should be copied here, she said. The number of illegal abortions there had not risen. "Instead, women are thinking twice and going on to have abortions. Illegal abortions are a red herring put up by supporters of abortion."
But the Wiltshire decision has been supported by David Ilolroyd, assistant secretary of the British Association of Social Workers. He has called on other councils to follow the example, because girls under care are already under enough stress. He said that the practice only occurred for "legal abortions" and that parents would normally be involved in the decision. The decision to put under-16' s on the Pill was more difficult to justify and could be seen as "illegal promiscuity on the rates", but that as responsible parents would want to safeguard a child from pregnancy, so the council may act In the same way.