Humanists have expressed outrage that a pro-life group has been allowed to teach young people in Scotland about the reality of abortion.
Following an investigation carried out by The Herald, pro-abortion journalist James McEnaney reported that the Society For The Protection of Unborn Children (SPUC) has carried out a number of school visits across eight council areas over the last five years.
Despite the visits being publicly endorsed by teachers, the Humanist Society Scotland objected to the charity’s pro-life messages.
Alternative perspectives shut down
Fraser Sutherland, Chief Executive of the Humanist Society Scotland, said he had “grave concerns” about SPUC’s involvement in education.
He said: “There is a huge difference between schools objectively presenting differing viewpoints, and repeatedly inviting in groups that hold anti-abortion views. And most importantly leave no space for children and young people to develop critical thinking skills and reach their own conclusions.”
Willie Rennie MSP, who is also a member of the Humanist and Secularist Liberal Democrats, claimed there is “a real risk pupils come out of these sessions with a less useful and realistic perspective on the world than they went in with”.
He also questioned why local authorities were allowing SPUC to give children an alternative perspective on abortion, adding: “there needs to be a proper public debate about whether such activities have any place in Scottish schools”.
The Christian Institute’s Head of Education John Denning said: “State schools have to provide teaching that is objective, critical and pluralistic. Factual information about the development of the baby in the womb is completely consistent with this.
“Teachers must fairly present a range of perspectives when teaching about controversial issues. Pro-life views are legitimate and worthy of consideration, but atheistic humanist groups are determined to shut them down just because they don’t match their own views on abortion.
“Such objections make a mockery of the claims that these groups support pluralistic teaching. In reality it is inconsistent to object to the presentation of a pro-life view, but have nothing to say about the one-sided promotion of the ‘pro-choice’ view which is common in Scottish schools.
“Schools should not give in to pressure from secularist campaign groups to narrow their teaching on ethical issues.”