Tuesday, January 31, 2012

SPUC Northern Ireland Conference Belfast March 10th

Defending the rights of parents - Protecting children
With expert speakers from both the US and the UK, this conference is aimed at informing both parents and policy makers about the results of a teenage pregnancy strategy, which in the last 26 years, has done untold harm to children and families, diverted hundreds of millions of pounds from genuine healthcare and yet has never been shown to achieve what its advocates claimed it would. The re-examination of this policy is urgently needed and we hope this conference will be the first step in bringing that about.
Illegal, underage sexual activity fuels teenage pregnancies, rising rates of sexually transmitted infections and the tragedy of teenage abortion. Yet for decades it has been government policy to promote birth control to children under the legal age of consent. This practice, however, has faced no serious examination since the Law Lords denied the right of parents to object to the provision of contraception to their underage children in the case Victoria Gillick brought against her local health authority.

That was in 1985. Since then the evidence that this approach is simply not effective in cutting teenage pregnancy rates has become overwhelming. The results of this policy have, however, been widespread and deeply damaging. Graphic sex-education programmes promote the use of contraceptives, targeting children at increasingly early ages. Publicly funded agencies, such as Brook Advisory Centres, facilitate underage sex by supplying children with birth control while their parents are legally powerless to prevent it. The efforts of parents to protect their children from exploitation and sexually transmitted diseases are continually undermined by government policy.

Some of the consequences of current sexual health policy;
  • Graphic sex-education programmes aimed at younger and younger children contributing to the sexualisation of children at increasingly early ages.
  • An increase in risky sexual behaviour amongst some young people leading to rising levels of sexually transmitted infections and future infertility.
  • Increased risk of disease arising from premature sexual activity. (Sex before a girl is totally mature has a direct effect on her physical development and has been linked to a predisposition to cervix cancer.) Sexual Activity in girls under 16. British Journal of Obstetrics and GynaecologyAugust 1986 vol 3.
  • Increased risk of disease from exposure to powerful birth control drugs from an early age.

Pat Ramsey MLA is the SDLP Chief Whip and the spokesperson for Employment and Learning, serving on the DEL Committee. He is a recognised champion of vulnerable people and serves on a number of All-Party Working Groups. He is chair of All-Party Pro-life Group.

Jim Wells MLA is a senior member of the DUP, and currently deputy chairman of the Assembly’s health committee. He has been a tireless advocate for the pro-life cause. In 2000  the Assembly overwhelmingly endorsed a resolution he tabled rejecting the introduction of the Abortion Act to Northern Ireland.

Prof David Paton lectures  in economics at Nottingham University School of Business. His areas of study include the economics of abortion, family planning and teenage pregnancy. In January 2008 he told the Daily Telegraph: “There has been a tendency for the Government’s teenage pregnancy strategy to focus on creating schemes where teenagers can get the morning after pill or other forms of family planning at school or clinics. The danger with this sort of approach is that it can lead to an increase in risky sexual behaviour amongst some young people. There is now overwhelming evidence that such schemes are simply not effective in cutting teenage pregnancy rates.”

Dr Patrick Fagan is Senior Fellow and Director of the Marriage and Religion Research Institute, which examines the relationships among family, marriage, religion, community, and social problems. In particular the Institute studies the relationship between marital stability coupled with the practice of religion and their joint impacts on our social infrastructure - issues such as happiness, health, mental health and general well being, income and savings, educational attainment and family stability as well as such negative outcomes as poverty, crime, abuse, and drug addiction.

Mrs Antonia Tully co-ordinates the activities of the Safe at School campaign run by the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children. She advises and support parents and teachers who are concerned about the explicit nature of sex education in schools, and the promotion of contraceptives and abortion services to their children.

Come along on Saturday, 10 March to Belfast Castle to learn what can be done to help parents safeguard their families and why the promotion of birth control to underage children has got to stop.
Cost of the conference is £15 and includes a buffet lunch. Concessionary rate for senior citizens and the unwaged £8. Commencement 10am. Registration, tea and coffee from 9.30am.
For further information contact SPUC Northern Ireland atbelfast@spuc.org.uk or call on 028 9077 8018. or 048 90778018 from the Republic of Ireland