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Nadine Dorries' Ten Minute Rule Bill on Sex Education passes

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A proposal requesting that information about the benefits of sexual abstinence be included in sex education has passed its first vote in the House of Commons.

The ‘Ten Minute Rule’ bill, which is a type of private member’s bill, was put forward by Conservative MP Nadine Dorries yesterday afternoon. The bill requested: “That leave be given to bring in a Bill to require schools to provide certain additional sex education to girls aged between 13 and 16; to provide that such education must include information and advice on the benefits of abstinence from sexual activity; and for connected purposes.”

The bill comes in light of high teenage pregnancy rates (the UK has the highest in Western Europe) and amidst concerns that the sexualisation of Britain’s young people has been largely responsible for this state of affairs.

Dorries pointed out the failure of current sex education policy to deliver on the government’s aim to reduce teenage pregnancies by 50% by 2010 and suggested that sex education strategies fail to integrate teaching on emotions and relationships with teaching about sex.  She quoted one 14 year old girl who wrote of her experience of sex education as one where she was taught how to acquire free condoms, how to have sexually transmitted diseases treated confidentially and that it was not necessary to inform one’s parents or GP after having an abortion, all without any mention of abstinence as an option.

Dorries urged the ‘normalisation’ of abstinence in schools and highlighted the relational, psychological and social benefits of a sex education programme that incorporated teaching on abstinence.

The bill passed with MPs voting 67-61 in favour of the motion. However, the proposals are unlikely to become law without the Government’s backing.

Andrea Minichiello Williams, CEO of Christian Concern, said:

“Given the well researched, but not often talked about, risks of a promiscuous lifestyle, including the high rate of STDs and unwanted pregnancies, we fully support Nadine’s Bill. The care and protection of women’s health is important and must not be damaged by the uncaring ideology of sexual license which is often pushed in sex education. Abstinence should always be presented as an option.”

Nadine Dorries, along with Frank Field MP, recently tabled amendments to the Health and Social Care Bill which would give women considering an abortion access to independent information and counselling. Details can be found on the Right to Know website.


Daily Telegraph

BBC Parliament: Video clip of Parliamentary debate

Nadine Dorries Blog

Dr Peter Saunders Blog