12-year-olds being contracepted in Australia

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Melbourne, Apr 16 (UNI) Aboriginal girls as young as 12 are being implanted with contraceptive devices that prevent pregnancy for five years by Australian government health officials.

State Opposition child safety spokeswoman Jan Stuckey said she was ''absolutely horrified'' to learn of the practice when visiting Queensland Aboriginal communities recently.

The device did not protect girls against predators and sexually transmitted diseases and ignored the fact that young children were sexually active.

''Failure to monitor for sexually transmitted diseases, to adequately educate the children is a great abrogation of responsibility,'' the Australian quoted her as saying.

''Children being exposed to predators, being bribed perhaps, put in a position to be bribed to experiment with drugs and alcohol at younger and younger ages and it's unlawful.'' Queensland Health acting chief Linda Selvey today confirmed the practice, defendind only ''a small number'' of procedures had been done.

The procedure was only done in consultation with health professionals and with the consent of a parent or guardian, she added.

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