bpas comment on 'Lovewise' abortion lessons in schools

Katherine O'Brien, Head of Policy Research at bpas, said:

“It is of course absolutely right that pupils are able to explore different views on abortion within the context of an ethical debate. However, it is not acceptable for organisations to peddle junk science within the classroom to advance their own ideological agenda.

"Lovewise’s presentation is highly inaccurate. Abortion in this country is a very safe procedure, and indeed is safer than continuing a pregnancy and giving birth. Safe abortion does not cause infertility or suicide. Emergency contraception is contraception, not abortion. These are not issues for debate – these are scientific facts.

"Aside from just being factually incorrect, these sessions can have a negative impact on pupils health and wellbeing. We know that myths about the impact of abortion on fertility can lead some women to take risks with their contraception, or even “test” their ability to conceive before they are ready to have a child, resulting in an unwanted pregnancy. Through our Nurse-led education programme, we have spoken with young women who have had an abortion or used emergency contraception and were left distressed and anxious by presentations from anti-abortion groups.

"Young people need accurate, impartial information to make positive choices about their relationships and sexual health. These groups cannot and will not deliver this, and they therefore have no place within any scientific or RSE programme within schools.”

ENDS

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Notes to Editors:

About bpas

bpas is a charity which sees more than 70,000 women a year and provides reproductive healthcare services including pregnancy counselling, abortion care, miscarriage management and contraception, at clinics across the UK. It supports and advocates for reproductive choice. More information can be found at bpas.org.