Precious Life condemn Alliance Party motion to promote abortion to school children

Precious Life condemned an Alliance Party motion passed at Stormont (22 April) calling on the Education Minister to force compulsory sex education on primary and secondary school children in Northern Ireland. Precious Life said parents are the first educators of their children, not the Government.

During the Assembly debate on the motion, the Alliance Party stated they were opposed to allowing parent to “opt out” their children from sex education. The Party said children wanting sex education “must always be the priority” over the rights of parents.

The motion was passed with the support of the SDLP and Sinn Fein by 49 votes to 33.

The UK Government recently issued new requirements for RSE (Relationships and Sexuality Education) forcing all post-primary schools in Northern Ireland to teach children how to “access abortion”; and teach them that killing babies in the womb is a “legal right”. 

A public consultation on their proposals was held last year from 1 September until 24 November 2023. 73% of responses were opposed to it after Precious Life launched a campaign urging the parents to state their total opposition to the Government’s forced sex education programme.

The results of the Consultation were published by the Department of Education in January 2024. A total of 13,461 responses were received with over 25,000 comments. 73% of respondents opposed the Government's forced RSE programme. 92% of respondents said parents/carers should always be informed about the specific nature and content of any RSE programme. And 96% said parents/carers should always have access to any school’s RSE policy and programme.

Director of Precious Life Bernadette Smyth said, "The number of responses was unprecedented for a Department of Education consultation. This shows the strength of feeling from the people of Northern Ireland on this issue.

"But this was totally ignored by the Alliance Party, SDLP and Sinn Fein when they voted on this motion calling on the Education Minister to force compulsory sex education on our children."

She added, "We demand that the views of the 73% majority in Northern Ireland are listened to, and abortion-promoting RSE programmes are removed from our schools."

Bernadette Smyth concluded, "Parents cannot trust any RSE teaching programme for their children when it comes from a Government that says killing babies is a ‘legal right’. It is the fundamental right of parents to be the first educators of their children, not the Government."


The Assembly Members who voted in support of the motion were:


Mark Durkan

Daniel McCrossan

Patsy McGlone

Colin McGrath

Sinéad McLaughlin

Cara Hunter

Justin McNulty

Matthew O'Toole



Carál Ní Chuilín

Sinéad Ennis

Declan Kearney

Pádraig Delargy

Linda Dillon

Ciara Ferguson

Órlaithí Flynn

Gerry Kelly

Cathal Boylan

Nicola Brogan

Colm Gildernew

Deirdre Hargey

John O'Dowd

Liz Kimmins

Philip McGuigan

Caoimhe Archibald

Danny Baker

Maolíosa McHugh

Áine Murphy

Cathy Mason

Aisling Reilly

Pat Sheehan

Emma Sheerin

Declan McAleer



Naomi Long

Sorcha Eastwood

Stewart Dickson

Kellie Armstrong

Paula Bradshaw

John Blair

Connie Egan

David Honeyford

Danny Donnelly

Peter McReynolds

Nuala McAllister

Eóin Tennyson

Kate Nicholl

Nick Mathison

Andrew Muir



Claire Sugden (Ind)

Gerry Carroll  (PbP)

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