The Government is condemning family life to "secrecy and lies" by allowing under 16s to seek advice on contraception or abortion without the knowledge of their parents, the High Court has been told. Single mother Sue Axon wants the law to be changed to stop under-16s seeking confidential advice on contraception. Mrs Axon regrets a termination she had herself 20 years ago that caused her "guilt, shame and depression".
Divorced single parent from Baguley, Wythenshawe, Manchester, is seeking a judicial review with implications for parents across the country, Daily Mail reports.
Her QC Philip Havers said the issue goes to the "heart of family life."
He told Mr Justice Silber: "They are issues parents and children - and society as a whole - would expect parents to advise their children about.
Current guidelines state terminations can take place without parents' consent and doctors should respect girls' privacy. But Mr Havers said the rules were "manifestly an interference with family life" and breached Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights, BBC reports.
Following her own experience, Mrs Axon said she wants to be there for her daughters if they are ever in the same position.
She said she does not want to prevent young people from receiving treatment, but said she was defending parents' "right to know".
Lawyers for Health Secretary Patricia Hewitt are defending the guidelines, saying the right of confidentiality enjoyed by under-16s is crucial to the battle to reduce teenage pregnancies and improve sexual health across the UK. A.M.
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