Friday, 19 April 2013

Must-read pro-life news-stories, Fri 19 April

Top stories:

Government 's clumsy effort to appease sex-education lobby threatens parental rights
The Government's clumsy effort to appease the sex-education lobby threatens parental rights. SPUC was criticising comments about sex education by Elizabeth Truss, the education and childcare minister. Mrs Truss said in a letter published in The Times yesterday (15 April) that just as much sex education will be included in the new National Curriculum for England. Antonia Tully of SPUC's Safe at School campaign said: "There is no evidence that teaching primary age children about sex improves their sexual health as they grow up." [SPUC, 16 April]

Baroness Thatcher's voting record on pro-life and pro-family issues
Some SPUC supporters have asked for information about Lady Thatcher's parliamentary record on pro-life and pro-family issues. The following list is necessarily incomplete. In short, she:
  • voted for (what became) the Abortion Act 1967 at 2nd reading and at Report stage (voting many times for the bill during all-night sittings), though she was absent at 3rd reading
  • showed a mixed pattern of voting on several attempts by anti-abortion MPs to amend the Abortion Act (St John Stevas, Corrie, Alton)
  • supported the Human Fertilisation and Embryology bill (now Act) 1990, which enshrined destructive embryo research in law and via which the Abortion Act 1967 was extended with ministerial help
  • voted against the equalisation of the homosexual and heterosexual ages of consent (2000)
  • voted to retain section 28 (banning the promotion of homosexuality by local authorities) on 24 July 2000
  • voted against homosexual adoption (16 Oct. 2002)
  • voted against various anti-life/anti-family provisions of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology bill (now Act) 2008
Her record was mixed, with a move in a more positive direction in her later parliamentary years. John Smeaton, SPUC's chief executive, commented: "After we have prayed for the repose of her soul, we must renew our prayers that one day we will have clear pro-life leadership from our elected representatives." [John Smeaton, 18 April]

Other stories:

Abortion
Sexual ethics
Euthanasia
Population
General
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Thursday, 18 April 2013

Baroness Thatcher's voting record on pro-life and pro-family issues

I join with the large number of people at home and abroad who have been praying for the repose of the soul of Baroness (Margaret) Thatcher and the comforting of those who are bereaved at her departure. The vulnerability of human beings at both the beginning and the end of life is well summed-up in the following words sung at her funeral yesterday:
"We brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out ... Man that is born of a woman hath but a short time to live, and is full of misery. He cometh up, and is cut down, like a flower ... In the midst of life we are in death"
Secondly, some SPUC supporters have asked for information about Lady Thatcher's parliamentary record on pro-life and pro-family issues. The following list is necessarily incomplete. In short, she:
  • voted for (what became) the Abortion Act 1967 at 2nd reading and at Report stage (voting many times for the bill during all-night sittings), though she was absent at 3rd reading
  • showed a mixed pattern of voting on several attempts by anti-abortion MPs to amend the Abortion Act (St John Stevas, Corrie, Alton)
  • supported the Human Fertilisation and Embryology bill (now Act) 1990, which enshrined destructive embryo research in law and via which the Abortion Act 1967 was extended with ministerial help
  • voted against the equalisation of the homosexual and heterosexual ages of consent (2000)
  • voted to retain section 28 (banning the promotion of homosexuality by local authorities) on 24 July 2000
  • voted against homosexual adoption (16 Oct. 2002)
  • voted against various anti-life/anti-family provisions of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology bill (now Act) 2008
It is fair to say that her record was mixed, with a move in a more positive direction in her later parliamentary years. After we have prayed for the repose of her soul, we must renew our prayers that one day we will have clear pro-life leadership from our elected representatives.

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Tuesday, 16 April 2013

Government 's clumsy effort to appease sex-education lobby threatens parental rights

Elizabeth Truss, education and childcare minister
SPUC has criticised comments about sex education by Elizabeth Truss, the education and childcare minister. Mrs Truss said in a letter published in The Times yesterday (15 April) that just as much sex education will be included in the new National Curriculum for England.  A draft new curriculum has been issued for consultation, which closes today. The Government's clumsy effort to appease the sex-education lobby threatens parental rights.

Responding to Mrs Truss, Antonia Tully of the SPUC’s Safe at School campaign told the media:
“Mrs Truss has prejudged the outcome of the consultation which only closes today. The National Curriculum for science contains no reference to sex and relationships, but only to ‘reproduction’ - including plants and animals.

“Sex education is not currently part of the mandatory science curriculum and is included only in the non-statutory suggestions for PSHE lessons. A consultation exercise about the National Curriculum has been in progress since February."
In a submission to the consultation (full text) SPUC Safe at School points out that references to 'reproduction' in the science curriculum are being abused. Explicit sex-education resources are being used in mandatory science lessons for primary school children. In some cases, resources have simply been transferred to science periods to thwart parents' rights to object to what some have called 'kiddie-porn'. Parents are entitled to withdraw children from sex lessons, but schools can force parents to submit their children to attend science classes. 

Antonia continued:
“Sex education lessons are required to be appropriate to the age and cultural background of the children, but this requirement does not apply to what children are shown in science lessons. 

We believe the curriculum should make clear that it does not permit discussing explicit sexual matters with primary school children at Key Stages 1 and 2. In some ways, the draft new curriculum is an improvement on the current curriculum. It will no longer be possible for teachers to interpret the science curriculum at Key Stage 1 to include sex organs when teaching 5-6 year olds about basic body parts. However, the Year 5 programme of study requires children to describe reproduction in a variety of animals, and humans are included. This means that children aged 9-10 years may be subjected to graphic sex education from which their parents are powerless to withdraw them.

There is no evidence that teaching primary age children about sex improves their sexual health as they grow up."
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Monday, 15 April 2013

Must-read pro-life news-stories, Mon 15 Apr

Top story:

The Telegraph's adulation of IVF pioneer Robert Edwards is nauseating
SPUC has criticised the adulatory obituary written by The Telegraph newspaper following the death of Professor Sir Robert Edwards, the inventor of IVF. Anthony Ozimic, SPUC's communications manager, said: "The most notable things about Edwards is that IVF has resulted in the ending of the lives of millions of embryonic children, outnumbering over twenty-fold the number of children born following IVF. SPUC has often claimed that IVF is not primarily about helping couples with fertility problems but is driven by a desire of some scientists to 'play God' with human life."  [John Smeaton, 11 April]

Related story: I wish IVF had never been invented, says heartbroken journalist [Mail, 15 April]

Other stories:

Abortion
Embryology
Euthanasia
Sexual ethics
  • Argentina: Catholic priest expelled from church for supporting equal marriage [Pink News, 13 April]
  • US Republican Party votes to reaffirm opposition to same-sex marriage [Pink News, 13 April]
  • Same-sex marriage would end role of mother and father, says Irish Catholic bishop [Evening Echo, 13 April]
  • Uruguay Congress approves gay marriage bill [BBC, 11 April]
  • Archbishop says that Catholics who support same-sex marriage shouldn't receive Holy Communion [John Smeaton, 9 April]
Population
General
Comments on this blog? Email them to johnsmeaton@spuc.org.uk
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