Saturday, 5 May 2012

Pro-life victories at home and abroad

Every now and then it's good to "look on the bright side" and celebrate some of the achievements of the pro-life movement!  We do win some of the battles, so why not pause and take heart from some of the positive stories that have been in the pro-life news recently...?

Congratulations to SPUC's SAFE AT SCHOOL CAMPAIGN, and particularly campaign leader Antonia Tully, for the part it has played in getting the BBC to review its controversial sex education video.  The video, designed to be shown in primary schools, contained clips of animated figures making love, computer-generated images of men and women in explicit sexual positions and more - the Mail Online has an article here.  Altogether "much too much, much too soon" for nine-year-olds.  Antonia Tully addressed a meeting of concerned parents in Northampton and the MP for South Northamptonshire, Andrea Leadsome, got involved, to the extent of helping deliver SPUC's Safe at School petition to the Department of Education. She and a group of parents met with Schools Minister Nick Gibb who in turn raised concerns with the BBC, saying, "Parents are justifiably worried materials like this are being used in lessons."

Ms Leadsome's comment was, "This material is explicit.  It is shattering the innocence of childhood." Quite. We do seem intent on shortening that part of life known as "childhood" until it scarcely exists.  However we should bear in mind that whilst we may be able to do this in terms of destroying innocence and encouraging age-inappropriate behaviour and dress, we do not have the same power over children's minds and emotions, which remain that of children.  What short-term distress and long-term damage may we be doing through this premature sexualisation of the younger generations?  It is a culpably irresponsible abdication of our duty of care towards our children and the future society they will build.

Well done SPUC, Antonia and Andrea Leadsome for taking effective action!

It is good to remember that pro-life issues are global and that some of their most serious ramifications are felt in the developing world.  There has been a positive pro-life development at the UN too, namely at a session of the Commission on Population and Development (CPD). C-FAM reports via the Friday Fax that youth activists - sponsored by the likes of the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF), the Youth Coalition, and the International Women’s Health Coalition (IWHC) - failed in an attempt to "place controversial language in the [conference] outcome document that would undermine the right and responsibility of parents in the sexual education of their children and include sexual and reproductive health 'rights' as well as comprehensive sexuality education (CSE)." C-FAM says, "Though comprehensive sexual education was eventually included in the document, countries refused to mention it without reference to 'the rights, duties and responsibilities of parents' to provide 'appropriate direction and guidance on sexual and reproductive matters.'  Similarly, any reference to sexual and reproductive rights in the document was explicitly understood by countries not to include abortion as a method of family planning."

The Conference theme was "Adolescents and Youth", initially defined as being 10-24 years old, but happily countries were not willing to give the "sexual and reproductive rights" mentioned in the document to 10 year olds and this definition was not included.  The only reference to sexual orientation was also cut out.

In the end, as C-FAM tells us, "countries rejected [the demands of the youth activists for homosexual rights and abortions] and produced a fairly balanced outcome document that focuses on more pressing youth concerns like education, employment, health and development."  Phew.  One would sometimes think that lobbying for "sexual rights" completely trumps the need for action on poverty, famine, education, employment and other things that really do fundamentally affect human dignity and quality of life.

Finally, a rather heartening report from John Smeaton about the Faroe Islands where pro-life convictions are alive and well from governmental level downwards.

Deo gratias!

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