01/08/2012 11:41 BST | Updated 02/08/2012 04:22 BST

School Teachers Singling Out Students Who Have Had Abortions, Brook Reveals

Teachers are telling students abortion is murder and aborting a foetus is "evil", with one even naming and shaming a girl in front of her class, a charity has claimed.

The revelations were made in a blog by Education for Choice (EFC), a project of the pro-choice charity Brook, as part of an online survey to investigate abortion education in school.

"He (RE teacher) gave us a very basic explanation then called on a girl who had had an abortion and asked for her opinion on the matter. No one else was encouraged to discuss what they thought and I left the lesson feeling as though abortion was something to be ashamed of...(I felt) very under-informed and angry on behalf of my friend who was singled out."

14-year-old, Wales

Of the 100 14-20-year-olds who responded to the survey by Brook, nearly 30% of young people had not learnt anything about abortion at school, while the majority who had been given lessons had learnt about the topic in Religious Education classes.

One pupil said the lesson had left them feeling "fairly disturbed" and "pretty sick".

Another student said:

"My R.E teacher taught about the 'evils' of aborting a foetus that had mental or physical impairments. The women who came in showed us pictures and videos of late stage abortions. All the experiences seemed designed to make those who had already had an abortion feel like murderers."

20-year-old from Surrey

According to EFC, a large proportion of young people surveyed had experienced lessons which were biased, misleading and gave inaccurate information.

"I was taught that abortion was immoral, murder.. that the mother would go straight to hell for it."

17-year-old, Newcastle

The organisation had asked the public for their experiences of abortion education at school and have published some of the anonymous responses on its blog.

"I came away thinking that if the condom/pill failed then it was a divine sign of things which are meant to be."

19-year-old, Kent

Laura Hurley, who works for EFC, says although she has heard many of the stories before, even she was shocked at some of the responses.

"It's terrifying to think some teachers are singling out students and asking them to talk about their experiences," she told the Huffington Post UK. "It's a practical subject which needs to be dealt with sensitively.

"As one third of women have an abortion in their lifetime, young people need to be taught the facts, not teachers' beliefs. It seems students are either getting a one-sided view of abortion, or asked to debate it as abstract moral issue - but they don't get the information they need."


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