§ Mr. Peter Mills
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what advice is given to local authorities about the provision of the contraceptive pill to girls in council care and about the state of the law on this matter; and if he will make a statement.
§ Dr. Vaughan
The Children and Young Persons Act 1969 confers normal parental powers and duties on local authorities in respect of children who are the subject of care orders. Where a child is 16 or over, section 8 of the Family Law Reform Act 1969 applies and she can, under that Act, consent to her own treatment.
The Department has not given specific advice to local authorities about the provision of contraception; but takes the view that the authority should have regard, when medical treatment for a child under 16 is in question, to the wishes of the parents.
The final decision on whether contraception should be prescribed in the circumstances of any individual case 195W must, however, be a matter for the clinical judgment of the doctor concerned. In this regard I would draw the attention of my hon. Friend to my reply to my hon. Friend the Member for Bristol, North-West (Mr. Colvin) on 6 May.—[Vol. 984, c. 80-82.]