The Mexican government is distributing millions of pamphlets to children and adolescents in public schools, informing them of their "right" to receive the abortifacient "morning after pill," after sexual intercourse.
Mexican children between the ages of 10 and 19 years are receiving medical "passports" containing their vaccination records from the Secretariat of Education, which contain two pages of material advocating the drug.
"If you had unprotected sexual relations and no more than 72 hours have passed, you can request emergency contraception. Protect yourself, it’s your right!" the passport states.
"Emergency contraception," also known as the "morning after pill," can cause abortions by preventing the implantation of the newly fertilized human life in the uterine wall of the mother.
The pamphlets also tell the children how to obtain and use condoms. Sexual abstinence until marriage, the only certain way of avoiding sexually transmitted diseases, is not mentioned.
In addition to the school campaign, the Secretariat of Health is also running radio public service announcements encouraging teenagers to use condoms.
In one spot, an adolescent enters a pharmacy and asks for condoms. The pharmacist gives him the condoms and thanks him, and is joined by an elderly woman, an adolescent girl, and others. "Because by taking care of yourself, you care for everyone," the narrator says.
, a young male enters a nightclub and is searched by the bouncer. "Let’s see, what’s this, a cell phone, fine, a wallet…what is this? What is this, kid?" the bouncer says, revealing several condoms.
"But they’re just some condoms!" the adolescent protests.
"Well I only need to tell you thanks," says the bouncer, who is joined by others thanking the young man.
Eusebio Rubio, the ex-president of the World Sexual Health Association and the current Director of the Mexican branch of the organization, cheered the government’s school initiative in an interview with the Mexican newspaper Reforma, and said that he believes 10 year olds are capable of understanding sexual topics.
"An understanding of what happens in the sexual life of adults has almost been reached in the majority of cases," Rubio told Reforma. "It’s something that begins to be concretized from the age of 8 years, and intellectual development permits them to integrate the complexity of the sexual life, which does not convert them into efficient and capable individuals who can experience the complexity of human sexuality, but yes to comprehend it."
However, the National Parents’ Union (UNPF) is denouncing the campaigns.
"The National Health Passport contains affirmations that are not only worrisome, but also promote anti-values, and create health risks instead of protecting health," said the organization’s National President, Guillermo Bustamante Manilla.
Bustamante Manilla also denounced the Secretariat of Health’s pro-condom campaigns, accusing the organization of promoting the transmission of venereal diseases. Condoms have a 10% failure rate according to the United Nations Organization.
"Language is used implying that from the age of 10 years old, they [the children] will be making their own decisions, without taking their fathers or mothers into account. The family is not taken into account," said Bustamante Manilla. "The distribution of contraceptive methods implies genital relations, this is what they are promoting."