I note there is some consternation within the Government in respect of the number of young women who are becoming pregnant.
As readers may know, I was concerned throughout my life by the impact of loose morals on the welfare of many young women. However, having studied the statistics released today, I am puzzled as to why it should be regarded as deleterious for a married woman aged 17 years to give birth.
Now, accepting that I am an "old fogey", I understand that the status of women has improved considerably since we first gave a limited right of voting to some women in 1870. It has also come to my attention that moral standards have mutated in an unimaginable way.
I am told that about 42,000 girls under the age of 18 became pregnant in 2007 and that as many as half of these resulted in the induced abortion of the unwanted baby. Now this is a matter of consternation, even though it appears that the British government is unclear of what it disapproves; is it the process of abortion or the process of pregnancy? For if a young woman and her husband wish to undertake the pleasures of family life, for what reason should they be discouraged?
The response of the Government is to promote the value of contraception - which I understand to be methods for preventing conception. A sum of some twenty million pounds has been mentioned. Further reports suggest that instruction booklets have been made available to parents of growing children advising them not to discuss moral matters; I confess to perplexity about how this might assist.
It is my perception and experience that most young women are more than capable of making up their own minds when they wish to have children and whom they wish to marry. Some however are driven by poverty or desperation to trade their womanhood and their fertility; such young women need advice and assistance. Their situations cannot be changed by a pill, an injection or another artifice; nor can any moral code circumvent their desperation and misery.