The Natural Family Planning Program (NFP) at Centacare has responded to recent calls from the Fertility Society’s Dr David Molloy for “information on conception” to be included in high school curriculums.
Margaret Moran, a relationship educator with the Centacare NFP Program, said that fertility awareness, supported by Commonwealth Government Funding, was already being taught in some Catholic and State Schools as part of their education programs.
“It is already happening and has been for a very long time, but maybe not to the extent that we’d like,” Mrs Moran said.
“What we have done over the years in schools is teach both boys and girls the biology of their reproductive systems and what it entails to get pregnant.
“We look at the combined fertility of the male and the female and how it works and that actually allows young people to see how something like the pill can in fact inhibit fertility,” she said.
Mrs Moran said that while there had been very strong interest from schools in the past, it has been difficult in the past few years to present school sessions, due to funding constraints and Centacare staff availability.
The Australian Bureau of Statistics recently released data that showed Australia’s fertility rate has fallen from 1.75 to 1.73 in the past year.
A recent article in the Sunday Mail (3/11/02) also claimed the belief there was no time limit on childbirth was a “massive con being played on women”.
“My own personal opinion is that the pill is the ‘big con’ because the knowledge given at the time it is handed out is not sufficient for people to make an informed decision,” Mrs Moran said.
“They are just looking for something to stop them getting pregnant without any knowledge of what it does to the body long term.
“We find as we go into schools that young people are really keen to understand these issues. They have many questions about their bodies and their fertility that they want answered.
“We are happy to talk with school staff about organizing workshops for their students,” she said.