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Defending life from the moment of conception

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Government's promotion of virginity a wolf in sheep's clothing

10 October 2000

Government's promotion of virginity a "wolf in sheep's clothing" Westminster, 10 October 2000--The government's teenage pregnancy programme has been dubbed "a wolf in sheep's clothing" by the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children (SPUC) in response to health minister Yvette Cooper's 'virginity is OK' campaign. John Smeaton, national director of SPUC, warned that people should not be taken in by the government's lip-service to teenage virginity. He said: "Of course, the promotion of abstinence among younger teenagers is in itself a good thing, because evidence indicates that it is an effective way of preventing teenage pregnancies and reducing the number of abortions. However, the news that the government is to spend £2 million on its 'virginity is OK' advertisements conceals the nature of its £60 million programme in which abortion and other anti-life measures are central. The promotion of virginity only constitutes a front for a more sinister initiative. "This programme, set out in the Government Social Exclusion Unit report entitled Teenage Pregnancy (1999), includes the increased promotion to adolescents of the morning-after pill (which can cause early abortions) and the easier availability of abortion after a pregnancy is discovered. It also establishes local co-ordinators in all areas who can point pregnant under-18s towards the available options, including abortion." Tony Blair has given the government's teenage policy his strong personal support, saying in a foreword to the report: "This is a comprehensive programme of action which we will put into practice straight away..." Mr Smeaton concluded: "The overriding objective of the government's policy is to prevent babies from being born at all costs and, as such, the promotion of teenage virginity should be seen as a wolf in sheep's clothing."

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