Teen pregnancy quango will be shut down

A quango which has called for children to be taught about sexual pleasure in sex education lessons is to be closed down at the end of this year.

The Teenage Pregnancy Independent Advisory Group (TPIAG) claimed last year that frank discussions of sexual pleasure should play a key role in attempts to reduce teenage pregnancy.

But the group was axed as the Government unveiled the official list of quangos that are to be scrapped, merged or reformed.

Abolished

However, critics warn that many of the functions will simply be moved to elsewhere in Whitehall.

Also abolished is the General Teaching Council for England, which has in the past tried to introduce measures that would have eroded the religious liberty of Christian teachers.

The Independent Advisory Group on Sexual Health and HIV is also to be axed. A critic claimed it was “wedded” to the idea that Britain’s teenage pregnancy crisis can be addressed with more sex education, more contraception and more abortion.

The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority will be closed and its functions moved to other Government departments. In 2008 it controversially licensed research using animal-human embryos before Parliament had officially legalised the practice.

Safeguard

Also on the Government list, to be ‘reconstituted’, is the group tasked with reviewing the longstanding safeguard which stops blood donations from men who have engaged in medically risky sexual activity with other men.

One of the bodies to be retained by the Government is the Charity Commission for England and Wales. In 2008 The Christian Institute said concerns remained about guidance from the Commission used to assess the charitable status of religious groups, including churches.

The Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs (ACMD) will also be retained. The previous Labour Government followed the Council’s advice in 2004 to downgrade cannabis to a Class C drug. But the decision was reversed after the move proved to be a disaster.

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