BBC Bitesize gave system to ‘extreme’ anti-abortion team

A lesson on the BBC’s internet site marketing the views of an anti-abortion group has been removed by the broadcaster this weekend, adhering to a backlash from health and fitness specialists.

The religious studies revision guide, on BBC Bitesize, the broadcaster’s educational source, outlined “powerful arguments” versus abortion, made use of the expression “pro-life” alternatively than “anti-abortion” and showcased a website page devoted to a vocal marketing campaign group that desires abortion in Britain to be banned.

The Society for the Safety of Unborn Kids (SPUC) has a background of selling misinformation in schools and was exposed in 2019 for launching a Toy Tale-themed marketing campaign aimed at young children that falsely claimed foetuses can feel agony 10 weeks immediately after conception.

The broadcaster reported it is now reviewing the substance in its religious research guidebook, which covers Catholics’ sights on lifetime and dying and is aimed at GCSE students aged 15 and 16.

SPUC has a observe document of selling severe views on abortion to little ones in strategies that are basically factually mistaken.Robert Cann, Humanists British isles

SPUC has also consistently promoted a treatment recognized as abortion “reversal” on its web page, which clinical organisations have condemned as unproven and most likely unsafe. And very last 7 days it celebrated the determination in the US to overturn Roe v Wade – the supreme court docket ruling that secured women’s suitable to abortion across the nation – as “a monumental working day for justice [and the] unborn”.

Regardless of its keep track of record, the group was explained uncritically on BBC Bitesize as a “pro-life” charity that “advocates for the rights of unborn children”, promotes “the sanctity of human life” and “supports folks and households by means of pregnancy”. No professional-preference organisations had been stated.

Critics stated the product, element of a BBC Bitesize resource dependent on the WJEC examination board syllabus, failed to evidently distinguish in between actuality and view and risked exposing kids to “harmful” misinformation.

Lisa Hallgarten​, head of coverage at Brook, the national sexual well being charity, explained the understanding resources as “shocking” and “problematic in a lot of ways”. . “Pointing to an organisation that is pretty unreliable when it comes to factual information is problematic because you are supplying them credibility,” she stated. “This is not summary for younger people today this is real everyday living. We have to genuinely avoid sending individuals to organisations that are going to be unhelpful to them.”

As perfectly as showcasing SPUC, the BBC Bitesize resource listed “powerful arguments” from abortion, including that it “denies choice to the unborn child” and would make human life appear “cheap and disposable”.

In an additional area, a diagram entitled Solutions to Abortion suggested sexual abstinence and natural family organizing as options for staying away from unwelcome pregnancies, and “financial support” as possibilities to acquiring a termination, but did not mention contraception.

The British Pregnancy Advisory Provider, an abortion provider, lifted considerations about information and facts supplied to teens on options to abortion and claimed it was “absurd” that the diagram recommended abstinence and normal relatives arranging but did not point out contraception.

An infographic showing five options as circles round a central circle containing the words ‘Alternatives to Abortion’ Photograph: BBC Bitesize

Humanists British isles, a charity selling secularism, stated it was important for religious scientific tests instructing to spotlight distinctive sights and persuade structured discussion. But Robert Cann, its education and learning campaigns supervisor, said the inclusion of SPUC was inappropriate specified its “track file of promoting severe sights on abortion to kids in approaches that are only factually wrong”.

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“We should really be really wary when its identify and sources are hosted uncritically on a children’s self-guided GCSE RE revision program,” he claimed.

He also criticised the resource for failing to mirror the views of most Catholics. Polls have revealed most are supportive of abortion and the use of contraception. “This resource implies that Christians, and in distinct Catholics, will invariably be opposed to abortion. But this is the opposite of the reality – we know that, way back in 2013, much less than 7% of the total populace mentioned they have been anti-abortion, which includes only 14% of Catholics – figures that will have only diminished since,” he claimed. “The whole point needs an overhaul to be presented in a much more critical, goal and pluralistic manner.”

On Friday, the BBC reported it was examining the useful resource and that it had been “temporarily removed” in the meantime. A spokeswoman additional that the resource was based mostly on the WJEC test board syllabus, which is why it involved reference to SPUC.

But while it is aimed at a distinct team, the source is publicly available on the broadcaster’s internet site, and backlinks to it look high in Google benefits in lookups relating to SPUC, abortion and the BBC.

The BBC site suggests Bitesize guides are “written by instructors and issue industry experts and are mapped to abide by the curricula of the UK”.

WJEC, the test board whose supplies the BBC’s guideline is intended to accompany, distanced by itself from the analyze materials. “The sources designed by BBC Bitesize were developed without the need of any involvement from our spiritual research workforce and are for that reason not endorsed by WJEC,” a spokesman mentioned. Although the WJEC syllabus examined opposing views on abortion, he said, it did not advocate a particular one particular.

The Society for the Protection of Unborn Young children mentioned it could not remark on the BBC resource but that its individual written content was primarily based on “scientific information encompassing life ahead of birth”. A spokesperson accused professional-selection groups of “sanitising abortion”.