Calls for education resources that “debunk misinformation” about abortion are to be considered by a Scottish Parliament committee.

A Scottish teacher launched a petition calling for an educational resource on abortion to be made available to all secondary schools which will be evaluated by the Citizen Participation and Public Petitions Committee at the end of this month.  

Gemma Clark, 39, said that a decision by the US Supreme Court to end constitutional protection for abortion prompted her to take more interest in the information given to Scottish pupils.

“With what happened with Roe v Wade, I was looking at the abortion education that's available in Scotland and I thought we are not telling young people enough,” Ms Clark said.

A Herald investigation which showed a controversial anti-abortion group carried out dozens of school visits made her “realise just how important” further education is.

Figures show that the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children (SPUC) visited schools in at least eight of Scotland’s council areas to talk to pupils about topics such as abortion and euthanasia.

READ MORE: Anti-abortion group has carried out dozens of school visits

“If children must be exposed to a group like that, who can spread dangerous disinformation in schools, then the least that they deserve is accurate information to counter that,” Ms Clark said.

While one resource on abortion is supplied to secondary schools under the Relationships, Sexual Health and Parenthood (RSHP) lessons, the teacher states that it is a “good start but not enough”.

“It needs to be followed up with more than that,” she said. “I would want there to be challenging of stigma because it's still stigmatised.

“I think also there needs to be debunking of misinformation. If there are groups going to schools spreading misinformation, then there needs to be at least a session debunking those myths that anti-choice groups spread.”

Currently, the resource provided to schools as part of the RSHP intends to teach youth that termination of pregnancy services are available and that all health services are confidential.

Ms Clark also believes that pupils should also be taught that abortion can be essential health care.

“If you have an ectopic pregnancy, if you don’t get an abortion or if you have an incomplete miscarriage, that’s the treatment.

“I think a lot of people don’t know that it really is healthcare and sometimes it can be the only healthcare available to deal with a medical emergency.

“I think that would really help young people understand that this isn’t just an opinion. This literally is essential life-saving healthcare.”

READ MORE: Abortion buffer zones to be rolled out in Scotland 'as quickly as humanly possible'

 The petition is calling for the Scottish Parliament to push the government to work with Education Scotland to “develop a health-focused and stigma-challenging educational resource on abortion” which would be made available to all secondary schools in the country.

It will be considered by the committee at a meeting on February 22.

“It’s not really a big ask,” Ms Clark said. “I'm not asking for a change in legislation or anything like that. I'm literally just asking for a little bit of information to be added to it.

“They're just being asked to update a resource or to add something supplementary to a resource that already exists.”

The teacher has urged others to write to their MSP and urge them to support the petition while emphasising that a rise in anti-abortion protests has made it “more important than ever” to ensure pupils are given comprehensive information.

She added: “I think with the increase in clinic harassment, which is coming from America – 40 days for life is a Texan organisation – if young people are going to be out and see signs talking about abortion, trying to stigmatise it and spreading misinformation, I think it is more important than ever for them to be properly educated.

“If they are not getting proper education and skills then they are going to be vulnerable to this anti-abortion propaganda and misinformation that’s spreading from America and coming over here.”