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13 year olds being given the morning after pill by walk in clinics

(118 Posts)
newtoallofthis8 Fri 28-Oct-16 08:03:46

I am a new stepmum (of 4 years stepping into the breach of a family who has an alcoholic mother) and my OH and I were shocked to learn that our 13yr old had had a teenage pregnancy (early stages) and been given the morning after pill which discharged the foetus. As she is in the care of CAMHs, the local walk in centre contacted them to report this. Her counselor only deemed it necessary to contact us this week, 3 months after the incident and reported that D13 was now on the Child Sexual Exploitation register. We were horrified by the circumstances of how the pregnancy occurred and the distress that D13 had experienced in the subsequent months. D13 had been working with her counsellor who then felt it necessary to contact us. We had been dealing with some very painful issues since May when D13 attempted suicide. This recent disclosure made us realise that everyone else knew about what had happened to D13 but US! As parents we were left out of the loop and this week left to deal with the terrible fall out when we were told. We were robbed of the opportunity to support our daughter at the time she really needed it. It robbed us of the understanding of what was causing her many months of anguish, disrupted schooling, fights with her siblings, dysfunctional relationships with her friends to name a few of the challenges we have had to deal with since August (pregnancy which we didn't know about) and from May (suicide attempt which we handled at the time).

My question to Mumsnet is it immoral that current legislation allows children to obtain the morning after pill and the contraception pill without the parents being told? I know the government sees this as a quick fix for reducing teenage pregnancies, but by not informing parents it dis-empowers them of their role to support, educate and care for their children. In my mind. this is just wrong.

Anyone else feel the same? If so do could a petition to the UK government be started?

EBearhug Fri 28-Oct-16 08:08:03

I'm sorry you've all been through this.

Are you aware of the history of the Gillick case and the changes in law because of that?

BertrandRussell Fri 28-Oct-16 08:09:08

Just to correct a fact- the MAP does not "discharge the foetus". It prevents implantation, so no foetus is formed.

Mooey89 Fri 28-Oct-16 08:09:33

The Morning after Pill does not 'dislodge' the foetus. It is not an abortion.

Re your main point though, about children under age - I do see your point. However, what I think is important is that someone is keeping track of young children approaching clinics like this, to make sure that they are safe. So some kind of record maybe. Not necessarily shared with parents. I think that there should be nothing that discourages children from approaching services like these when they need them, and I think that if they had to tell parents, this would put lots and lots off who then would t get the support they need when they need it.

PoldarksBreeches Fri 28-Oct-16 08:11:45

Did your daughter take the morning after pill or a pill to abort the foetus?
I'm sorry but Fraser competent children have the right to confidentiality. It's there to protect children.

LyndaNotLinda Fri 28-Oct-16 08:12:23

YABU. Your husband's daughter chose not to tell you. That's her right

Thisjustinno Fri 28-Oct-16 08:12:35

Is this your daughter or your partners?

DameDiazepamTheDramaQueen Fri 28-Oct-16 08:12:55

Parents shouldn't be told. Lovely that you want to support your dd but there will be plenty of folks that could insist of the pregnancy going ahead against the child's wishes.

NoahVale Fri 28-Oct-16 08:13:15

no i dont think it is immoral although I understand it feels like a slap in the face to you. but not all families react the same way. the important person is the teenager, who is her own person.

LyndaNotLinda Fri 28-Oct-16 08:15:08

Oops sorry, not AIBU but there is no way I'd support a petition to reverse Gillick competence

BitchPeas Fri 28-Oct-16 08:17:19

Did she have the morning after pill or the abortion pill? The morning after pill does not dislodge a foetus at all. It would only be given if unprotected sex had happened within the last 72 hours.

BertrandRussell Fri 28-Oct-16 08:18:26

Very brief details of Gillick competence and Fraser guidelines

I would be strongly opposed to any changes.

DameDiazepamTheDramaQueen Fri 28-Oct-16 08:18:27

Concentrate on how sensible your step daughter was rather than the fact you weren't told immediately.

AidingAndAbetting Fri 28-Oct-16 08:19:47

If children are deemed to be Fraser competent then they have the right to confidential medical treatment. It's as simple as that.

Also, the MAP does no

neolara Fri 28-Oct-16 08:19:47

Your poor dd. What a lot she has had to cope with.

On the one hand, I can understand how hurt and angry you must feel to have been kept in the dark. However, I guess the potential consequences of a young teenager knowing their parent would be told would mean some wouldn't search out contraception.

Given that would dd is now on the child secure exploitation register, it sounds like your dd's circumstances are slightly different to "normal" where the main issue would be Gillick competency issue. I would be most horrified that I had not been alerted at a very early stage to my dd being on that register.

CorkieD Fri 28-Oct-16 08:20:26

I also think children should not be discouraged from approaching services.

If services are obliged to always tell parents in these instances (especially in the many sad situations where parents are from ideal) vulnerable children would not receive the help and support they so badly need.

Mamatallica Fri 28-Oct-16 08:20:27

"We were robbed of the opportunity to support our daughter..."
Sorry but it's not about you, the poor kid could have told you had she wanted your support at the time but she clearly didn't. Would you rather they had refused her the pill and she'd been pregnant at 13 then? That sounds a whole lot more traumatic than taking a pill to me.

Sukitakeitoff Fri 28-Oct-16 08:21:06

So difficult... What were the circumstances of the under age sex and how old was the boy? I'm assuming a similar age otherwise presumably charges would be brought. I would want to know as a parent that this had happened but I would also want a vulnerable 13-year-old to be able to seek treatment without worrying about what mum and dad would think.

I'm not aware of Gillick competence - off to Google now... flowers

BubbleGumBubble Fri 28-Oct-16 08:24:52

I am sorry for the trauma your family is going through but the clinic did the right thing.

jusdepamplemousse Fri 28-Oct-16 08:27:10

flowers to you and your DD. And your whole family. I'm so sorry you're all having such a rough time.

In answer to your question though, no it isn't immoral. It's necessary. Not all parents are supportive - some are quite the opposite - and girls unfortunately need access to this care.

The right to this care for these girls was hard won.

It's also not administered without thought and consideration. Your DD will have been assessed by medics and deemed competent to make decisions about her care.

Hopefully you are at least able to be grateful that she got timely and proper care - brave young lady - even if you weren't able to help her with this at the time.

I wish you all every good thing in working through your DD's problems.

mudandmayhem01 Fri 28-Oct-16 08:29:57

This legislation is vital to protect vulnerable girls. I was at family planning clinic last week when a very young distressed looking girl ( British Asian) came in with a slightly older looking friend or sister. I wonder if she would have even got through the door if she felt her parent or step parent would have been informed. Ever heard of honour killings or domestic abuse.

Piglet208 Fri 28-Oct-16 08:33:32

I think the clinic was right as others have said they are duty bound to support the young patient if she is deemed competent. Changing this law would prevent some young people from seeking help. She will have had her reasons for not telling you herself. Maybe she was ashamed. Moving forward let Her know that you will always support her and she can always come to you without judgement. She has been through some terrible times and it sounds like you and her dad are doing a great job in caring for her.

ObscureThing Fri 28-Oct-16 08:36:01

No, I don't agree that parents should have to consent.

I also think you should get some clarity on whether it was a morning after pill or abortion pill. If it's the morning after pill then your daughter was most likely not pregnant at all.

GraciesMansion Fri 28-Oct-16 08:37:12

No, it's not immoral. It's absolutely the right thing for 13yr olds to be able to access the services they need. And the MAP doesn't 'discharge the foetus', it prevents pregnancy.

NoahVale Fri 28-Oct-16 08:38:06

as you say it dis-empowers the parents, however it empowers the teenager. which is more important.
sometimes parents are the last people the teenagers want to turn to and they Need to have responsible adults to turn to on occasion.
good luck thanks

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