"We beg Archbishop Nichols, and other religious leaders, to back parents, whether Catholic or of other faiths, who refuse to allow their children to be subjected to what the government's bill demands.I have written this afternoon to Archbishop Nichols calling on him to reverse the support of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of England and Wales for the bill.
"Archbishop Nichols must say whether schools should do what Ed Balls demands - tell children how to access abortion and where to get, and how to use, contraception. Or will the archbishop tell schools to resist - even though they may risk legal action, losing Ofsted accreditation, or even losing hard-won state funding?
"SPUC urges all faith leaders to speak out in oppostion to Mr Balls' demands, assuring parents that this is not going to happen in their schools. Teachers and school governors need an assurance that their faith leaders will defend them when they refuse to be complicit in arranging abortions, promoting contraception or deceiving parents.
"The legislation and guidance enforcing this have been drawn up with the advice and support of the Catholic Education Service (CES), headed by Oona Stannard.
"Archbishop Nichols was chairman of the Catholic Education Service and Archbishop of Birmingham when that archdiocese drew up a sex education programme, with funding support from the government. That programme, "All that I am", included instruction for children in a wide range of contraceptives, including many believed to induce early abortions. Will he now have that programme withdrawn?"
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