In the light of Nadine Dorries’ plans to require “independent” organisation to consult with pregnant women, I’d like to point out the true facts of abortion and sex education in the UK and across the world. These are facts that the religious “independent” organisations seem to ignore and the same for many in the so-called Conservative Christian Fellowship.
Here are some facts about abortion and sex education.
- Each year, 20 million abortions take place in unsafe conditions and as a consequence, an estimated 80,000 women die
- Late abortions are extremely rare but necessary – less than 1 per cent are carried out after 22 weeks
- Abortion is very safe in Britain and is one of the most commonly performed gynaecological procedures. Complications are extremely rare; carrying a pregnancy to term is more risky.
- Contrary to assertions by the anti-choice lobby, medical research consistently shows that women who have had an abortion have no greater risk of breast cancer than those who have not.
- One in five of all pregnancies ends in a natural abortion.
- Abortion laws in the UK are more restrictive than in almost every other European country, where abortion on request is legal in the first three months of pregnancy
- Sex education is not a compulsory module in secondary schools in England and Wales
- Studies have shown that comparisons between countries where abortion is legal and illegal that they have almost no difference in the actual level of abortions that take place, the only difference being, it’s far more dangerous in the illegal countries
- “Abstinence-only-until-marriage works.”-The Council of Scientific Affairs states that ”Current research findings do not support the position that the abstinence-only approach to sexuality education is effective in delaying the onset of intercourse.”
- “Sex education encourages students to become sexually active at younger ages.”-The World Health Organization reviewed evaluations of 47 programs in the United States and other countries. In 15 studies, sex and HIV/AIDS education neither increased nor decreased sexual activity and rates of pregnancy and STI. However, in 17 studies, HIV and/or sex education delayed the onset of sexual activity, reduced the number of sexual partners, and/or reduced unplanned pregnancy and STI rates.
- “Teaching students about contraception encourages sexual activity and increases the chance of teenage pregnancy.”-Expert panels that have studied this issue have concluded that comprehensive sex and HIV/AIDS education programs and condom availability programs do not increase sexual activity and can be effective in reducing high-risk sexual behaviors among adolescents.
- “Contraceptives fail so frequently that we should only teach teens to abstain.”-Modern contraceptives are highly effective. The percent of women experiencing pregnancy within one year ranges from 0.03 percent using Depo-Provera to nine percent using the cervical cap ( with perfect use). Even imperfect use protects women far better than does using no protection. Rates of pregnancy with imperfect use range from 0.03 percent using Depo-Provera to 21 percent using the female condom compared to 85 percent of women using no protection.
- “Contraceptives do not protect against HIV and other sexually transmitted infections.”-Other than total sexual abstinence, only condoms currently provide significant protection against HIV and other STIs. That is why good programs educate students about the importance of condoms.
- “Condoms have a high failure rate.”-The National Institutes of Health (NIH) confirms that condoms are very effective in affording protection against HIV and unwanted pregnancy. The NIH also reports that laboratory studies show that condoms can afford good protection against discharge diseases, such as gonorrhea, chlamydia, and trichomoniasis.