Saturday, 3 July 2010

Merseyside parents fight cartoon porn and for their rights as primary educators of their children

Christopher and Pauline Power are campaigning against what Christopher calls “cartoon porn”  in Higher Bebbington Junior School in Wirral, Merseyside, with the help of Antonia Tully (pictured), who runs SPUC's Safe at School campaign. "We want to encourage other parents to take a stand like Mr and Mrs Powers", Antonia says.

The cartoon porn occurs in Living and Growing, a DVD teaching aid designed by Channel 4, which Higher Bebbington Junior School now admits “ ... does trivialise the important messages...” .

One section, entitled ‘How Babies Are Made’ (listed as being suitable for seven year olds and upwards) shows a naked cartoon couple having a pillow-fight and chasing each other before having sex in different positions. It includes a narrator talking about physical changes during sex, which is described as “very exciting for both as they feel happy being together.” The voiceover promotes sex as "exciting" and "fun" and with a child’s voice saying ‘they look so happy together.’

Christopher and Pauline Power whose son attends the Higher Bebington Junior School in Wirral were invited to a preview of the DVD and expressed their concern to the school about the graphic nature of the footage arguing that it removed the innocence of children. They said that the DVD presents sexual intercourse as "fun", with no reference to the dangerous consequences of encouraging children to mimic the video or even to start experimenting with sex.

The couple also took issue with a letter sent home from the school about the DVD which contained no mention of the footage of sexual intercourse and which stated that it was about issues concerning puberty.

Following their intervention, the school, which has been showing the DVD for the last four years, reviewed the material and concluded that “ does trivialise the important messages...” . The school decided to edit that section for future showings. The Powers are continuing to campaign against the DVD.

This story highlights the Government’s continued efforts to enforce Sex and Relationships Education (SRE) in schools through a variety of methods regardless of the beliefs and wishes of children’s parents. The Powers rightly point out that this contravenes their role as parents and the duty of schools to safeguard children.  Christopher Power says:
“As parents we believe that our son should be educated at the appropriate time and with good quality material not with this questionable material that has parents up and down the country crying out against it. Britain has the highest teenage pregnancies in Europe and thousands of these DVDs have been sold to our schools.
“Parents have a duty to safeguard the well-being of their children and they have a right to be properly consulted. We are calling for schools to have greater transparency as, often, parents are not told the contents of these DVDs in detail as you would with any other DVD at home.
“We as a society have the responsibility of helping our children learn, but also to have a childhood. We as parents feel that the dangers within sex education should be stated and taught, and I know that from what my wife and I have seen so far there is no mention of the dangers — this should be a basic duty.]
“The school should listen to them; but unfortunately parents rarely are listened to. Let’s not allow our Government or Channel 4 to dictate to us as parents what is an appropriate time. Let’s not take away the responsibility of the parents and, in doing so, place sensitive issues in the school which they are not getting right.”
Christopher and Pauline Powers have contacted the SPUC for support and advice. Antonia Tully of the Society's Safe at School Campaign said, “Any parents concerned about the Living and Growing DVD or any other video being shown at their children’s school should request to review the material. Parents have the option to withdraw their child from lessons in which such DVDs are shown.”

Mr and Mrs Powers have stated that they will march to 10 Downing Street if necessary to protect children from such graphic materials being promoted in schools. You can email support to the Powers at and you can contact SPUC's Safe at School campaign at 020 7091 7091

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Friday, 2 July 2010

Royal Society of Medicine debate on assisted suicide

On Wednesday the Royal Society of Medicine (RSM) hosted a day conference and evening debate on the ethics of assisted suicide. Anthony Ozimic, SPUC's communications manager, was in attendance and has sent me some of his observations (some marked [AO]).

Lord MacKay, a former Lord Chancellor, was the day's first main speaker. He spoke about the findings of the 2005 House of Lords select committee on Lord Joffe's assisted suicide bill, which he chaired. The committee found that:
  • accurate prognosis of terminal illness is virtually impossible at a distance of months
  • disease can interfere with a patient's mental competence
  • Lord Joffe admitted to the committee that the definition of suffering in his bill was a subjective test (i.e. determined by the sufferer) not objective (i.e. determined independently).
Lord MacKay also said that: 
  • the suffering of a person requesting assisted suicide may arise not from illness but from non-physical causes (i.e. death of a life-long partner). The real reason for their suffering may therefore be hidden under another reason
  • opinion polls are not a good guide to public opinion due to knee-jerk answers to simplistic questions.
Professor David Albert Jones, a bioethicist, argued that:
  • there are two types of slippery slope, one empirical (based on observation of data) and one logical (based on connections between rational arguments)
  • acceptance of voluntary euthanasia concedes the idea that suicide or euthanasia is a benefit (i.e. good) for some people, that their lives are not worth living and that they are better off dead
  • to allow the (supposed) benefit of euthanasia to those who can consent (voluntary euthanasia) but deny that same benefit to those who cannot consent (non-voluntary euthanasia) would be to discriminate against those who cannot consent (i.e. the mentally disabled)
  • the legalisation of death on request will therefore threaten the vulnerable
  • doctors shouldn't offer patients things they don't think will be of benefit to the patient.
Professor Jones also cited evidence of the empirical slippery slope. Under the euthanasia regime in The Netherlands, there have been hundreds of reported cases of lives having been ended without request or consent. This practice is officially condoned and such deaths are not treated seriously as unlawful killing. There is a lack of outrage about this because it has been widely accepted that suicide or euthanasia can be a benefit.

Professor Bregje D. Onwuteaka-Philipsen, a Dutch pro-euthanasia academic, said:
  • in The Netherlands, cases of euthanasia deemed compliant with the law by euthanasia tribunals (comprised of an ethicist, a lawyer and a doctor) mean such cases are never seen by the public prosecutor
  • under the Dutch law, the qualifying criterion of suffering is not limited to physical suffering but can include psychiatric conditions
  • statistics suggest that there was a fall in the numbers of cases of euthanasia and assisted suicide between 2001 and 2005 and an increase in cases of pain alleviation. Prof. Jones said that he suspects that this means that euthanasia is being hidden under the guise of pain alleviation in the form of continuous deep sedation
  • statistics suggest that between 2001 and 2005 there was a big increase in the number of doctors who say that they will never perform euthanasia
  • 20% of euthanasia cases are not reported.
During the question-and-answer session, Dr Simon Kenwright of the Voluntary Euthanasia Society (now air-brushed as Dignity in Dying) said that in Britain "we already practise passive euthanasia through the withdrawing and withholding of therapy". I don't think his VES/DID colleagues will be happy about that admission. They deny that withdrawing and withholding of therapy (e.g. Bland, the Mental Capacity Act) can constitute euthanasia, and they now claim to oppose euthanasia!

Baroness O'Neill, a leading moral philosopher, said:
  • the ancient Greeks only spoke of communities, not individuals, as autonomous
  • Immanuel Kant, the 18th-century German philosopher, never spoke of autonomous individuals but only of autonomous principles (i.e. objective principles from independent, accepted sources)
  • autonomy today is deemed to be individual independence
  • there is no consensus today on the definition of autonomy, its criteria or limits
  • suicide is different from many choices in that it is irrevocable
  • she has received many letters from people saying that they will come under pressure if assisted suicide is allowed, because they are not in a position to be very independent.
Professor Paul Badham, an Anglican academic, made (what he claimed to be) a Christian case for legalising assisted suicide. He claimed that:
  • Jesus and St Paul were not martyrs but positively chose and actively sought death [AO: There is no evidence for this regarding St Paul; and Jesus' prayer to His Father after the Last Supper (Matt. 26:42) explicitly contradicts Badham's claim.]
  • many Christians before St Augustine's time followed the Stoics' belief in favour of suicide [AO: They were not Christians but Gnostics, who in the Middle Ages were known as Cathars or Albigensians. It says a lot about Badham's Christianity that he mistakes Gnostics for Christians.]
  • in the Old Testament the Fifth Commandment "Thou shalt not kill" had many exceptions [AO: There were and are no direct exceptions to the Fifth Commandment. As St Augustine explained the instances in the Old Testament to which Badham refers "by no means violated the [Fifth] commandment".]
  • St Augustine "added to the Fifth Commandment the words 'thyself or another'" [AO: St Augustine added nothing to the Fifth Commandment but in fact explained why those words were absent from it.]
  • Catholic opposition to assisted suicide is like the opposition by Christians to pain killers and epidurals and to the Catholic Church's ban on family planning [AO: The Catholic Church has never opposed pain killers, epidurals or family planning, though by "family planning" Badham probably means contraception and maybe abortion.]
  • the embracing of suffering in the life and teaching of the late Pope John Paul II contradicts a correct Christian understanding of medical treatment [AO: It's clear from this claim, as well as his claim about the deaths of Jesus and St Paul, that Badham both rejects biblical teaching on the value of suffering and simply doesn't understand many basic dynamics of human living e.g. resignation, opportunity, sacrifice.]
Michael Langrish, the Anglican bishop of Exeter, said that:
  • many people's experience of medical care is not of exercising autonomy but of being under the thumb of impersonal bureaucracy.
  • unlimited autonomy and choice do not address the needs of all human beings and therefore threaten to undermine the sanctity and dignity of all human beings
  • once a moral principle has been breached it often becomes to very difficult to police the boundaries.
He suggested four principles for approaching the debate on assisted suicide, in this hierarchical order:
  1. affirming life
  2. caring for the vulnerable (He argued that the danger to the vulnerable from allowing assisted suicide trumps any distress that may be caused by banning assisted suicide)
  3. building communities
  4. respecting individuals.
He also argued that:
  • allowing assisted suicide would contradict the government's suicide prevention strategy
  • examples of a bad death are not arguments for a bad law but a reason for good deaths and good laws.
Peter Carter, head of the Royal College of Nursing (RCN), tried unconvincingly to explain why the RCN has moved from a position of opposition to assisted suicide to a position of neutrality. Ominously, he told us that the RCN is consulting with a wider range of stakeholders on the issue. To me, this is officialese for saying that he's moving the RCN in the direction of endorsing assisted suicide.

Sir Graeme Catto, former president of the General Medical Council (GMC), also ominously explained that the GMC has moved beyond proscribing bad things for doctors to do, to advising doctors about how they can be good doctors. He gave his personal view in favour of allowing assisted suicide, saying that:
  • assisted suicide is not, or at least should not be treated as, primarily a medical matter
  • the risks entailed in allowing assisted suicide cannot be eliminated.
Ann McPherson, a doctor from Oxford, said that:
"I don't agree that every suicide is a tragedy. It can be a celebration, as a person can die with much more dignity."
Thus Dr McPherson argued that suicide is a benefit and that not to kill yourself may be undignified - thus neatly conceding Prof. Jones's arguments!

Baroness Jane Campbell, the disabled anti-euthanasia peer, argued that:
  • disabled people have to deal with fear and prejudice
  • it was said of her as a child that she would be better off dead
  • allowing assisted suicide contradicts suicide prevention. If one tries to commit suicide on one's own, society will try to prevent one, but if one seeks assistance, society wants to provide it
  • not one organisation of, or for, disabled people supports changing the law in order to allow assisted suicide
  • it's when disabled people aren't given the support they need that they start having suicidal thoughts
  • the law should not be changed because of a few people's perceived hopelessness.
Lord Joffe, the leading promoter in the House of Lords of assisted suicide, claimed that:
  • assisted suicide is a natural development of refusal of treatment which ends in death [AO: which is true where the intention is euthanasist e.g. as possible via the Mental Capacity Act.]
  • assisted suicide involves the provision of "life-ending medication" [AO: not medication but poison]
  • there is no evidence of abuse in The Netherlands under its assisted suicide and euthanasia law [AO: even though hundreds of patients have been killed without their consent or request!]
  • the director of public prosecutions (DPP)'s final policy on assisted suicide gives broader, not narrower, scope for assisted suicide by not specifying the deceased's disability as a factor.
Lord Carlile QC, the anti-euthanasia peer, said that:
  • the debate on Lord Joffe's bill had more speakers than any other debate ever in the House of Lords
  • coroners don't want to be involved in assisted suicide, and neither will judges, courts etc
  • nothing in Lord Joffe's proposals will protect weak and persuadable persons from vested family interests.
Professor Raymond Tallis, a retired physician:
  • spoke of "unbearable suffering prolonged by medical care" "inflicted on the patient" [AO: Yet medical care doesn't prolong or inflict suffering. Such results would be the antithesis of medical care.]
  • claimed that "respect for individual autonomy is a sovereign principle" [AO: Yet no legal system has ever regarded respect for individual autonomy as a sovereign principle. Human rights instruments (e.g. the European Convention on Human Rights) and national constitutions (e.g. the US Constitution) always make individual autonomy, and respect for it, subject to higher prior rights (e.g. the right to life) and common goods (e.g. protection of vulnerable classes). This is true even if sometimes courts interpret such instruments and constitutions in a contrary, false way (e.g. Roe v. Wade, in which the US Supreme Court declared abortion to be a constitutional right.)
  • admitted that well-off, middle-class, white, patients with strong personalities are over-represented in the cases of assisted suicide in the American state of Oregon [AO: This proves that laws allowing assisted suicide serve the vested interests of the strong, rather than helping the weak.]
Baroness O'Loan pointed out that:
  • there is no specialist palliative care, nor hospice system as we know it, in Oregon
  • article two (right to life) of the Human Rights Act needs to be the starting point in the consideration of assisted suicide
  • there is evidence of patients in The Netherlands choosing euthanasia out of fear of being left in pain, because of the lack of palliative care
A vote was held and the motion in favour of assisted suicide was rejected by a large margin.

Earlier this month the British Medical Association (BMA) issued a strong guidance statement warning doctors against any involvement, even indirect, in assisted suicide. Yesterday the BMA's annual representative meeting (ARM) passed a motion which points out that palliative care and other forms of patient support almost entirely eliminate requests for assisted suicide.

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Thursday, 1 July 2010

Professor John Finnis is misrepresented in Catholic Herald interview

Earlier this week I blogged on what I called a "flawed account" from Archbishop Peter Smith on the pro-life battle over the Mental Capacity Act and its outcome in an interview published in The Catholic Herald.

Here's a message I've since received from John Finnis (pictured), professor of law and legal philosophy, at University College, Oxford University. He writes:
Dear Mr Smeaton,

Many of the points you make about the bad features and likely bad effects of the Mental Capacity Act 2005 are quite justified. I would just like to say that the interview which attracted your comment was mistaken in saying that I drafted the "not motivated by a desire" clause. (I don't know whether the mistake is the interviewer's or interviewee's.)

The only clause I drafted was one in terms of "a purpose of bringing about death", which would have been even stronger than the one you favour in terms of "intention". Amendments in my terms were voted down by the Government's supporters in Parliament, in both Houses, and instead the Commons inserted a wholly unsatisfactory Government-drafted clause known as the "Howarth amendment". Archbishop Smith and I jointly protested about this, and the Government came up with its final offer -- the "motivated by a desire" clause now in the Act. Though dismayed from the outset by this formula, I discovered that in other legal contexts the phrase "motivated by a desire" has been interpreted in the courts as equivalent to "intention". So I advised the Archbishop that this was better than nothing, and that if properly interpreted by a careful court it would be positively useful -- though if loosely interpreted it would be virtually useless. At no point did Archbishop Smith cease to favour the adoption of a "purpose" amendment in preference to the Government-imposed "motivated by a desire".

In my article "The Mental Capacity Act 2005: Some Ethical and Legal Issues" in Helen Watt (ed.), Incapacity and Care (Linacre Centre, 2009) 95-105 I cite (p. 101) the relevant legal precedents for a proper interpretation of the clause, and I hope that when the time comes counsel -- perhaps instructed by SPUC -- will deploy them, and to good effect.

At p. 99 I say that "it is seriously defective legislation, and I would, I think, have voted against it" had I been a member of Parliament. (The issue is not utterly straightforward, since the legal and practical situation before the Act was also deeply unsatisfactory and in danger of getting very much worse quite quickly.)

It would be quite unhistorical, and a shame from my point of view, if your phrase "the Finnis amendment" caught on.

Best regards,

John Finnis
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Tony Blair is a fitting icon for the 21st century

Yesterday I reported that the media were applauding news of a new blood test which will promote the genocide of the disabled.

How very appropriate, then, that we should learn in today's news that Tony Blair (pictured), the former British prime minister, who has devoted so much of his political career to building the culture of death in Britain and overseas, has been named by the US National Constitution Centre as the winner of its prestigious Liberty Medal for 2010.

After all, it was undoubtedly in the name of "liberty":
  • that Tony Blair voted in 1990 for abortion up to birth three times during Parliamentary debates on what became the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 1990 - a provision which applies specifically to disabled babies
  • that he personally championed destructive experiments on human embryos
  • that his government enacted legislation which allows, and in certain circumstances requires, doctors to starve and dehydrate to death vulnerable patients
- all of them policies and legislation he has refused to repudiate since becoming a Catholic.

It's also unquestionably in the name of "liberty" that Tony Blair, whilst in Parliament supported laws, policies and practices which mean that additional rules now apply  bringing down the force of the law upon:
What a fitting icon Tony Blair is for the age in which we live! It's in this context that we should congratulate him for winning the Liberty Medal for 2010.

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Wednesday, 30 June 2010

New blood test to promote genocide of the disabled is applauded in today's press

story in today's Telegraph about "a cheap blood test that could allow doctors to check unborn children for Down's syndrome" is arguably the most significant news of the 21st century. This is not hyperbole. It's arguably the most significant news this century because it illustrates the culture of death in which we are living at its very worst.

Consider the following:

Dr Suzanna Frints, of Maastricht University Medical Centre in the Netherlands, who carried out the research on the new test, said that she hoped all women in the world [my emphasis] would be offered this test, according to the Telegraph report.

Dr Frints and her colleagues were reporting on their findings at the 26th annual meeting of the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology in Rome.

Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology News reports Dr Frints as saying: “This is innovative translational research, and when we succeed in developing the MLPA procedure for use in maternal blood, we will be able to offer a safe, cheap, fast, reliable, and accurate noninvasive test, which will be of immediate benefit to pregnant women [my emphasis].”

The significance of a "non-invasive test" is explained by the Telegraph's report that amniocentesis, an invasive process which involves taking a sample of fluid from around the foetus, "can, in some cases, cause a miscarriage even if the woman is carrying a healthy foetus [my emphasis]".

Given that there's no cure for Down's Syndrome, it's crystal clear that the "immediate benefit to pregnant women" is that they will know they are carrying a child with Down's syndrome who can be killed by abortion without the prior risk of a test which may accidentally kill a child without Down's syndrome.

In summary: A story appeared today on the front page of the Telegraph in the UK and in scores of other news outlets throughout the world which, with a terrifying lack of irony, reports on scientific researchers publicly applauding as a possible breakthrough a new test for mothers-to-be throughout the world which will target the killing of some of the sweetest, most innocent, most vulnerable, most loving human beings on earth.  To add insult to fatal injury, these loving children are dismissed with the inaccurate, contemptuous, term "unhealthy foetuses".

Tragically, in Britain, abortion up to birth for disabled babies was legalised by Parliament in 1990. Those who support such selective killings include David Cameron, the British Prime Minister, whose support for abortion of the disabled up to birth he has made quite clear. He is, in my view, supporting genocide. If I might plagiarize Fr Fleming's paper "Developing a global understanding of the inviolability of life from conception to natural death in and through the international institutions":

The questions David Cameron and others need to address are these: How is it not genocide to define some members of the human family as non-persons, thereby allowing them to be directly and intentionally killed by induced abortion? How is it not genocide to legally prescribe and actively promote the induced abortion of human beings on the grounds of their actual or perceived disability? If it could be shown that homosexuality was genetically influenced, and homosexuality was thought of as a disability, would the routine abortion of homosexuals be considered the crime of genocide against homosexuals?

You might like to read Fr Fleming's paper and his full section on the Genocide Convention here.

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Tuesday, 29 June 2010

Archbishop Smith's account of the pro-life battle is flawed

Most. Rev. Peter Smith, the new Catholic archbishop of Southwark, London, gave an interview recently to Anna Arco of The Catholic Herald. She writes:
"When I ask [Abp. Smith] about what he considers the greatest success and the greatest disappointment in terms of his parliamentary work, he cites the Mental Capacity Act for the former and the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act for the latter. In both cases, Archbishop Smith was heavily involved in consultations with the Government and civil servants, pointing out weaknesses in the Government’s legislation and getting MPs to table amendments. He says the Government wasn’t aware of the loopholes left in the Mental Capacity Act, because of its definition of euthanasia as a positive act – a needle injecting a fateful dose – rather than euthanasia by omission, by inappropriate withdrawal of care or withholding of treatment. After 18 months of discussions the Church managed to persuade the Government to close the loopholes and include a clause, drafted by Professor John Finnis of Oxford University, which stated that whatever was done, it should never be done motivated by a desire to kill someone."
The truth of the matter is:
  • none of the bill's loopholes were closed
  • the government's amendments were cosmetic changes designed to make legalised euthanasia by omission respectable
  • the Finnis amendment was (at best) defective and (at worst) helped defuse opposition to the bill
  • it is sadly a matter of public record that Abp. Smith publicly opposed SPUC’s campaign on the Mental Capacity Bill. He welcomed the Bill, accepted the Government’s assurances that the Bill would not enshrine in law euthanasia by neglect, and co-operated with the Government in ensuring its passage through Parliament.
The Mental Capacity Act 2005 enshrines deliberate killing by omission in statute. It does this in a number of ways:
  • by re-drawing (or removing) crucial medical and legal principles and distinctions, including the presumption in favour of life, liability/negligence, patient consent, the medical treatment/basic care distinction;
  • by extending, in statute, the possible scope to a much wider range of incapacitated patients of the Law Lords' Bland judgment (a judgement which permitted Tony Bland, a PVS patient, to be dehydrated to death);
  • by establishing a new test for patients' "best interests", with no reference to existing criteria;
  • by giving overriding force to advance refusals of treatment, including suicidal ones;
  • by allowing proxy decision-makers to make deliberately life-ending decisions for incapacitated patients.
The Finnis amendment crucially referred only to excluding decisions only where the decision-maker is motivated by a desire to kill, rather than simply having an intention to kill. If challenged, those complicit in the patient's death can claim that they were simply motivated by a desire to end the patient’s suffering, fulfil the patient’s living will, act in the patient's "best interests", etc. Thus, the Finnis amendment would only possibly detect people with pronounced homicidal tendencies such as mass murderer Dr Harold Shipman - and even then only after such killers may have been brought to court. The Finnis amendment was no substitute for real amendments prohibiting any act or omission which of itself and by intention causes death. The Finnis amendment does not prevent the Act's key mechanisms from being used and abused to kill vulnerable patients.

On the issue of assisted suicide, Abp. Smith's account to Anna Arco leaves the impression that his lobbying was successful in putting to rights draft policy on the prosecution of assisted suicide cases. Indeed, sadly, Abp Smith welcomed the director of public prosecutions (DPP)'s final policy, which blunts the ban on assisted suicide.

Abp. Smith also told Anna Arco:
"I don’t understand why they want to liberalise abortion law because it is as liberal as it could get."
This is simply wrong. There are many ways in which the Abortion Act 1967 continues to restrict abortion, both in law and in practice. Abortion remains in general a criminal offence in English law, under the Offences Against The Person Act 1861. There is thus no right to abortion in English law - a crucial bulwark against the international pro-abortion lobby's incesssant attempts to have abortion declared a fundamental human right in international law. Abortion is not, both in English law and in practice, treated as any other medical procedure. Two doctors must attest that at least one of the several grounds for abortion in the Abortion Act 1967 have been satisfied before authorising an abortion. Doctors can - and sometimes do - decline to authorise an abortion. In addition, the Act's conscience clause helps keep pro-life doctors within the medical profession. These safeguards, whilst flawed and often abused, both save lives and send negative messages about abortion.

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Sunday, 27 June 2010

Urge government to resist SRE amendment to Academies Bill

Amendments to the Academies Bill currently in the House of Lords raise the possibility of Sex and Relationships Education (SRE) becoming an issue in the forthcoming Education Bill.

Crossbench Peer, Lord Northbourne, has tabled amendment number 70 to the Bill which states that, “Academy arrangements must include terms imposed for the purpose of securing that—
(a) every pupil in the Academy has the benefit of age-appropriate Personal, Social and Health Education; and
(b) every pupil over the age of 14 has the benefit of age appropriate education about relationships including sex and sexual relationships and also with special emphasis on the needs of young children and the responsibilities and challenges of parenthood.”

This amendment will be moved when the Committee stage resumes on Monday 28 June.
Please e-mail one or more of the peers below, asking them to oppose Amendment 70.

There is a danger that peers will be using this amendment to attempt to put pressure on the new Coalition Government to reassert the claim that comprehensive SRE helps cut abortion.

The Academies Bill would enable more schools in England to become academies. The Government expects a significant number of academies to open in September 2010, and for the number to grow each year.

Government peers:
Baroness Anelay of St Johns (Chief Whip), Lord Shutt of Greetland (Deputy Chief Whip), Lord Hill of Oareford (Bill Minister), Lord De Mauley, Lord Taylor of Holbeach, Baroness Verma, Earl Attlee, Lord Bates, Lord Marland, Baroness Warsi, Earl Howe, Lord McColl of Dulwich
Opposition peers:
Baroness Royall of Blaisdon (Leader of the Opposition), Lord Hunt of Kings Heath (Deputy Leader), Lord Bassam of Brighton (Opposition Chief Whip), Crossbench peers: Baroness Cox, Lord Alton

You can find email addresses for Lords via (Please SPUC know if you experience any problems using this list).

Please forward any replies you receive to
More information can be found in:
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