Tuesday 6 April 2010

Huge pro-life and pro-family victory is won in British Parliament

In a significant victory for the pro-life and pro-family movement, the Government have agreed to delete their clauses on Personal, Social Health and Economic education (PSHE) contained in their Children, Schools and Families Bill.

SPUC had warned that the PSHE clauses in the bill would make sex and relationships education compulsory from 5 to 16 years and that government-backed resources for teaching primary school children, including some produced for Catholic schools, include explicit images of male and female sex organs, lessons on menstruation in mixed classes (boys and girls) and graphic details of sexual intercourse.

SPUC also warned that secondary schools, including faith schools, would face pressure to link sex and relationships education to contraception and abortion services. The government's advisers want confidential health clinics in all secondary schools so they can offer teenagers advice on contraception and abortion without their parents' knowledge. SPUC warned that the impact of this would be to damage teenagers' health, betray parents and destroy unborn lives.

Now that the election has been called, the Government have been forced to negotiate with the Opposition Parties in order to get as much of their legislation through as possible. This is known as the "wash up".

The Government Minister responsible for the Bill, Baroness Morgan (pictured) has now added her name to motions tabled by Baroness Verma (the Conservative spokesperson on education), Lord Alton of Liverpool - and co-sponsored by Baroness O'Loan - which effectively remove the offensive clauses in the bill.

This means that when the House of Lords passes the Children, Schools and Families Bill tomorrow evening, it will be minus the PSHE provisions. A huge pro-life victory.

Credit is due to all those who lobbied against a bill which SPUC has said would have been the biggest expansion of the culture of death through thousands of state schools in England - promoting abortion provision for children and simultaneously sounding the death knell for parents' right and responsibilities to be the primary educators and protectors of their children.

It seems that the Conservatives stood firm in their opposition to the sex and relationships education clauses in the bill, as did Lord Alton and Baroness O'Loan.

I would also pay tribute to over 100 Catholic headteachers and governors, three Catholic bishops and over three hundred clergy, both Catholic and from other denominations/faiths, who signed a letter to the Sunday Telegraph opposing the bill. The initiative was led by Norman Wells of the Family Education Trust. The massive support the letter received from leading Catholics showed just how out of touch the Catholic Education Service (CES) is with the concerns of the Catholics community in England and Wales. Tragically, as I reported over the weekend, Archbishop Nichols of Westminster said nothing in his Good Friday interview on BBC Radio to distance himself from the general support given by the Catholic Education Service ( acting on behalf of the Catholic bishops' conference of England and Wales) to the Government's plans on sex and relationships education. On the contrary. I will write more fully about this, later this week.

Comments on this blog? Email them to johnsmeaton@spuc.org.uk
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