Life calls for attitude change following Rochdale Report

Change the culture of acceptance of underage sex and easy abortion

WE are calling for all agencies responsible for the health and welfare of young people to take a different and more serious view of the problem of underage sexual activity following the Rochdale sexual exploitation case.

Life has welcomed the latest report on the case by Rochdale Borough Safeguarding Children Board, saying it accurately points to a culture of acceptance of underage sex between young girls and men significantly older than them and easy abortion.

The report said “the drive to reduce teenage pregnancy, whilst commendable in itself is believed to have contributed to a culture whereby professionals may have become inured to early sexual activity in young teenagers. The culture from the top of organisations concerned with teenage pregnancy focused on meeting targets for the reduction of teenage conception and sexually transmitted diseases sometimes to the detriment of an alternative focus”.

Where abortions are concerned, the report noted that one of the abused teenagers who was 14 at the time, revealed to health practitioners that she had sex with a 21 year old man. She was offered and received an abortion but no other action was taken. The report said “It is of concern that the focus appears to have been purely on the clinical need. There is no evidence that consideration was given to safeguarding concerns despite 111s age, the stated age of the father and her known home circumstances” .

In another case a 13 year old girl told workers at a sexual health clinic that she had sex with men against her wishes and they would hit her if she refused. No referral was made to the police. The report said “Whilst it is apparent that agencies understood and were concerned for YP7’s wellbeing, there was limited evidence that they felt they were in a position to take action to protect her, given the perception that she placed herself in these settings by choice”

Life has for many years warned about the pro-abortion lobby’s mantra of choice when it comes to children. One of the reasons underage sexual activity continues to be illegal in this country is that the law is meant to protect children from abuses like those which occurred in Rochdale.

When health professionals and those responsible for the care and welfare of teenagers ignore the law because they see underage sex as simply a matter of choice, they leave those young people at risk of sexual exploitation.

We also understand why it is in the interest of the abortion industry to make abortion easy to access for young people. However when abortions are performed on teenagers below the legal age of 16, there should be questions asked about the complicity of such providers in illegal actions. Had such questions been asked in Rochdale, more could have been done to protect these vulnerable girls from abuse.