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Prosecutor: giving the pill to teens aids rape

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Prosecutor: giving the pill to teens aids rape
15:10 CEST+02:00
A Swedish prosecutor thinks that health professionals who prescribe birth control pills to girls younger than 15-years-old should be charged as accomplices to rape.

“I'm read the law. Those how facilitate a crime are accomplices and whoever hands out birth control to someone who is underage makes it easier for assailants to continue attacking,” said deputy public prosecutor Mikael Hammarstrand to the medical trade newspaper Dagens Medicin.

Hammarstrand refers to the sex crimes law of 2005 which states that sex with someone younger than 15-years-old is always consider an unlawful act of coercion even if the sex is consensual.

A lack of legal clarity on the issue has resulted in a few midwives refusing to write birth control pill prescriptions for girls younger than 15-years-old.

But Sweden's National Board of Health and Welfare (Socialstyrelsen) disagrees with the prosecutor's views.

“Our opinion is that those who issue prescriptions like this are doing nothing wrong,” said the agency's Thomas Tegenfeldt to the TT news agency.

Protecting young girls who are already sexually active against unwanted pregnancies should take precedence over other aspects of the law, the health board claims.

“Since the law is formulated like this, we'll take a look ourselves at the question of the law's intent and if it really should be understood in this way,” said Tegenfeldt.

The health board has a previously scheduled meeting with the prosecutor's office and Tegenfeldt says the agency plans to take up the issue then.

Lena Marions, the head physician at the women's clinic of Karolinska University Hospital in Solna finds Hammarstrand's interpretation of the law unfortunate.

“It's sort of sad,” she told TT.

“The reason we prescribe birth control pills is to help people avoid unwanted pregnancies. When they come to us they've already had sex and they will continue to have sex even if we don't write out a prescription.”

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