HC Deb 23 October 1967 vol 751 cc1329-30
19. Mr. Brooks

asked the Minister of Health what action he has taken in the light of the National Health Service (Family Planning) Act, 1967.

Mr. K. Robinson

I wrote to all local authorities in July urging them to review their family planning facilities and to make the widest possible use of their extended powers under the new Act. I have also called for reports by 31st March, 1968, on action taken or proposed.

Mr. Brooks

I congratulate my right hon. Friend upon the prompt action he has taken and welcome, in particular, the stress upon the domiciliary service. Would he care to comment upon the fears which have been expressed recently about possible legal difficulties arising from giving help to the young unmarried?

Mr. Robinson

I do not know whether my hon. Friend is referring to some specu- lation about the possibility of giving help to girls under 16. In that case, I am assured that it would be only in the most exceptional circumstances that a doctor would be prepared to see a girl under 16 at a family planning clinic, even with parental consent. Perhaps it would not be wise to exclude these girls completely from receiving advice. I am told that there would be no legal difficulties of the kind which have been envisaged.

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