Tuesday 16 March 2010

Don't trust the government with sex ed plans

Baroness Morgan, schools minister in the House of Lords, has answered the following question from Lord (David) Alton:
Lord Alton: "To ask Her Majesty's Government whether the Children, Schools and Families Bill will place a requirement on Catholic, Jewish, Anglican and Muslim voluntary aided schools to provide children with details of abortion clinics and abortion referral agencies."

Baroness Morgan: "It will not. Schools will have to teach their pupils where and how to obtain health information. They will also be encouraged to teach their pupils how to access information about contraception and sexual health as part of their delivery of SRE, but whether and how they do that will be at their discretion."
I have two reactions to Baroness Morgan's answer:
(1) it is internally contradictory
(2) you can't trust this anti-life/anti-family government.

The government interprets "health information" to include information on how to use and where to access abortion and contraception. For example, it is clear from the government's' "strategy for children and young people's health" entitled "Healthy lives, brighter future" that the government believes that information about contraception is essential health information for children.

Another example is the Department for International Development's 2004 paper on sexual and reproductive health and rights says (my emphases in bold):
  • "Sexual and reproductive health is an essential element of good health and human development"
  • "[P]eople’s sexual and reproductive health needs are rights that they are entitled to demand"
  • "Specific rights relevant to sexual and reproductive health [include][r]ight of accesss to information"
  • "Comprehensive sexual and reproductive services aim to provide: [e]ducation and information
    on all aspects of sexual and reproductive health ... safe abortion services where legal .... contraceptives, condoms..."
So what the government appears to give with one hand, it takes away with the other. This tactic is commonly used by Communist China. Every so often, government officials make statements, disseminated in the Western media and intended for foreign consumption, which suggest that the regime is relaxing or reforming the one-child policy in some way. These statements are soon followed by other statements, not so widely reported in the Western media and intended for domestic consumption, making clear that not only is the one-child policy not being relaxed or reformed, but that it is to be more strictly enforced. The British government (which is complicit in the one-child policy) is using the same manipulative tactics with regard to its sex education plans. Baroness Morgan's replying to Lord Alton is propaganda for its external critics, viz., Catholics, pro-lifers, conservative critics of its teenage pregnancy strategy. Ed Balls' comments to the Today programme is the reality clarified for the Labour government's natural supporters viz., secular humanists, who had been confused by the goverment's smokescreen concession (sic) to the Catholic Education Service (CES).

Bishop Malcolm McMahon, the CES's chairman, has replied to a critic of the CES, saying:
"The Catholic Education Service which I chair has been working very hard to secure the rights of parents and school governors as the Children, Schools and Families Bill passes through Parliament. There is no question of the CES colluding with the Government."
Really? As the bill has been passing through parliament, Oona Stannard, chief executive and director of the CES, has been been both helping draft and welcoming (as "a positive step forward") the government's draft sex education guidance, which is a veritable cornucopia of anti-life/anti-family ideas and practices.

The lesson from history applicable in this case were learnt by the Papacy last century. The Nazi regime began to violate the terms of the concordat between Germany and the Holy See as soon as it had been signed. This moved Pope Pius XI to write:
"[I]it will be every one's duty to sever his responsibility from the opposite camp, and free his conscience from guilty cooperation with such corruption. The more the enemies attempt to disguise their designs, the more a distrustful vigilance will be needed, in the light of bitter experience."
Comments on this blog? Email them to johnsmeaton@spuc.org.uk
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