Ready Steady Baby pamphlet reworded to include same sex couples

Since 1998 the Ready Steady Baby pamphlet, has been distributed to nearly three quarters of a million parents to be. The 220-page pamphlet, which is produced on behalf of NHS Scotland, gives advice on pregnancy and the first year of parenthood. Now, however, a complaint has been received by the NHS that the leaflet does not include in its wording, people in same-sex relationships.

Because of this, the pamphlet will no longer refer to ‘father’ but will use the term ‘partner’ which is considered to be non-gender specific. This has caused a storm of protest from certain quarters such as the Family Education Trust and Taxpayer Scotland. Both groups are saying that the NHS is wrong to change the wording in the pamphlet because of one complaint.

Norman Wells of the Family Education Trust says that it is a waste of taxpayer’s money, pandering to the whims of a minority interest group. He adds that the fact is that it takes a man and a woman to produce a child no matter how much spin is put on positive images of same-sex couples. The Taxpayer Scotland campaign manager, Robert Oxley says that the NHS is wasting money that they should be spending on more important things.

A spokesman for NHS Scotland said that they review their publications annually and that when the complaint was received, the leaflet had just been reviewed and that the need to recognize same-sex relationships was acknowledged. 90,000 new copies were printed in December, costing £100,000.