The head of The Icelandic Nurse’s Association says that a new bill which would give school nurses the authority to write prescriptions for birth control pills is a necessary step in tackling a real health problem in Iceland.
As reported, a new bill from the Ministry of Welfare would allow nurses in primary schools to give birth control pills to students without informing their parents, provided the nurses pass a special course about the pill at the University of Iceland, and receive a permit from the Directorate of Health.
The bill has not been without controversy, but Elsa Friðfinnsdóttir, chairperson of the Icelandic Nurse’s Association, pointed out some data about abortion in Iceland. “In 2010, there were 177 abortions performed on girls younger than 19, and five on girls younger than 15,” she told RÚV. “The frequency of births is also very high in this age group; the highest among Nordic countries.”
Elsa said she believes this to be a big problem that parents, health care workers and the government need to examine.
“And I find it sad,” she said, “that even doctors close their eyes to this in some way and try to push the matter off the table, twisting the discussion around into some kind of nonsense. I’ll just point out that doctors prescribed the pill to 400 girls younger than 16 years old.”