British Abortion Advocates Upset With New Pro-Life Education Secretary

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Dec 22, 2004   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

British Abortion Advocates Upset With New Pro-Life Education Secretary Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt Editor
December 22, 2004

London, England ( — Abortion advocates and scientists who back embryonic stem cell research are upset that incoming Education Secretary Ruth Kelly is pro-life and opposes both practices.

Kelly, who is Catholic, has voted against embryonic stem cell research as a member of the British parliament.

That concerns Medical Research Council Professor Nancy Rothwell because Kelly will be responsible in part for shaping the medical training for future researchers.

The vice-president of research at Manchester University, Rothwell told the BBC that she is worried Kelly’s views will clash with those of the British government, which backs the destructive research.

"You can’t have a higher education policy that is at odds with the government’s science policy," Rothwell said.

British law allows scientists to engage in human cloning to create human embryos that will only be destroyed for their stem cells.

An Education Department representative wouldn’t comment to the BBC about the matter other than to say, "It is not news that Ms Kelly is a Catholic but we are not going into any details on this."

Meanwhile, Family Planning Association chief executive, Anne Weym says she is worried that Kelly will set a policy against teaching about abortion in public schools.

"Young people must be informed about all the issues within sexual health, which include contraception and abortion," Weym told the BBC.

New reports indicated Kelly, 36-year-old mother-of-four, did not want to serve in the Department of Health because of her views against abortion.

However, the Education Department spokesman said Kelly was never offered a job in the Department of Health and stressed that Kelly’s concerns are increasing the quality of education and better involving parents.