Everyday Victim Blaming

challenging institutional disbelief around domestic & sexual violence and abuse

Contraception: Teen girls bear the responsibility

A friend over in South Yorkshire alerted me to a piece she saw in her local newspaper about "teenage pregnancy".

The link is here.

The headline could of course be rephrased from...

"More Under-16 Mums To be Keeping Their Babies"


"More Young Boys have Coerced Girls Into Sex or Men Have Potentially Raped Them"

Because putting the word "mum" in there doesn't make a girls' ruined life cuter. It doesn't give her back her lost education and career prospects. It doesn't take away the misery and pain and abuse she may have faced or the confusion and fear she still does.

The report does not get better.

"The figures, issued by the Office for National Statistics, also show the number of under-16s giving birth has reduced, standing at 54 in 2012, down from 61 in 2011."

But 57 per cent of schoolgirls chose an abortion in 2010-12, a drop of more than 5.5 per cent from 2009-11.

Sheffield GP Helen Story said the success in cutting teenage pregnancy numbers was down to more girls using longer-acting contraception, such as implants."

So, what is important is that the stats look better? This is "success" is it? That girls who are possibly vulnerable are being "implanted" and therefore not at risk of burdening society? Isn't the issue who is having sex (or possibly grooming and raping ) these girls? The girls are under the age of consent. Anyone who has sex with them is breaking the law. Why are GPs and councillors back patting the fact that ANY girl is being used in this way?

The area has been the subject of localised grooming gangs only a few miles away in Rotherham. Is anyone asking the correct questions about this?

The GP continues...

Dr Story, a GP at Park Health Centre, part of NHS Sheffield Clinical Commissioning Group’s Central Locality, said: “In my experience, teenage mothers don’t cope as well as older parents do.

“There are always exceptions – some do very well, but usually only with a lot of family support.

“The availability of contraception is really important, and girls should understand it and have the choice of taking it up.”

So first the GP blames these CHILDREN for not being very good at doing what an adult woman should be doing. But then further blames them for not finding out what contraception they should be using when they are coerced into sex.

This completely absolves boys, men, abusers and rapists of any responsibility. It suggests that girls under 16 - and I ask how much under 16 are some of these girls? - are responsible for protecting themselves from both what is happening to them and the very serious consequences.

The GP continues...knowledgeable as she obviously isn't in issues of Violence Against Women And Girls,

"The GP added: “The best baby is one that’s wanted and planned, but sometimes even if it is planned, they don’t fully understand the implications of it – they’re still kids.

“Contraceptions that work the best are ones you don’t have to remember to take, you can just forget about it and get on with your life.”

Girls under 16 often don't plan to be groomed or coerced into sex. They don't plan to end up pregnant and confused.

I am utterly disgusted by the dismissive attitude of this GP. As long as you have a chip in your arm you're good to go. Fodder for every males of whatever age to do as they please with because you cannot cause anyone the problem of confronting what has happened to you when you present with a baby! Suggesting that vulnerable girls who have potentially been raped are able to "forget about it" if there is no resulting child shows a complete ignorance of the issues.

This is not an issue of contraception it is an issue of teaching young children of both sexes about consent. It is about protecting vulnerable girls from older men. It is about ensuring that young girls are not chipped up, propped up and hushed up in a set of statistics.

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One thought on “Contraception: Teen girls bear the responsibility

  • Hecuba says:

    As usual male accountability is always ignored because apparently teen girls magically become pregnant all by themselves!

    If the issue were to be really discussed this would mean critiquing how males construct male sexuality wherein males continue to believe and enact male pseudo sex right to any female, any time anywhere. Males learn as boys that they have no responsibility or accountability whatsoever if they engage in penetrative heterosex and the result is impregnating a female. Instead our Male Supremacist System continues to demonise teenage girls who are under 16 when they ‘magically become pregnant all by themselves.’

    This is why the medical establishment prefers to give girls under the age of 16 birth control pills so that the male sexual predators can continue to sexually prey on girls with impunity.

    We must not analyse or challenge how men continue to construct male sexuality wherein males are absolved any accountability or responsibility for demanding unlimited penetrative heterosex with teen girls.