THE NEWS THAT the Brook Advisory Centres, an organisation which provides contraception and abortion advice to young children without telling their parents, has apologised to the Government for telling a direct falsehood about Mrs Victoria Gillick's attempt in the courts to end this practice, comes almost as an ironic commentary on last week's confirmation, in the British Medical Journal, that England and Wales have the highest rates of teenage pregnancy, sexually transmitted diseases and drug abuse in Europe.
The organisation had claimed in a promotional brochure that Mrs Gillick had confused young people, deterring them from seeking advice on contraception, and that this had been the principal cause of a rise in teenage pregnancies during the 1980s.
The facts, of course, are precisely to the contrary. It was Mrs Gillick's victory, in the Court of Appeal, against the Department of Health and Social Security — as a result of which it became illegal to provide contraceptives to under-16s without their parents' consent — which led to the only drop in teenage pregnancies in that decade.
Government figures show that the teenage conception rate began to rise again only after the reversal of this judgement in 1985. And yet, the myth persists that unwanted teenage pregnancies are caused by lack of the kind of sex education which centres on contraception as the solution for all problems to do with "sexual health". The fact that all these problems — not only teenage conceptions but a whole raft of other terrible personal and social disorT tiers — are actually caused by promiscuity. It is therefore the personal behaviour of the young that we need seriously to begin to understand and to guide into safer courses. This is the dirty secret that organisations like Brook are dedicated to keeping quiet.
Mrs Gillick is now once more going into battle against these corrupters of the young. She deserves our gratitude: that goes without saying. She should also have the prayers of all Catholics as she confronts these dark spirits of the age.