London, England, Mar 17, 2010 / 22:28 pm
The House of Lords in Britain is currently debating a new bill that will require Catholic schools to provide, among other things, “non-judgmental” information on access to abortion and contraception to students as part of a new sex education initiative. In response, one Catholic politician has called the new legislation “radical” and “a crisis of conscience for parents and teachers alike.”
According to Britain's Catholic Herald, the new Sex and Relationships Education (SRE) will be required for children as young as five and will forbid parents from removing their children from sex education classes once they turn fifteen.
The Hon. Edward Balls, an MP who backed the legislation, told the BBC on Feb. 23 that under the new bill, Catholic schools will “have to teach that there are different views on homosexuality. They cannot teach homophobia. They must explain civil partnerships. They must give a balanced view on abortion. They must give both sides of the argument. They must explain how to access an abortion. The same is true on contraception as well.”
House of Lords member David Alton, who is Catholic, said earlier this week that the bill “seeks to take away powers from schools and parents by placing sex and relationship education (SRE) on to the national curriculum and removing the parental right to withdraw children for the last year at school.”