Conservatives oppose compulsory sex education aged four

22-Oct-2013 @ 14:0

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Anthea McIntyre Anthea McIntyre

Anthea McIntyre Anthea McIntyre

Conservative MEPs today headed off extreme proposals on"sexual and reproductive health and rights" which would see sexeducation become compulsory across Europe for children as young as four.

A report by Portuguese Socialist Edite Estrela seeks toenforce a set of rules across the whole European Union relating tocontroversial issues such as abortion, contraception and gay rights.

Clause 43 of the 30-page report "calls on the memberstates to make sex education classes compulsory for all primary and secondaryschool children".

However, as it was about to be voted upon at a plenarysitting of the European Parliament in Strasbourg, Conservative MEPssuccessfully intervened to have the decision halted and the whole packagereferred back to the Gender Equality Committee. The Conservative suggestion wasapproved by 351 MEPs with 319 against.

Marina Yannakoudakis, Conservative spokesman on GenderEquality, said: "While there were many good suggestions in thereport to do with women's rights and equal treatment of gay, lesbian andtrans-gender people, we firmly believe that these are issues which should bedealt with by member states and not imposed by Brussels and Strasbourg.

"Most definitely we are not in the business ofapproving a set of rules making sex education compulsory for infants as soon asthey leave nursery. That is a matter for member states - and most importantlyfor parents - to decide."

"Sadly some colleagues, including British LabourMEPs, approve such wholesale interference. We, however, will continue to opposesuch attempts to dictate to the public on key issues of conscience and ethics.

"I believe very strongly that women should be ableto decide their own contraceptive arrangements. I believe there arecircumstances where abortion should be available as an option for women.

"But I also believe the EU needs to back off fromimposing its diktat on all corners of life.

"National governments must control their own healthpolicies; local authorities, school and parents must decide how and in what waychildren learn about relationships, sexuality and sex; and crucially nationalgovernments must be responsible for how they spend taxpayers' money onservices."

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