The BHA has called for greater legal powers to ensure that pupils have access to evidence-based information on abortion after a Times Educational Supplement (TES) investigation revealed that the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children (SPUC), a radical anti-abortion group, has significantly expanded its schools programme in recent months.
SPUC has reported growing numbers of invitations to schools and told the TES it makes visits on an ‘almost daily basis’. Its presentations include images of aborted foetuses and dismembered limbs that the TES deemed too graphic to print. The presentations – which are often given as part of a school’s religious education syllabus – also contain false and misleading information about the effects of abortion.
The BHA is calling on the government to make sex and relationships education, including impartial facts about abortion, a statutory entitlement for all pupils and to issue clear guidance to schools to ensure external visitors are appropriate.
BHA chief executive Andrew Copson said:
‘Many parents will be shocked to discover that these groups have such a foothold in our education system. SPUC’s views are completely out of step with the majority of the public who have a liberal and progressive attitude to abortion.’
‘All young people have a right to objective and impartial information about abortion. The only way to guarantee that is to make sex education a statutory entitlement for all pupils and for balanced, non-judgmental discussion of abortion to be an integral part of the syllabus. In addition the government should issue schools with very clear guidance to ensure that external visitors genuinely contribute to pupils’ learning and do not present myth and propaganda.’
For further comment or information, contact Andrew Copson at email@example.com or 07534 248596.
The British Humanist Association (BHA) is the national charity representing and supporting the non-religious and campaigning for an end to religious privilege and discrimination. The BHA has a decades-long history working in education, not only working for inclusive schools but also developing and providing resources for teachers, parents and pupils on curriculum subjects including RE and Citizenship Education.