Contraception: Family First and Family Planning agree

Both Family First and Family Planning agree that careful consideration should be given before someone under that age of 16 is put on some form of contraception.

While family Planning say, “the general idea is to have it before it’s needed,” they say caution must be exercised.

“There’s no minimal age, but there are cautions so I suppose that anybody who is under 16 even we just want to think twice about, and under 14 in particular,” says Family Planning national medical advisor Dr Christine Roke.

“And if they happen to be under 12 we want to be working out why we would be not reporting them if they’re having sex at that sort of age.”

Family First director Bob McCoskrie said parents need to think about the messages they are sending to their child before giving them contraception.

“By putting people on contraception you’re sending an underlying message that you’re expecting them to be sexually involved.

“It would be better to talk to them about good reasons to wait, and the consequences of not waiting.”

Putting your child on contraception prematurely is “a bit like running across a busy road – do we say to our kids ‘don’t run across a busy road’ or do we say ‘look here’s a helmet, that might make you a little bit safer’.”

As a father of three teenagers, McCoskrie was aware that every family will be different. Values, maturity and “realism” should be taken into account.

A total of 3546 teenagers gave birth in 2013, making up 5.9 per cent of total births – almost a two point decrease since 2006.

About a quarter of New Zealand secondary school students were sexually active, according to a University of Auckland survey in 2012.

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News category: New Zealand, News Shorts.

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