73% oppose compulsory abortion lessons in Northern Ireland schoolsAbortion
More than 7 in 10 respondents to a consultation opposed plans for compulsory abortion lessons in NI schools, it has emerged.
Asked about abortion lessons in revised Relationships and Sexuality Education (RSE):
- 73.17% of respondents opposed the idea
- 23.84% of respondents supported the idea
- 2.89% neither agreed nor disagreed
The UK Government passed regulations last year to change RSE lessons in Northern Ireland, without consulting NI citizens.
After pressure from a number of groups, ministers agreed to carry out a consultation, which received 13,461 responses.
Despite overwhelming opposition to pro-abortion teaching in the consultation, the new lessons are set to go ahead.
Changes to the RSE curriculum will come into effect from 1 July, with guidance on what must be taught published last week.
The guidance provides template emails for parents of children at some stages to opt out of abortion lessons.
Mark Lambe of the Campaign Against RSE said the guidance may be challenged by the UK Government. He commented:
"It is clear from the consultation responses that parents reject outright the changes to RSE that have been imposed by the Secretary of State".
"What is also clear is that the Department of Education has not developed a curriculum that reflects the intentions of both [the UK Government] and the CEDAW committee."
"It is, therefore, inevitable that the Secretary of State will pass further regulations to impose an even more extreme RSE curriculum in the coming months", he added.