Comic relief's policy

Red Nose Day each year is an occasion for local or regional newspapers to have a go at Catholic schools. It is an easy story to write; here's how it goes: Pupils want to raise money for Comic Relief because it has been on the telly. A good head teacher refuses, insisting that they promote other charities. Shock Horror! Catholic school meanly denies children the right to wear a red nose - for CHARIDDY! And you know why? Because they don't agree with condoms!

Here is an example from this year's round (published yesterday in the Sussex local, the "Argus"): No Red Nose Day at school

The argument about Red Nose Day has been running in the UK for several years now. This Catholic News Agency Report sums up the debate that reached an impasse a couple of years ago.

Comic Relief insists that it does not give money to "fund abortions." But time and again it turns out that it supports agencies that promote such things as "reproductive health care" which is code for ...

Here is part of the statement from "a spokeswoman" for comic relief as quoted in the Argus:
"Our funding in Africa goes to all kinds of projects - providing education, rehabilitating child soldiers, peace-building, fair trade, supporting street children and disabled people and a range of other work helping people in Africa to turn their lives around. A small percentage goes to projects with a family planning component.

We support this work because of the important contribution it can make to the health of children and families and to the empowerment of women in Africa, especially in the light of the terrible effects of HIV and AIDS across much of the continent. None of the money we have allocated as grants has been used to support abortions."
Carefully worded there: "none of the money"is used to support abortion, not "none of the organisations or projects" support abortion. It would be surprising if "projects with a family planning component" did not support this aspect of "reproductive health care."

The "small percentage" has been given in the past as 3%. Last year, Comic Relief raised £65 million so we are talking about £1.95 million going to "projects with a family planning component."

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