A HAMPSHIRE MP has attacked plans to curb teenage pregnancy by giving contraceptive jabs to girls as young as 13.
Romsey and Southampton North MP Sandra Gidley said the plans, recommended by ministers to city health chiefs, is only aimed at meeting targets and would lead to a rise in sexually transmitted infections.
Under the proposed scheme, teenagers would not have to tell their parents before having the injection at school-based clinics.
The Liberal Democrat’s shadow public health minister said it would turn Southampton into the STI capital of the south.
“A contraceptive injection on its own may bring down the rates of teenage pregnancy, but will only lead to more teenagers contracting sexually-transmitted infections," she said.
"More needs to be done to tackle the underlying problem of teenagers having unprotected sex.
“We will only begin to solve this crisis by making appropriate personal, social and health education compulsory in schools.
“I hope the government will see the error in its thinking and will not allow Southampton to slide from being the teenage pregnancy capital of the south into the teenage STI capital of the south."
Southampton is one of 21 cities in the UK identified as a teenage pregnancy hotspot and the Government has issued letters to health chiefs to take “urgent action” to reduce the rate.
Officials say injections or long- lasting implants would make it easier for girls to control their fertility.
Southampton’s teenage pregnancy boss Charlotte Bernard said the jabs are not currently available in the city’s schools and refused to say whether it was something they would bring in until a six-month review into sexual services was completed later this month.