Saturday 28 November 2009

Valuable critique of government sex education

Christine Hudson is a mother and a leading SPUC activist from Plymouth. She's pictured here at this year's SPUC conference on the left, with (l-r) Peter C. Smith of SPUC Evangelicals, her son Benedict, Rev. Arnold Culbreath, and her daughters Rosie and Anna Hudson. Christine has sent me the critique below of the sex education policy in Britain. Do please read it carefully, as it gives you valuable material to use when opposing the government's plans to make sex education compulsory - please also read and respond to SPUC's campaign alert

Compulsory sex education is against our children's best interests
Christine Hudson of SPUC Plymouth

Compulsory sex education from age five comes as no surprise, given that the nanny state has been pursuing an ideological agenda in this area for many years. Such legislation, nonetheless, does come as a further blow to the:
  • pro-life movement
  • autonomy of parents
  • innocence of our children and their absolute right to mature at their own rate without sex featuring disproportionately on their horizon.
Abortion and the abortifacient morning-after pill are the lynchpins of the government’s teenage pregnancy strategy. The aim is to rid children and young women of unplanned pregnancies. These pregnancies are the result of sexual activity encouraged by government and our society, with little or no attention paid to the age of consent.

Compulsory sex education will allow your children or grandchildren to be de-sensitised about their bodies. Children will be exposed to the facts of the sexual act from key stage two (age seven), whilst learning that they don't have to have babies if they don't wish. This approach won't improve the teenage pregnancy and abortion rates. There has never been so much sex education or contraception, yet Britain's teenage pregnancy and abortion rates are Europe's highest.

Dr Malcom Potts, IPPF's first medical director, and a consultant on contraception and family health, has written:
“As people turn to contraception, there will be a rise, not a fall, in the abortion rate” (1)
“No society has controlled its fertility.....without recourse to a significant number of abortions. In fact abortion is often the starting place in the control of fertility.” (2)
(1) report, Cambridge Evening News, 7 February, 1973
(2) "Fertility Rights", The Guardian, 25 April, 1979
Dr Judith Bury, former director of Edinburgh's Brook Advisory Centre, an abortion referral agency, has written:
"Twenty years ago women were more resigned to unwanted pregnancy, but as they have become more conscious of preventing conception, so they have come to request terminations when contraception fails. There is overwhelming evidence that, contrary to what you might expect, the availabilithy of contraception leads to an increase in the abortion rate."(1)
(1) "Sex Education for Bureaucrats", The Scotsman, 29 June, 1981
The government is:
  • teaching morals- and values-free sex education
  • urging parents to do likewise
  • promoting sexual activity separated from its procreative function via the misnomer of "safe sex"
  • directing our children that sex is only for pleasure and that any unwanted pregnancy can be got rid of.
Parents whose children attend faith schools need to be reminded that these schools are also subject to compulsory sex education. The Catholic Education Service (CES) in England and Wales has welcomed the imposition of compulsory sex education. This welcome is despite the fact that Catholic teaching says otherwise. The Pontifical Council for the Family has written:
"Chastity includes an apprenticeship in self-mastery which is a training in human freedom. The alternative is clear: either man governs his passions and finds peace, or he lets himself be dominated by them and becomes unhappy". (1)
"Parents are the first and most important educators of their children, and they also possess a fundamental competency in this area: they are educators because they are parents. They share their individual mission with other individuals or institutions, such as the Church and the State. But the mission of education must always be carried out in accordance with a proper application of the principle of subsidiarity. (2)
(1) "The truth and meaning of human sexuality: guidelines for education within the family", 18.
(2) ibid, 23.

The CES knows that, although school nurses must follow guidelines laid down by school governors when in a classroom situation, in a one-to-one setting (such as in a confidential clinic), they act in their capacity as health professionals. The guidelines from the department of health they follow in that capacity don't sit happily with pro-life beliefs!

Compulsory sex education is a bitter pill. Once passed, legislation is hard to dismantle, as pro-lifers know in their fight to repeal pro-abortion laws around the world. Compulsory sex education is a further completed tick-box on the list of Western Marxism (e.g. the Frankfurt School proposals). The  Polish church authorities, more astute than the CES, have recently admitted:
"We have to remember who was the first to introduce the idea of sex education. It was communist ideologue Gyorgy Lukacs in Hungary, who thought promiscuity was the best method to fight the institution of marriage, in order to fight Christianity."
With the highest teenage pregnancy rate in Europe, the benefits of saturation sex education have yet to be demonstrated. It has been known for many years that oral contraception can act in an abortifacient mode and that a high percentage of young girls presenting to doctors with unplanned pregnancies were using contraception. It is also well known that teenage contraceptive user failure rates are high. Despite its claim that parents play an important role in the matter of teenage pregnancies, the government has in fact been eroding parental rights through the years:
  • 1973: National Health (Reorganisation) Act allowed birth control for all, including children.
  • 1974: Department of Health & Social Services (DHSS) memorandum of guidance (section G) advised doctors that they could provide contraception to girls “of whatever age” without parental consent of knowledge.
  • 1977: DHSS memorandum of guidance advised doctors that they could refer under-age girls for abortions without parental knowledge or consent.
  • 1984: The Court of Appeal ruling in the Gillick case, which challenged government guidance. For 10 months it was unlawful for doctors to provide contraceptives to under-age girls without parental knowledge or consent. During this 10-month period the pregnancy rates for under-16s remained unchanged, while the number of pregnancies actually declined slightly from 9,096 to 8,829.
  • 1985: The House of Lords overturned the Court of Appeal's judgment in Gillick after the DHSS appealed. The Lords reinstated the previous policy but insisted that secrecy from parents should be “most unusual” and that doctors should only withhold information from parents “in the most exceptional cases”.
  • 1986: "Safe Sex" condom campaign to combat HIV/AIDS effectively ignored the Lords' qualifications in Gllick by promoting the pill and condoms to teenagers of any age without parental knowledge or consent.
  • 1992: “The health of the nation: a strategy for health in England” white paper aimed to reduce the rate of conceptions amongst the under-16s by at least 50% by the year 2000. It failed.
  • 1999: “Teenage pregnancy report” aimed to reduce under-18 pregnancies by half by 2010. This is also destined to fail.
  • 2000: Revised guidance by the Department of Education on sex and relationship education. The guidance encouraged the provision of contraceptive advice and supplies to under-age children by health professionals operating on school premises and in confidence if the child wished. School nurses, employed by the local primary care trust, although working on school premises are not bound by any education legislation, permitting the provision of the contraceptive pill and the abortifacient morning-after pill without parental knowledge or consent.
  • 2000: morning-after pill released on prescription with no age restrictions.
  • 2001: morning-after pill released for sale without prescription to over-16s.
  • 2002: MAP can be obtained free from the Family Planning Association, doctors' surgeries and school nurses.
  • 2004: Department of health revised guidance on contraception, sexual health and reproductive health services (including abortion) for under-16s. The guidance places strong emphasis on the duty of confidentiality. Good-practice guidance made it explicit that under-16s did not require parental consent or notification to procure an abortion.
  • 2006 (Jan): Sue Axon lost her court bid for the right to be informed if her daughter was seeking an abortion. Her case challenged both Gillick and the 2004 guidance above.
  • 2006: Two government documents, “Looking for a school nurse?” and “School nurse: practice development resource pack” were issued with the aim of expanding or developing a school nursing service. This aim would include providing contraceptive advice and ‘support[ing] young women to access services to make timely choices about emergency contraception, pregnancy or abortion.....and remind young people where they can access confidential support and information”, as well as providing ‘emergency contraception’ (i.e. morning-after pills) and pregnancy testing on school premises (with school-governors' permission).
  • 2006 (April): Girls as young as 12 given free morning-after pills over the counter in chemists' shops without the parental knowledge, if primary care trusts discern a problem in their area with teenage pregnancies.
  • 2008: The government says it wants a school-nurse clinic in every secondary school.
  • 2008: Parents excluded from a government review of sex education delivery in schools.
  • 2009-2010: From April, doctors receive payments for giving teenagers advice on sexual health and encouraging young women to use long-acting contraceptive implants, injections or the coil (all of which can act abortifaciently), if they present for morning-after pills or abortion. Available without parental knowledge.
In reality, just as parents have been deceived and undermined by these actions, so, in many schools, sex education policies don't do what they say and only pay lip-service only to the role of parents. Many school sex education policies will contain the following line or the like:
“Endeavours to involve parents and all other interested parties in sex education issues, whilst complementing and supporting the role of parents who are key figures in helping children with the physical and emotional aspects of growing up.”
Many parents will, as I have discovered over the years, find these extremely hollow words.

The issue of confidential clinics is just as contentious. Jim Knight, the schools minister, said in a parliamentary answer (3 Oct. 2006):
“The nature and scope of health services in a school are for the school governing body to decide. Where schools are developing links with health as part of extended services, the Education Act 2002 requires them to consult widely before putting services in place.”
My personal experience with a secondary school in Plymouth is that the school and local education authority (LEA) are devious. Although the head-teacher has admitted that the school provides a service which sign-posts pupils to confidential services, the school denies that this is an extended service because it does not actually deliver this service on school property. The school thus maintains that government guidance does not apply. Therefore, despite the guidance, most parents at the school continue to be ignorant of this clinic and what it offers!

In complaining to the LEA, I was incredulous to find that the LEA was happy to accept the school’s word that it doesn’t offer a sign-posting service. The LEA admits it has no powers to enforce its guidance upon  schools. Such are the problems that pro-life parents are up against

It is vital that we all make our anger felt over the new proposals to make sex education compulsory. These proposals are not in the best interests of the next generation. It is imperative that parents, grandparents, ministers of religion and anyone concerned by these developments write to teachers, head teachers, chairs of governors, priests, vicars, LEAs and newspapers to convey their concerns and disapproval. Please also read and respond to SPUC's campaign alert.

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