I would like to add some comments about the Fertile Heart course.

I taught at an international school during the latter part of my career, and we had students from Catholic schools in South America.

I discovered from them that they had no contraceptive advice, but instead had sessions with psychologists.

Of course they knew about these matters from the internet, but that is not the point; schools should teach these matters and encourage discussion.

It is completely unacceptable for a school in the UK to have the outdated attitudes of this ‘Fertile Heart’ course which are damaging to health through ignorance of contraception and of sexually-transmitted infections such as HPV and HIV.

The idea that all artificial contraception is wrong is indefensible.


For women to have the means to control their own fertility is the most beneficial development since humans evolved hidden ovulation.

If I had told my students that ladies should be ‘receiver-responders’ (whatever that means), as taught in the Fertile Heart programme, I’m sure that they would have been extremely distressed.

This is the sort of attitude that was prevalent centuries ago and has no place today.

There has been correspondence in the Hereford Times about the Catholic attitude to homosexuality and marriage but I feel that is an issue for church regulations.

Even so, the Catholic view is unhelpful and unrealistic.

I am surprised that some attitudes in this Fertile Heart are within the law.

Fortunately, in my physics classes, I was able to answer questions – you may wonder the relevance of this, but of course we learnt about radiation and cancer, and so I extended this to other causes of cancer including viruses (and hence HPV and cervical cancer) as well as to contraception.

In fact many of my lady students had had HPV vaccinations at home, although they often didn’t know the reason for these.

At no time did I feel that I was encouraging students to be promiscuous; they were very sensible, and rightly concerned about cancer and STIs.

Most of all, they wanted to know and to have an opportunity to discuss.

But if students are told that contraception is wrong, the discussion is limited or non-existent.

I also note that IVF is severely frowned upon. Undesirable and horrible, as well as expensive, it may be, but it is not wrong as it allows women to have children and this is a most fundamental desire.

Obviously any lady would prefer to conceive naturally.

How can any church which espouses compassion have such a view?

It is anti-science, anti-progress, and anti-women (as well as men who may want children).

An objection is that unused embryos are discarded, but this ignores natural miscarriage, often at a late stage, for example in the unfortunate recent case of the Duchess of Sussex.

I should add that I have no formal knowledge, just a worldly understanding.

Nor do I have association with any religious organisation, or opposition to any.

My views are those of a private citizen, albeit one with direct experience of the problems I describe here.

But most of all, I don’t like pseudo-scientific humbug.

Victor Breeze

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