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School for pregnant teens opens in Malaysia

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The BBC reports on the opening of a school for pregnant teenagers in predominantly Muslim Manila. This is part of an attempt to curb the number of newborn babies being abandoned, a symptom of the stigma attached to childbirth outside of marriage. Over 70 babies were left on doorsteps, in bins and public toilets in Malaysia this year in a climate in which young people, especially Muslims, are expected to abstain from sexual relationships until marriage.

The school promises privacy and protection for pregnant teens, as well as providing an education. As well as medical check-ups. the students will receive religious counselling.

However, the Malaysian women’s minister has come out against the idea, saying that separation from mainstream schooling with further stigmatise these teenage girls. The root problem, she says, is the lack of sex education in schools – the women’s ministry has for years advocated that students be taught a health and reproductive course.

Thanks to @CTrouper for this story.

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