There have been indications for some time that the next big push from the permissive lobby in Britain will be to legalize incest. In 1975, the British Sexual Law Reform Society (SLRS) produced a report recommending that the age of consent should be reduced to 14, including incestuous relationships.

The Family Planning Association (FPA – a public-funded charity) tacitly supported this report. The Secretary of the SLRS, Jane Cousins, later achieved notoriety as the author of Make It Happy, the controversial sex education manual which was described by a leading journalist as “the filthiest book of its sort I have ever seen.” It contained this statement on incest: “Incest is not particularly uncommon, and can be a loving sexual relationship, especially between a brother and sister.” It is interesting to note that this is one of the very few places in the book in which love is mentioned. Make It Happy was promoted by the FPA.

At the National Council of Women annual conference, the FPA put down an amendment to the motion calling for the right of parents to be consulted before their under-age children are prescribed contraceptives. The amendment called for certain exceptions to be made, including incestuous relationships. So the FPA would provide contraception to a child known to be the victim of an incestuous relationship. This affords the child no protection against the emotional and psychological damage of incest.

The day after the Amendment was defeated, the British Criminal Law Revision Committee published its proposals for altering the laws relating to sexual offences. They include the legalization of incest between brothers and sisters over 21. This they justified on the grounds that brothers and sisters separated early in life might meet later and fall in love unknowingly. If there is any truth in the old maxim that hard cases make bad law, this would be a very bad law indeed. The medical dangers of incest and its disruptive effect on society are so well known that it has been taboo in every civilized society for hundreds of years.