Wednesday 11 November 2009

Government's teen pregnancy strategy undermines parents and betrays children

The government has today accepted all the major recommendations of the latest report by the Teenage Pregnancy Independent Advisory Group. In a written ministerial statement today, the department for children, schools and families said that:
"The Government has taken forward all the major recommendations including making sex and relationships education statutory within Personal, Social, Health and Economic Education from 2011."
The report's appalling major recommendations include:
  • "The Government's current review of SRE should...
    • ...[s]tate clearly that all schools including faith schools must teach all aspects of SRE within the context of relationships in an anti-discriminatory way; contraception, abortion and homosexuality are all legal in this country and therefore all children and young people should be able to learn the correct facts
    • ...[m]ake explicit links to young people's advisory services and provision of contraception and sexual health services and demonstrate this by teaching young people how to access services"
  • "abortion and contraceptive services should be joined up at national and local level so that the cost-benefits of contraception, particularly long-acting reversible contraception (LARC), can be set against the greater costs of terminating an unwanted pregnancy"
  • "the removal of the restriction on promoting condom use before the 9pm watershed"
  • "government should continue to provide strong leadership to champion the Teenage Pregnancy Strategy"
The government is trying to suppress the right of parents to be primary educators of their children, a principle enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. This is a point I fully explored in my concluding address to the fourth International Pro-Life Congress, in Saragossa, Spain (which you can find in full here in EnglishSpanish and Italian).The state is also attempting to make parents and schools complicit in introducing children into an adult culture of sexual activity and abortion. The Teenage Pregnancy Strategy is a disastrous failure which has contributed to the rise in abortions and sexually transmitted infections among young people. SPUC is writing to schools, urging them to resist the goverment's manipulation.

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