‘Mandatory’ contraception for 12-year-olds: Sout

The African National Congress Youth League is calling for “mandatory
initiation into contraception for all adolescent girls from the age of

BY Patrick B. Craine

JOHANNESBURG, South Africa, May 10, 2011 (LifeSiteNews.com) – The youth
wing of South Africa’s ruling political party is proposing that the
country make “initiation” into contraception mandatory for girls as
young as twelve as part of an effort to cut teen pregnancies, reports City

The “perennial societal problem” of teen pregnancy “calls for the
government to introduce a programme that will combine both abstinence from
sex and mandatory initiation into contraception for all adolescent girls
from the age of twelve,” reads the African National Congress Youth
League’s discussion paper on education and health for its 24th national
congress in June.

The proposal would likely involve hormonal contraceptives such as the pill,
which remains popular despite being labeled a carcinogen by the World Health
Organization.  The pill has also been linked, especially when introduced at
early ages, to infertility as well as lethal blood clots, heart attacks, and

According to City Press, however, Katharine Hall, senior researcher for the
Children’s Institute at the University of Cape Town, says the proposal
could contravene the Children’s Act. Hall observed that 12-year-olds
already have access to contraception under the Act, and questioned making it

“It smacks of an authoritarian approach which is contrary to promoting
safe sex behaviour that will not only curb teen ­pregnancies but also
HIV/Aids ­infections.”

The Youth League’s discussion paper calls for increased access to
abortion, an “expansion of youth friendly [abortion] services,” and asks
for a debate on the legalization of prostitution.

The African National Congress has ruled South Africa since it first came to
power in 1994 under the leadership of former President Nelson Mandela.  In
1996, under Mandela, the party brought in state-funded abortion-on-demand.


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