Saturday, January 10, 2009

what choice really means

In the Telegraph today, Richard Savill reports on something that has happened since time immemorial, and, I imagine, will continue to do so until Kingdom Come: two (then) sixteen-year-olds fell in love, and the girl became pregnant.

I'm not condoning it, but neither am I condemning it - I believe that one of the many things Christianity is about is dealing with the situation we have on our hands right now, and not getting lost in the if's, could's and should's.

Not that getting lost doesn't happen - I remember a family where the daughter became pregnant before she married her fiancé: they subjected her to an extended guilt trip at a very vulnerable part of her life, and the repercussions of this have rolled out for more than a decade to the extent that the family is effectively split.

Anyway, the two were boarders at an independent co-educational school, which has a policy that there should be no sexual contact between pupils. It appears that the pair were given condoms from the school's medical centre, which is independently run. Is anybody starting to see an inconsistency here? The girl's Mum, a practicing Christian, puts it in a nutshell: "If you hand out condoms, you’re saying, ‘Go for it’".

When the school's medical officer says “It is not the policy of the medical centre to offer unsolicited contraception”, he is saying nothing else than contraception will be given when solicited - ie you ask for it, you get it. This puts in context something the National Children's Bureau (NCB) said last November in context, and it's a frightening context:
Every 11 to 18-year-old in England should be able to receive advice on contraception, pregnancy tests and screening for sexually transmitted diseases between lessons, according to [the NCB]."
In the US, the American Cancer Society has recommended that the HPV vaccine be given to girls as young as nine years old, dangerous in the light that some boys might try to persuade girls that this makes sex "safe", whatever they think that means. (And HPV transmission can be prevented just as effectively by circumcision - why do girls have to pay for selfish sexual behaviours which arise predominantly from boys with and in their bodies?)

Back over here, we learnt last October from Jim Knight, then schools minister, that pupils will get basic classes in identifying body parts in the first few years of primary school - potentially from the age of five. A teacher sitting with children just out of infancy and teaching them the proper names of the genitalia using pictures is something that could have landed said teacher in prison in the not too distant past, and might still end in prosecutions.

Anyway, something miraculous is happening with our couple. They have since split up, but she has chosen to keep the baby, and he wants to be involved. Both sets of parents are supportive. Deep in Westminster, I'm sure a eugenicist is in a hellish rage, and a social engineer is cursing traditional families for not being as broken as he feels his efforts merit.

She's been excluded from school, but is being allowed to study for her exams at home. That's good, but I wonder if allowing her to attend classes as she becomes ever more heavily pregnant might not be a more valuable piece of sex education for all concerned than showing infants dodgy pictures.

I hope things go well for them, especially for her and the baby. I pray that God will turn His countenance towards them and give them peace. On that subject, I haven't given as many links as I might have for a reason.

And finally: what do seventeen-year-olds know about responsibility that many of our political masters have forgotten?

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