Abortion Rights Blog

The national pro-choice campaign

Information, not Intimidation

A Times Education Supplement (TES) survey has revealed shocking information detailing SPUC’s radical anti-choice activism being allowed into UK schools.

Peddling harmful propaganda and myths about abortion, SPUC (the Society for the Protection of the Unborn Child) claims to be invited to hundreds of schools each year. Their operatives present images of aborted foetuses and dismembered limbs to children, images too graphic to print by the TES.

Given to children as young as 14, the presentations are often part of a school’s religious education syllabus. But far from being neutral, evidence-based information sessions about sexual health and reproductive rights, students are exposed to a radical ideological view, containing false and misleading information about the effects of abortion.

Teachers, policy advisors, the British Humanist Association and the Family Planning Association have all condemned the use of such images in schools. Abortion Rights thinks it is both shameful and unethical for such an organisation to continue to operate in schools under the guise of providing education to British youth.

This is not a new phenomenon: the Guardian reported concerns about SPUC and Life’s ‘educational’ activities back in 2008. And Education for Choice have long been advocating for young people’s right to receive accurate, evidence-based information about abortion and unplanned pregnancy.

Yet many people remain unaware that radical anti-choice organisations legitimately enter state secondary schools, at the schools’ invitation, to deliver teaching about abortion and sexual health. As Andrew Copson, chief executive of the British Humanist Association, says:

“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.”

It is vital to increase awareness of this problem among parents, teachers and governors. Abortion Rights has recently raised the issue with the National Union of Teachers, and we will be contacting the National Council of Parent Teacher Associations, the National Association of Head Teachers and the National Governors Association to ensure their members are fully aware of the nature of the material provided by such groups.

Although this problem will only be resolved when anti-choice organisations are banned from British schools, and when pupils’ entitlement to high quality Sex and Relationships Education is enshrined in law, there is much that pro-choice supporters can do on this issue. 

You can contact your local schools’ PTA, board of governors or head teacher; find out which groups are being invited to deliver RE or SRE lessons, and if they include anti-choice organisations – demand their removal and alert the local press! Pass on the info to Education for Choice so they can include it their nationwide audit of SRE provision, and tell Abortion Rights and we will use the information to campaign against this practice.

It is vital that all young people receive accurate evidence-based information about sexual and reproductive health – organisations such as SPUC have no place in its delivery or in the British education system as a whole.