Bishops call on Scot Gov to withdraw 'explicit' school survey

Scotland’s Catholic Bishops have called on the Scottish Government to withdraw the Health and Wellbeing survey sent to schools.

They want for adaptations to be made to remove sexually explicit questions aimed at teenagers which has caused concern among parents.

This would allow concerns raised by the Scottish Catholic Education Service regarding the terminology of the questions and the process to ensure that parents are able to give informed consent to be addressed.

It's reported that one question says: “People have varying degrees of sexual experience. How much, if any, sexual experience have you had?”


A spokesperson for the Bishops' Conference of Scotland said: "Scotland’s Catholic Bishops share the concerns of many parents about the explicit nature of some questions which young people are being asked in this survey.

Responses from the Scottish Government to the Scottish Catholic Education Service have failed to address legitimate concerns regarding the terminology of the questions and the process to ensure that parents are able to give informed consent.

"We ask that this survey be withdrawn to allow for adaptations to be made.

"Failure to respond to these concerns will demonstrate not only a disregard for the rights of parents but may risk re-traumatising some young people who might have suffered from harmful sexual encounters."


TONIGHT: Home Abortion - Making Your Voice Heard

Early in the COVID pandemic, Scottish Government started allowing ‘DIY’ home abortions without a face to face doctor appointment.

Similar changes were made in England and two women have since died there and there are now police investigations linked to late ‘at-home’ abortions.

Despite the obvious danger, the Scottish Government has launched a consultation to make ‘DIY’ abortion permanent. It’s vital that many pro-life voices are part of the response. 

The good news is that the consultation has just seven questions. But where to start and what to say? If you don’t answer the questions properly your response won’t count.

Tonight (Tuesday, 08 December at 7.30pm) the Archdiocesan Pro-Life Office is running a Zoom session to cover all the questions and the best points to make.  You can fill in your response as we go so you’ll be ready to submit by the end of the consultation.

This event takes place at 7:30pm tonight (08 December, Feast of the Immaculate Conception). Register here.

The most important pro-life activity for 2020

“The most important pro-life activity you can do in 2020 is to respond to the Scottish Government’s consultation on DIY home abortion,” says The Society for the Protection of the Unborn (SPUC).

DIY home abortion was implemented in response to the nationwide lockdown caused by the Coronavirus pandemic.

It means women can get abortion drugs following a phone or video call, without a face to face consultation with a medical professional. The abortion pills are then sent through the post and women perform their own abortion at home with no medical supervision or support.

SPUC is urging those who value human life and the health and wellbeing of women to respond to the Government’s consultation.

Michael Robinson, SPUC Director of Communications, said: “Please don’t feel daunted by this task. We have produced a booklet which gives a step by step guide to completing the questionnaire: SPUC guide to responding to the Scottish Government’s consultation on Future Arrangements for Early Medical Abortion at Home.

“You can find this booklet and other resources to help you complete the consultation here.”

'Every voice counts. You can make a difference.'

SPUC’s Mr Robinson continued: “DIY home abortion provision is a travesty that should never have been introduced. Allowing women to take powerful drugs alone at home shows a complete lack of care and respect for women, as well as further devaluing human life in the womb.

“As we feared from the beginning, DIY abortion has proved impossible to regulate. Abortion pills already carry risks, including risks to the mother’s life, even if the first pill is taken in the clinic. In the case of DIY abortion, pills have been taken at home long after the recommended point in pregnancy. A mystery shopper exercise found that abortion providers have been sending out pills to women without even basic checks.

“Every pro-life voice counts in this consultation. You can really make a difference.”

This article first appeared on the SPUC website on 16 October, 2020.