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to not understand what's wrong with Dorries' amendments?

(82 Posts)
takingbackmonday Wed 31-Aug-11 10:43:48

First off I am pro-choice.

This is not partisan and I'm looking for info not a fight.

From my limited understanding it appears that the amendments would allow not force women to seek independent counselling when having an abortion. Surely this is a good thing when many abortion clinics/charities are paid per abortion?

Just to repeat, I'm interested in the problem not saying I support or do not support this. I don't like the government getting involved with this but then I disagree with most the ways in which the government intrudes on our lives and this seems a rather well-meant attempt...

pippilongsmurfing Wed 31-Aug-11 10:47:44

I think most of the opposition is because it takes more time to get extra counselling, so more time for women to be guilted into continuing with the pregnancy, or that the extra time will make some preganacies over the abortion limit?

Or that was my take on it anyway.

I think the counselling BPAS do is impartial, I went with my sister once and they were in no way telling her abortion was the "only" way to go, they discussed adoption and keeping the baby as well.

TheBigJessie Wed 31-Aug-11 11:06:35

Dentists are paid per tooth extraction. Yet I trust my dentist's advice on how to avoid tooth extractions by good tooth care.

kelly2000 Wed 31-Aug-11 11:16:02

Dorries arguement is that abortion providers have a financial interest in providing abortions and so do not give impartial advice, that is a really serious accusation to make, and she has not backed it up with anything other than her own opinion. In fact in the UK abortion providers are charities and run on a not for profit basis. The so called impartial advisors have turned out to be trained by a handbook that refers to abortion as wicked and makes religious references as to why abortion is wrong. Not eactly impartial! It is also the assumption that if a pregnant woman says she wants to keep the baby she is deemed capable of making that choice, if she says she wants an abortion she is deemed incapable and is pushed to go through counselling. Why is there no suggestion that pregnant women get counselling? Plus counselling will delay the abortion and make it more difficult for the woman.
Additionally I see this as the thin end of the wedge, with people like Dorries pushing for more and more restrictions. It is shameful that in the UK a woman can be refused contraception at a pharmacy because te pharmacist who decided to work in that environment does not agree with it, and that GPs who choose to put themselve sin that position of power can refuse to refer women to abortions.

takingbackmonday Wed 31-Aug-11 11:24:21


TheBigJessie Wed 31-Aug-11 11:26:49

The other issue is that Nadine Dorries has made her pro-life viewpoint very clear in recent years, so I'm inclined to take any claims she makes about impartiality with a pinch of salt.

TheBigJessie Wed 31-Aug-11 11:32:00

I cannot respect anyone who contradicts neonatological research on premature babies' survival chances based purely on her own ideological biases.


"Where has all the money gone?" indeed!

GeekCool Wed 31-Aug-11 11:34:14

Her wording makes her goals very clear. She stated that 60,000 out of 200,000 abortions could be prevented . Add in her Abstinence sex education for girls which is due a second reading in Parliament in January, you begin to see her true stance.

Treats Wed 31-Aug-11 11:34:26

I dislike the way she said that the purpose of the change was to 'prevent' more abortions occurring. Since when was the 'prevention' of abortion government policy??

The other thing I object to is the shift away from providing appropriate care and support once a woman has made up her mind to have an abortion towards 'helping' a woman to make the decision in the first place. It infantilises women and denies them complete autonomy over their own body.

slug Wed 31-Aug-11 11:41:06

If you are unfortunate enough to come across a GP with anti abortion views (as I was) they can refuse to refer you for a NHS abortion and delay or refuse to refer you to another GP who will. Add on to that the added delay in waiting for and completing a "counselling" appointment with a provider who also does not share your moral standpoint and a woman can easily find herself going past the time limit.

When I went for my initial appointment with Marie Stopes about a termination I was given the respect of being treated as an adult and discussed with them my decision to terminate my pregnancy. When I reappeared 7 weeks later for the actual termination I was spoken to very closely as, understandably, they were concerned that the delay meant I was unsure about my decision. In fact, the delay was due to me having to raise the money to go privately as my GP had blocked me from the NHS route, but I appreciated their concern and they were only doing what they should i.e. being very, very sure that this was what I wanted.

I had already sat through one harrangue from my GP. The last thing a woman in that situation needs is the implication that they should feel guilty for taking control of their own fertility.

kelly2000 Wed 31-Aug-11 11:44:34

Your story makes me very angry. If someone disgarees with abortion then they should not become GPs, or they should be made to advertise the fact that they refuse to refer women for abortions. I would not register with a GP like this. They get away with it because women do not like to go public with the fact the had an abortion so it is difficult for them to complain. A Gp who harrangues a patient should be struck off.

DawnTiggaWeirdyBeardy Wed 31-Aug-11 11:49:18

It's the first chip at the block that is abortion rights for women and as such needs to be stopped now.


onagar Wed 31-Aug-11 11:59:23

I gather that the plan is to withdraw funding completely from those who are offering counselling now. So this is instead of not in addition to

The stated purpose being that the current counselling is not preventing enough women from having abortions.

God is apparently unhappy!

MugglesandLuna Wed 31-Aug-11 12:04:09

Its like being counselled on what to do with your dog by Cruella DeVille.

TheBigJessie Wed 31-Aug-11 12:06:46

Ms Dorries will say anything that suits her at the time. Even if her remarks might potentially reduce the future funding to neonatological research. I am certain that some individuals remember her comments when asked to donate to pre-mature baby charities. How pro-life of her, eh?

She really cares about babies after they're born, doesn't she?

iklboo Wed 31-Aug-11 12:09:49

Slug - a GP MUST refer you to a colleague if they disagree with abortion. To 'block' your NHS route or refuse/delay a referral to a colleague is a breach of Good Medical Practice and you can report them to the GMC who will take that kind of complaint seriously. Especially if there have been complaints to the Practice or PCT.

kelly2000 Wed 31-Aug-11 12:14:31

I do not remember her comments about donating to charity what were they?

MamaChocoholic Wed 31-Aug-11 12:14:44

to be fair to Dorries (although I don't see why I should), she isn't saying the advice will be impartial, but independent. I see this as a move to
(a) take money from those who provide abortions by not funding the counselling side of their work, and
(b) giving the money from (a) to pro-life groups who will jump in to provide counselling

I think it's first and foremost about the money, but with the added "benefit" of
(c) reducing the impartial advice available to vulnerable women by providing only biased counselling to women who want to talk things through before making a decision
(d) dangerously undermining (libelling?) those groups who provide abortions by painting them as having a vested interest in encouraging women to have abortions

Insomnia11 Wed 31-Aug-11 12:15:21

My main beef is wondering what her real motives are. Knowing her political views and general incoherence/downright ignorance on most topics.

She says she is trying to help women but her real motives are to reduce the number of abortions by 60,000. That doesn't necessarily help anyone.

Also it seems no-one, except the self-interested groups who want a slice of the public monies pie has a problem with the advice Marie Stopes/BPAS provide.

The basic premise is wrong. She is saying that MS/BPAS have a vested interest in carrying out abortions. They do not. They have a vested interest in providing sexual health advice, which is what they are given public funds for. They, as far as I know, don't get a bonus for performing a certain number of abortions.

Also how can Roman Catholic/Muslim/C of E - anyone who believes abortion should be illegal because the sky pixies tells them so provide impartial advice? It's like getting the BNP in to advise immigrants.

I'd like to see the number of abortions reduced but by better sex and sexual health education. That way does help women, and indeed men too, and that way you don't get an additional 60,000 unwanted children.

ChazsBrilliantAttitude Wed 31-Aug-11 12:18:32


Look at the definition of "independent"

The only criteria are that it is either a statutory body or a private body that does not provide abortion services.

There is no requirement for the provider of advice to be impartial, well informed, medically trained or trained in counselling. Nor is there any requirement for the advice itself to be impartial, accurate and based on scientific fact (unlike usual evidence based medicine).

Additionally, there is no requirement for the advice to be provided in a timely manner so it clearly can become an accidental or deliberate delaying tactic.

Its bad law that masquerades as protecting women whilst actually putting at risk their right to accurate advice and potentially delaying or reducing access to abortion.

It all feels very Victorian, like women are too feeble to make difficult decisions so need people to intervene to protect them.

witchwithallthetrimmings Wed 31-Aug-11 12:20:34

counselling has two goals. one to make the women make the right choice for her and two to enable her to be happy with that choice. For most women it is the last goal that is the crucial one (they know what they should do). If this is to work, it has to be done in a climate that is non judgemental otherwise the women will be trying to justfy herself to the counseller and not to understand what she really feels.

WhatFreshHellIsThis Wed 31-Aug-11 12:23:51

I too have an issue with her aim of preventing 60,000 abortions a year - first of all I have no idea where she has plucked that figure from, does she really think 60,000 women are being coerced into an abortion by the evil providers? That's a wild and deeply insulting accusation to all those who work hard to give women choices at a time of crisis.

Furthermore, in a time of population explosion, why is a further 60,000 not terribly wanted babies a good thing?

And to echo the ever-sensible Tigga, this is a strategy to chip away at abortion rights. They tried to bring the time limit down a few years ago (again, the lovely Dorries woman) and failed, now they're chipping away at women's rights to sensible counselling by bringing religious organisations in to preach nonsense about increased risk of cancer and scaremongering all over the shop.

When will they understand that if we are to have a truly equal society, women MUST have the right to have control over their own bodies, up to the point where a baby is viable outside the womb (24 weeks) when it acquires its own rights as a human being?


msbuggywinkle Wed 31-Aug-11 12:25:41

Thing is, (to add to the already made excellent points) if a woman wants faith based abortion counselling, which is what these 'independent' counselling services are going to be it is already available.

Priests, rabbis, immams, vicars are all available to be spoken to about faith based issues, including abortion. Specific counselling being available on abortion is just a way to get women who don't want faith based counselling into faith based counselling.

MugglesandLuna Wed 31-Aug-11 12:25:43

I too wonder where she gets the figure of 60,000 from.

If she wanted to be really helpful, she could use her energy to prevent unwanted pregnancies in the first place, instead of working so hard to take away the rights of all women.

Didnt she have an affair with her friends DH?

MugglesandLuna Wed 31-Aug-11 12:26:03

If only MNHQ would get her in for a webchat!

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