World News and Trends: Teen pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases

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Teen pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases

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In Britain the age of consent for sexual relations is supposedly 16. However, according to a Daily Telegraph report in June 2008, more than 1,000 girls younger than 14 had abortions in the previous year.

Concern is also growing about the spiraling rise in teen pregnancies in Britain , including those that are not ended by an abortion. According to the government Web site "Every Child Matters," the Independent Advisory Group on Teenage Pregnancy (TPIAG) published its fifth annual report suggesting strategies for halving conception rates for both the 16 to 18 age range and establishing "a firm downward trend" in the rate for those under 16.

Not surprisingly, there is a corresponding upward rise in the rates of sexually transmitted diseases. The British government plans to combat this by offering around 300,000 girls between the ages of 17 and 18 vaccinations against the human papilloma virus (HPV), which causes genital warts and, if not treated, can lead to cervical cancer. (The Sunday Times, July 20, 2008). The government also plans to vaccinate younger girls.

Merely treating the effects of early sexual promiscuity and making information on sex and its hazards more readily available appears to government departments to be the only solution. Few consider obeying the law, and more importantly God's law, as an answer to the problem. (Sources: The Daily Telegraph, The Sunday Times [both London ],