Wednesday, 17 March 2010

We are not required to provide abortion info: official!

There was a question raised in the House of Lords on 11th March by that veteran campaigner, Lord Alton. Here is the Hansard record:

Children, Schools and Families Bill


Asked by Lord Alton of Liverpool

    To ask Her Majesty's Government whether the Children, Schools and Families Bill will place a requirement on Catholic, Jewish, Anglican and Muslim voluntary aided schools to provide children with details of abortion clinics and abortion referral agencies. [HL2447]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Children, Schools and Families (Baroness Morgan of Drefelin): It will not. Schools will have to teach their pupils where and how to obtain health information. They will also be encouraged to teach their pupils how to access information about contraception and sexual health as part of their delivery of SRE, but whether and how they do that will be at their discretion.

'Whether and how they do that will be at their discretion'
So, after all, we are not required to provide information about abortion or contraception. A******a! (it still being Lent). Now, (another question), why haven't the Catholic Education Service noticed this yet (the question and reply having been put last week)? Or, if they have noticed it, why haven't they drawn our attention to it?
Many thanks to a friend for this information, who, I believe, would prefer to remain anonymous.


Anonymous said...

That's great news. Thank you.

Ttony said...

Father, they will have to teach children where and how to access health information. Who defines what "health information" is, and who defines what adequate teaching children how to access this information is?

Good on David Alton! But I'm afraid it would be a bit naive to think that we have won this battle, at least as long as this Government is in power.

Pastor in Monte said...

Of course you are right; however any good news is very welcome right now.

Fr Ray Blake said...

I wish I could share your enthusiasm.

What Baroness Morgan says doesn't quite reflect the words of the text of the bill.

Remember too, the bill introduces education according to the passing whim of the Secretary of State, it gives him extraordinary powers to determine curricula.

Bishop McMahon wrote to one of my parishioners warning of Gov't misinformation, admittedly saying the CES alone could be trusted.

Furthermore, in passing, as Catholics we are concerned about children being introduced those things contrary to the Natural Law, not just Catholic children!

Sussex Catholic said...

As with so much of the legislation that this government has produced over the last decade the drafting is of a poor quality and leaves it open to a variety of interpretations. As with all legislation introduced in this country the responsibility for interpreting the legislation will fall to judges when legal challenges are brought for non- compliance. In those situations a strict literal and grammatical definition will be applied and whilst the history leading up to the particular statute can be examined to determine particular meaning Hansard is not admissible as a source to do this. Unfortunately the wording of the amendment is too "woolly" to ensure that it provides the level of exemption necessary. Had the CES really tried to assist they should have sought something along the lines of "nothing in this legislation shall require any school of a religious character to act against the teachings of its particular religion in the application of these provisions." Sadly what we are left with will almost certainly be interpreted by the courts as requiring faith schools to abide by the legislation for otherwise why introduce it?

Anthony Ozimic said...

Many thanks for your bloggings and action regarding the bill. As with Ttony, Fr Blake and Sussex Catholic, I feel however that Baroness Morgan's answer doesn't provide the necessary protection. There is an analysis of her answer on John Smeaton's blog. Oremus pro invicem, old friend!

On the side of the angels said...

'health information' is the sticking point isn't it Father ?

I'm sory but I don't think this changes anything ; nor would I trust any of Baroness Morgan's reassurances.

Father John Boyle said...

Why not? Because they don't believe it. Ed Balls has made it perfectly clear what is to be expected. Sorry, Father, but I'm not optimistic.

fidelisjoff said...

Even if the bill is booted out we are still losing as the CES is happy with teaching that which contradicts the magisterium as their view is "information is not formation" and schools do the Catholic bit. Our former primate was a strong advocate of this, in my opinion a dissenting approach, only too keen to encourage the view that Rome was extreme or only set ideals none can live to. I am surprised that many faithful Catholics believe our schools are faithful. They are not with rare exceptions. Changing them requires faithful Headteachers, unfortunately being catholic excites them as the pond is smaller and the chances greater, and as they develop their OFSTED cloned behaviour their faith, in most cases, is a tick box passport to succeed materially and in status and nothing to do with serving the King of kings.

Dominic Mary said...

Sussex Catholic has hit the nail on the head : it will ultimately fall to the judiciary to determine exactly what the final Act means . . . and given that the present trend is for 'purposive construction' (in the determination of which Hansard can in certain circumstances be admissible), I don't think we're out of the wood yet.

In fact I suspect that the poll the other day showing that some 34% of voters actively want a 'hung parliament' is our best hope; because with one of those, nonsenses such as this, which will alienate multiple large sectors of the electorate, will (I believe) rapidly disappear from sight.

gemoftheocean said...

Don't trust them, Fr. Sean, as far as you can throw a grand piano

Mike said...

Dominic Mary

I am not as optimistic as you are about the usefulness of a hung Parliament. A hung Parliament will put the Liberal Democrats in a position where they can actually have an effect on legislation. If they put Labour back into power they are highly likely to support anything anti-Christian which Labour decides to promote. In the 1974 hung Parliament the Liberals were the moderate party operating to oppose the more extreme tendencies of the Labour Party (and the Conservative Party). The Liberal Democrats in the twenty-first century are a completely different party to the 1970s Liberal Party. With a few exceptions such as Vince Cable they are only really bothered about what they think of as ‘liberal’ issues and that, for them, mainly means jumping to Stonewall’s tune. In this respect they are more extreme than Labour. At least the Labour Party contains some moderating voices. In the Liberal Democrats anybody who doesn’t toe the party line keeps their heads well down.

Mike Telford said...

Father, I was delighted to read your article entitled "We are not required...". Today however I received my copy of "Pro-Life News". This suggested a rather different story, more in line with Fr. Boyle's post (18/3/10 17.21). Notice the use of the weasel words 'sexual health', the Nu-Lab-speak expression for abortion. But then, when we have government by the expenses-fiddlers for the expenses-fiddlers, ought we to be surprised?