Thursday, 6 December 2012

What SPUC thinks? Part one

I wrote about the Society for the Protection of the Unborn Child (SPUC) last week, detailing their involvement in Ireland and highlighting that (like almost all other 'pro-life' groups) that the majority of  their followers are US based, thanks to Geoff's Shorts. While doing my research on SPUC I couldn't help but note that they have some strange ideas about many issues so I felt they deserved another post or two.

SPUC's attitude to equal marriage rights
SPUC are unsurprisingly anti-same sex marriage, citing the various platitudes that we've come to know and hate during their campaign. They strive to create a difference between 'real' marriage and 'gay' marriage. Most reasonable people know there is no difference. However, SPUC maintain that they have to protect 'real' marriage in order to protect the unborn, citing that their statistics show that unborn children are "four or five times more likely to be aborted outside of real marriage". Now aside from the slur that same-sex marriage isn't 'real' marriage according to SPUC, could someone also enlighten me as to how same-sex marriage could lead to more abortions? If two men get married then, by virtue of their biology, neither of them could get pregnant, accidentally or otherwise, and therefore are highly unlikely to procure an abortion. Likewise,unless in the case of a tragic incident, if two women marry they would only find themselves with child after a long and carefully considered process, making it highly unlikely that they would seek an abortion; far less likely than a heterosexual woman in a traditional marriage who had gotten pregnant by accident.
I'm inclined to go with George Carlin on this one "Leave these f**kin people alone for chrissake!"
SPUC's campaign against marriage rights can be read here, although personally I would much prefer if you read Jason Wakefield's piece on The 31 arguments against gay marriage (and why theyre all wrong)

SPUC and contraception
Most people agree that abortion and contraception are fairly obviously linked. Most reasonable people agree that access to contraception and access to adequate sex education are vital in decreasing abortion rates. This is where the majority of pro-life groups divert. Religious pro-life groups like SPUC are vehemently opposed to contraception and what they refer to as 'explicit' sex education. 
Is this what they mean by explicit sex education?
Now to a certain extent I can accept if someone believes that contraception is wrong. However I loathe the false information regarding contraception that gets spewed from pro-life groups such as SPUC. SPUC have launched a "Safe at School" campaign, which sounds nice and all - I mean everyone wants children to be safe at school,right? However rather than being a campaign against bullying or how to be careful when crossing the road SPUC seem to view the teachers as the main danger. According to SPUC children as young as five are being "primed to become sexually active". Now in the past I have been involved with teaching sex education to secondary school students and let me tell you it's about as awkward for the teacher as it is for the students. I take the approach of giving clear facts,open and frank discussion but I certainly have never 'primed' any student to become sexually active. This is where SPUC start diverting again. Teenagers are curious about sex and the majority will have lost their virginity at or before the age of seventeen. Most parents and educators agree that the best thing we can do for them is to equip them with the facts and knowledge that will keep them safe.
SPUC are obviously against teaching students about contraception and alongside their opposition they begin to lie. According to SPUC many contraceptives, such as the contraceptive pill and the IUD coil, are abortifacients which is blatantly untrue. Education for Choice rightly ask "Is a young person ‘safe at school’ if they are deterred from using contraception for fear they may be causing abortion? Is a young woman who is told using contraception won’t be necessary following abortion ‘safe at school’?"

Since I haven't blogged this week, and since researching SPUC is quite head wrecking, I'm running this as a part one and will continue on with some more on SPUC soon.

1 comment:

  1. Regarding sex education I find it odd that some people apply reasoning which is exactly the reverse of using education to protect against other social problems. For example we demand that young people are taught to drive, and drive responsibly, we don't expect them to get the message by themselves. Driving is important. Poor or reckless driving could have negative or even fatal consequences.

    The dangers of substance abuse and drug taking are another issue that we attempt to address with education. It would be unthinkable to simply tell young people that drugs are bad, and expect them to get the message. We inform on the effects of drugs, and their consequences.

    People may still, and of course do, abuse substances and drugs. However at least we feel we have armed our young people with information, rather than ignorance. We know education is a shield against harm, and not a lightning rod.

    The only difference is that sexual education invokes shame and embarrassment in parents. Perhaps they don't trust their children to make responsible decisions. Regardless, groups that promote protection through ignorance are misleading and ignorant themselves.

    That SPUC and other groups have inserted their anti-science and unreasoned dogma into our schools is of great concern. Particularly if aspire to be a leading light for producing STEM students and building a knowledge economy.