Why is Michael Gove so close to Christian extremists from LoveWise?


5:04 pm - July 19th 2012

by Sunny Hundal    


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A government backed Christian charity called Lovewise teaches school children that most rape victims ‘regret abortion’.

According to Dina Rickman, the charity also teaches children that abortion causes holes in the womb, depression and infection.

LoveWise also describes homosexuality as “damaging to mind, body and spirit” in its code of practice.

According to its accounts from 2010 to 2011, it gave 300 presentations and has teams based in Bournemouth, Guildford, Hull, Kendal, Newcastle, Sheffield, South Coast, Suffolk, Sussex and Wimbledon.

Details of the presentation were unearthed by Diane Abbott MP and Education for Choice.

What’s really worrying is that the charity is backed by the government and part of Michael Gove’s Sex and Relationship Education (SRE) Council.

Diane Abbott sent us a statement today saying:

I’m calling on Michael Gove to distance himself from this group, rather than support it in the way he is. I think it is very wrong and the Government needs to step in because we can’t teach children at an impressionable age this sort of propaganda.

Sexual health education is supposed to be based on facts, these people are just pedalling bigotry. I think many parents will find this as disturbing as I do, because what we’re seeing is silent, right-wing indoctrination in ordinary schools.

These groups are appearing in schools without any record of it happening, accountability or public awareness. Part of the problem here is that the government has given the green light to this, because of the recent policy moves the government has made to appease anti-choice groups.

LoveWise claims women who have abortions are twice as likely to get breast cancer and also teaches children that the majority of rape victims who have abortions regret it.

When asked to justify these claims, LoveWise’s Dr Richards gave the Huffington Post links to two sources to back up their research. One of those sources is a book co-written by Dr Sobie Reardon.

Reardon has also been promoted in the past by Nadine Dorries MP.

Among the things he has said: “The similarity between Nazi manipulations of the Jews and the abortionists’ manipulation of women faced with crisis pregnancies is striking.”

Related: The BHA – Anti-choice group’s school presentations spread misinformation about abortion and contraception

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About the author
Sunny Hundal is editor of LC. Also: on Twitter, at Pickled Politics and Guardian CIF.
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Story Filed Under: Blog ,Feminism ,Health

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Reader comments


To correct Amazon’s error, which Sunny has unwittingly replicated – the book by ‘Dr. Sobie Reardon’ is actually by David C. Reardon, Julie Makimaa and Amy Sobie.

The quote at the end comes from an article by Reardon on his won website in which he likens women who choose to have an abortion to the Jewish Kapos who worked as barracks supervisors and led work details in Nazi concentration camps.

He also blames the devil as well, but then he is a complete fruitloop as well a particularly nasty piece of a work.

One of those sources is a book co-written by Dr Sobie David C Reardon.

He should stick to developing new metals with a name like that, or not if he’s got a brother called Hank.

3. Peter Stewert

There was a time in the 90s when a Gove appearance on Newsnight was a real highlight, and I suppose that remains somewhat true, but not for me, and certainly not for the same reasons. Insight, balance, wit, patience, assurance; all gone. Now the man behaves like the dictionary definition of the pants on fire idiom especially when he loses his cool (i.e., if asked a question or if anyone dares, dares interrupt his stream of brilliance).

What next scarlet letters? Kids protected form impure thoughts by chastity mittens and forced to wear surgical collars forcing them to only ever look directly up? Poverty as a punishment from God to the low and impure?

gotta laugh at the loonytune con right trying to emulate their equally nuts american cousins on the tea party/culture wars axis. whilst, of course, completely failing to realise that the limited (and rather counterproductive) success their transatlantic counterparts have enjoyed has been solely dependent on a vast sea of extremely gullible, religiously insane inbreds, a resource that this country lacks in sufficient numbers.
Still, it can only harm their cause, so bring it on!

Joe

I am laughing, this country exported most of the loneytunes wingnuts to America centuries ago… pity we can’t export Gove & Dorries too, they’d fit right in!

What isn’t a joke is poisoning children’s minds. What right do they have, when their mandate is weaker than Bliar’s was – another wingnut we should export.

To answer the headline question, because he’s a complete asshole in case you hadn’t noticed yet.

More seriously, where are the checks and balances that are supposed to protect our kids from this kind of rubbish at school?

Gove is a global elite puppet. Hence his gushing, sycophantic eulogy of Murdoch. All these wacko christian fundie corporate backed think tanks (sorry churches) are needed to create the next generation of brownshirts.

Gove is pure evil.

8. Richard Carey

How outrageous that the diet of left-wing propaganda fed to the children be interrupted for even a moment.

9. Just Visiting

Oh dear – LC goes into air-head diatribe again – with the perfect storm of a story that combines the pet objects of LC’s irrational hatred: Tories, Gove, Christians and those date to be proLife – all in one heady cocktail ! It even brings Sally out of the woodwork, who suggests that no human being has ever been more evil than Gove !

So – can we have some facts please Sunny?

1_ what does ‘Gove so close to’ actually mean in your view?

2_ What’s your view of the (SRE) Council – do you think that it should be abolished? Should have proLife bodies excluded?

3_ have you read the book by Reardon ?
What evidence do you offer against the claim made there that: “The vast majority of the women (and their children) who responded advanced the view that abortion is NOT a good solution to sexual assault pregnancies and that it often leads to further physical and emotional trauma for the women. Conversely, none of the women who carried to term expressed regret that they had chosen to give birth or a wish that they had chosen abortion instead.”

10. Just Visiting

In fact Sunny – your wires may be 100% crossed.

You wrote:
> What’s really worrying is that the charity is backed by the government and part of Michael Gove’s Sex and Relationship Education (SRE) Council.

But Education for Choice have said that it is NOT a Tory body at all!

As a pro-choice charity we are obviously concerned about who is providing public services and sex and relationships education and would therefore urge people to contribute to this research. However, we think it’s important to note that the ‘SRE Council’, which, as you rightly point out, has a number of groups opposed to comprehensive SRE, is not a Conservative initiative and was not launched by the government. It was referenced by Michael Gove but has in fact been set up by the groups involved (not to be confused with the Government’s sexual health forum

So can you help clarify this – have Education for Choice got their wires crossed – or is it you ?

Just Visiting:

Leaving aside the fact that Reardon is:

a) a deeply unpleasant fruitloop, and

b) a liar who for a number of years – until he was exposed by Chirs Mooney – misrepresented his academic credentials by claiming a PhD in bioethics without bothering to mention that it came from an unaccreditted institution which was otherwise only notable for abject and repeat failures to get any of its law students through the California Bar exams…

(Reardon stopped publishing in journals in 2005, after he was caught with his fake PhD round his ankles, but its also well noting that one of main collaborators, Priscilla Coleman, was only recent caught out for lying about the data set she used in a 2009 abortion/mental health study.)

… there is very little evidence on rape and abortion save for epidemiological evidence which shows that:

– around 5% of rapes result in pregnancy, and

– about 1% of abortions in the US stem from rapes.

THe bulk of Reardon’s book consists of anecdotes.

The only actual evidence he cites is a single study conducted by Sandra Makhorn in 1979… or maybe 1981 as anti-abortion groups are rather vague about the actual date. Reardon claims that this is the only major study of abortion and rape, stretching the definition of ‘major’ to nreaking point at it consists of only 37 women. As regards the results of this study, the usual claim is that of these 37 women, “75-85% chose against abortion” – quite why they could only get results down to 10% range in a study of only 37 women is anyone’s guess.

Makhorn’s ‘study’ was published twice as chapters in books edited by known anti-abortion authors but never in a peer reviewed journal.

Its also not the only study – major or otherwise.

Holmes et al. published small study in 1996 in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology based on data from a three year longitudinal study of nationally representative sample of 4,008 women and identified 34 who had become pregnant after being raped.

Of those women, half underwent an abortion, 32.2 kept the baby, 5.9% put the child up for adoption and 11.7% had a miscarriage.

Unsurprisingly, you won’t find Holmes et al cite by anti-abortion groups, or Reardon for that matter, as they all stick rigidly to the fiction that Makhoun is the only study of rape-related pregnancy/abortion.

The very most that can be said from these studies is that the evidence we have is inconclusive and far too limited to make any kind of conclusions about rape and abortion and that anyone who describes Makhoun as a ‘major study’ is either deluded, full of shit, or deluded and full of shit.

12. Dissident

@ Unity
So wingnuts are liars. What a surprise. The question is, do they know they are liars?

@ Richard Carey
Here are some examples of left wing propaganda peddled to my nephew (age 8)
History; the Romans invaded Britain in 43 AD, they built straight roads, lived in villas. Here are pictures of the uniforms their Centurions wore.
Maths; 2+2=4 5×5=25 etc
English; abcdefghijklm….
Science; here is a picture of an Adder, one of only 3 species of snake that live in this country. The other 2 are Grass Snake and…
GODDAM the commies and their propaganda!!

The sad things is, just teaching kids objective truths about the world IS dangerous subversive commie propaganda to the wingnuts, so fragile is their deluded house-of-cards worldview.
Hence their ongoing, tireless war – the War on Reality.

Do Pob Gove and IDS & Co have a different bible to the rest of us ? …again in very dangerous 1930’s territory que surprise

Think Pob Gove and IDS and their SPAD’s have been doing research on this forum http://www.landoverbaptist.org/

16. margin4error

I tend to struggle to get worked up about silly people believing in fairy stories – be their magical fairies papal, protestant, islamic, or Jewish.

And while I find it bizarre that the Tories haveadopted this slightly odd pro-life wing within itself – it is so patently absurd that it can easilly be mocked out of any sense of influence.

What thus worries me is why we have no such mocking taking place. What happened to the satire and sillyness (and Monty Python, which was its own comedy classification above all others) that once bought down the Church of England from the status of revered wizards in funny hats to – well – the side show of oddball wizards in funny hats that it now is?

The USA still has its mockery. South Park, the Simpsons and others continue to keep religious organisation in its place – ie that of ridicule among anyone of real intelligence.

Why is there no British equivelent anymore? When did our religious mockery cease?

17. Just Visiting

Margin4error

you live in a curious world where you want more people to join in in organised, TV mockery of those who hold different views to yours?

I would imagine that from a pyschological perspective this reveals your own insecurities.

For example, I am 100% fixed in my view that smoking is bad for the health – on average.
But I feel no desire to mock those who smoke, or who attempt (what are in my view illogical and wrong) reasons to say smoking is not bad for me.
I’m sad when I hear them spout rubbish and continue to do harm to themselves.
But never for a moment do I want to mock them on a big stage.

Likewise I don’t hear you on LC arguing for more TV mockery of the opposite camp to you on other issues.

So – there is certainly something in your psyche that makes you treat religious people differently – effectively treating them as sub-human.

Maybe the Guardian columnist was right today when they said something along the lines : the liberal treats the religious as the natural enemy: because the religious undermine the bedrock of the liberal that it’s only (so long as I don’t hurt others) about individual freedom.

18. Chaise Guevara

@ 17 Just Visiting

Not an unreasonable point, but do bear in mind that religion tends to get a ridiculous level of special treatment. If someone said that we should teach creationism in school or ban gays from marrying because otherwise it would annoy the giant called McGuffin who lives in Snowdonia and he’d come and smash all our cities, we’d laugh them out of the room (or get them professional help). If someone makes the same arguments on behalf of a folk story about a bloke called Jesus who’s been dead for 2,000 years suddenly there’s an expectation that we should have a debate and treat the nonsensical views with a respect they don’t deserve. This is pretty much the point of the Flying Spaghetti Monster.

So with a lot of people applying this double-standard, it becomes worrying if the very people who are expected to treat such things with irreverance are handling religion with kid gloves. That said, I have no idea if M4E is right about this trend as I hardly ever watch TV.

19. Albert Spangler

Is there actually such a thing as an ‘irrational’ hatred for Tories? It’s like having an ‘irrational’ hatred for having lava poured on your face.

20. tigerdarwin

I am not surprised IDS and Gove are like bobbing shits, there is plenty more like them hiding away below the water line, icebergs if you are eating your dinner.

They represent what the Tea Party loving Tories really are- a bunch of idiots.

21. Chaise Guevara

@ 19 Albert

“Is there actually such a thing as an ‘irrational’ hatred for Tories? It’s like having an ‘irrational’ hatred for having lava poured on your face.”

Yes, and it’s possible you have it!

There’s a few examples of it. One is assuming every Tory supporter supports every action of the Tories (which is like saying I’m pro-Coalition because I voted Lib Dem). Another is assuming that Tories only follow policies you disagree with out of malice (which is like when people say “You only want to make higher earners pay for public healthcare because you hate the rich!”).


Reactions: Twitter, blogs
  1. Education For Choice

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  2. claudiawood

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  3. leftlinks

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  4. René Christian Moya

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  5. AJ

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  6. Tristram Wyatt

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  7. Maria McCrea

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  8. Magnus Andersson

    RT @dinarickman: Why is Michael Gove so close to Christian extremists from LoveWise? asks @libcon http://t.co/PPTJMaLa

  9. Mike Ranscombe

    Why is Michael Gove so close to Christian extremists from LoveWise? | Liberal Conspiracy http://t.co/8m2y0XqL via @libcon

  10. NORBET

    Why is Michael Gove so close to Christian extremists from LoveWise? | Liberal Conspiracy http://t.co/oHFTokBY via @libcon

  11. Mark Pilkington

    Nasty: UK govt backs anti-gay, anti-abortion Christian extremists Lovewise – http://t.co/wAXTJYYS

  12. KrustyAllslopp

    Extremist, backward, Christian Anti-Abortion group 'Lovewise' > sanctioned by #Gove 's SRE Council http://t.co/4uTEDyqA <~ shocking stuff

  13. FiveDee's Cats

    Extremist, backward, Christian Anti-Abortion group 'Lovewise' > sanctioned by #Gove 's SRE Council http://t.co/4uTEDyqA <~ shocking stuff

  14. sunny hundal

    Why is Michael Gove so close to Christian extremists from LoveWise? http://t.co/hheJvi1Y

  15. Peter Anderson

    Why is Michael Gove so close to Christian extremists from LoveWise? http://t.co/hheJvi1Y

  16. Margo Milne

    RT @libcon: Why is Michael Gove so close to Christian extremists from LoveWise? http://t.co/08Hk3kjy

  17. John Gosling

    Why is Michael Gove so close to Christian extremists from LoveWise? | Liberal Conspiracy http://t.co/Gj3HBvwx via @libcon

  18. Sarah Graham

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  19. Mark Silver

    Why is Michael Gove so close to Christian extremists from LoveWise? http://t.co/hheJvi1Y

  20. Martin Steel

    Why is Michael Gove so close to Christian extremists from LoveWise? http://t.co/hheJvi1Y

  21. Galbuk

    Why is Michael Gove so close to Christian extremists from LoveWise? http://t.co/hheJvi1Y

  22. Jeni Parsons

    Why is Michael Gove so close to Christian extremists from LoveWise? | Liberal Conspiracy http://t.co/nsMX4DcC via @libcon

  23. House Of Twits

    RT @sunny_hundal Why is Michael Gove so close to Christian extremists from LoveWise? http://t.co/VdjPu5QG

  24. Philip Marshall

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  25. Mrs VB

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  26. teresa holm

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  27. BevR

    Why is Michael Gove so close to Christian extremists from LoveWise? | Liberal Conspiracy http://t.co/WkBeb6R5 via @libcon

  28. FiveDee kittehs

    Why is Michael Gove so close to Christian extremists from LoveWise? | Liberal Conspiracy http://t.co/nsMX4DcC via @libcon

  29. James Whale

    RT @sunny_hundal Why is Michael Gove so close to Christian extremists from LoveWise? http://t.co/VdjPu5QG

  30. Bipolar Chimp

    RT @sunny_hundal Why is Michael Gove so close to Christian extremists from LoveWise? http://t.co/VdjPu5QG

  31. Saghir Hussain

    Why is Michael Gove so close to Christian extremists from LoveWise? http://t.co/hheJvi1Y

  32. Bipolar Chimp

    http://t.co/QBrrUr1x and he's my so called local MP anything for a photo op!

  33. K Badlan

    Why is Michael Gove so close to Christian extremists from LoveWise? http://t.co/hheJvi1Y

  34. Karl

    Why is Michael Gove so close to Christian extremists from LoveWise? http://t.co/hheJvi1Y

  35. Tom Troughton

    More on Michael #Gove and his associations with Christian extremists. This time anti-abortion charity Lovewise. http://t.co/p5cevRSD

  36. Craig Beaton

    And #Gove is close to the #Lovewise Christian extremists http://t.co/CKSAbRFT (2)

  37. Aylssa Cowell

    Why is Michael Gove so close to Christian extremists from LoveWise? asks @libcon http://t.co/GjMezdC7

  38. Calton Books

    Very disturbing. Essential read:“@sunny_hundal: Why is Michael Gove so close to Christian extremists from LoveWise? http://t.co/6GuywXem”

  39. Sue Truslove

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  40. Gary Spencer

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  41. steve breakell

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  42. BevR

    Why is Michael Gove so close to Christian extremists from LoveWise? http://t.co/hheJvi1Y

  43. Jerry Hall

    Why is Michael Gove so close to Christian extremists from LoveWise? http://t.co/hheJvi1Y

  44. Anti-LiberalDemocrat

    Why is Michael Gove so close to Christian … – Liberal Conspiracy: Part of the problem here is that the governm… http://t.co/40e20JN2

  45. Phil Barker

    Nasty: UK govt backs anti-gay, anti-abortion Christian extremists Lovewise – http://t.co/wAXTJYYS

  46. Emma Mullett

    Nasty: UK govt backs anti-gay, anti-abortion Christian extremists Lovewise – http://t.co/wAXTJYYS

  47. Joe Bloggs

    Why is Michael Gove so close to Christian extremists from LoveWise? http://t.co/hheJvi1Y





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