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The Dorries amendment will be a free vote - keep the pressure on

(325 Posts)
WilsonFrickett Thu 01-Sep-11 11:23:49

Lots of press today saying that the govt has decided to vote against ND's ridiculous amendment. While this is good news, it will still be a free vote, with individual MPs able to vote as they please. If you were thinking about emailing your MP on this issue please still do so - the result isn't a foregone conclusion.

From the Guardian article:

...a combination of the unpredictable intake of new Tory MPs, split between social conservatives and modernisers, the number of Roman Catholic Labour MPs, and the high degree of nuance of the amendment make it extremely unclear which way the vote will go.

kelly2000 Thu 01-Sep-11 12:01:01

These are general contact pages, but the other pages in the site will give you details of ministers and shadow ministers. Plus if you look at the "they work for you" website it will give you details of all MPs.

Pan Thu 01-Sep-11 12:10:08

Alternative view

WilsonFrickett Thu 01-Sep-11 12:46:57

I am actually looking for an opportunity in RL to use vagina-based Cerberus grin

Hardlyreallyhere Thu 01-Sep-11 13:38:57


Hardlyreallyhere Thu 01-Sep-11 13:49:52

I have received this response from Maria Miller MP

'I believe that there are legitimate concerns around the support women who are thinking of having an abortion receive. Often, women who are referred for an abortion only access counselling through the clinic which is carrying out their abortion. The potential for a conflict of interest therefore exists, since the clinics are paid for carrying out these abortions.

I agree therefore that women should have the option of seeking counselling from someone independent of the abortion clinic. The Government is considering the best way of delivering this on this aim, including whether an amendment to the Health and Social Care Bill is necessary or whether existing laws allow us to put this policy into effect.'

So she agrees with Dorries and it sounds like the Government U-turn on the Dorries amendment does not mean they are giving up on this.

kelly2000 Thu 01-Sep-11 14:01:03

I would send her an email back reminding her that the clinics are not for profit charities, and is she actually accusing them of acting illegally, and if so would she care to name them. Does she think they should be prevented from providing contraception too as if they have an interest in people have an abortions then they also have an interest in contraception failing.You could also ask her if she thinks a counselling service with the advice that abortion is a wickedness has potential for conflict of interest. You could also point out that abortion is safer than pregnancy and childbirth both physically and mentally yet pregnant women are not going to be offered counselling about keeping the pregnancy, so straight away this appears rather impartial as it does not appear to be about helping pregnant women make the right decision, but about decreasing the abortion rate.

WilsonFrickett Thu 01-Sep-11 14:42:01

Is she Conservative, Hardly?

kelly2000 Thu 01-Sep-11 16:02:38

Epic post coming up in reply to John Hemming on the thread about Vicky
I thought it was more suitable to post it here, rather than completely hjack the other post.Thank-you and apologies for the length.
Dorries is suggesting (and according to a poster on here so is Maria Miller) that abortion providers have a vested interest in women having abortions and so do not give impartial advice, Dorries has actually claimed they are interested in profit. One of the main so called impartial providers has been exposed as having a handbook which tells its advisors that abortion is a wickedness that grieves God!!

here are the facts as I see them:

Abortion providers such as Marie Stopes are not-for-profit charities and any surplus they have in the UK goes to funding their international charity work.

Abortion providers also provide contraception and sterilizations. If they are not to be trusted with giving impartial advice since they also provide abortions then by the same reasoning they should surley not be trusted to give contraception and sterlizations as they keep the abortion rate down.

It is already legal to give women independent advce, what this will do is stop women getting impartial advice from truely pro-choice (which is not the same as pro-abortion) charities such as Marie Stopes, and risk putting them in the hands of bias groups who claim things such as abortion is a sin, and use very emotive language. Dorries claims this will cut abortions by 60, 000 which in my opinion already implies a definate bias against abortion.

There is no suggestion of providing counselling to women intending to stay pregnant, yet in actual fact abortion is far safer than pregnancy, and childbirth. Britain has a high level of maternal mortality, one of the worst in Europe I believe, yet no woman has died in recent years from a legal abortion in the UK. The claims that abortion causes mental illness are false. A Danish study looked at nearly 400,000 before and after pregnancy and childbirth or abortion, and found that there was no increase in mental illness in those having abortions, but among those who had a baby the rate doubled! But because in the UK mental illness is one of the reasons a woman is allowed an abortion, mental illness is higher in those who have had an abortion, but again abortion causes no increase.

The claims being made by Dorries in support of this ammendment are thin . She accuses abotion providers of making profit, of pushing women to have abortion so they can get more profit, but backs it up with no evidence whatsoever, she claims that abortion increases mental illness which is not true, and in several articles indluding one in the dailymail yesterday she makes a claim that she witnessed a botched abortion, and was told to destroy the baby even though it was born alive (she is vague about what she actually did) which is simply scaremoungering and portraying abortion as something it is not. These sort of claims and accusations are not befitting of a member of our parliament, yet our government is looking to act on them and make laws which effect thousands of women on them. This is not right, and a is an underhand attack a woman's right to autonomy of their own bodies, their own health, and their own lives that will lead us to American style abortion laws.

MyGoldfishIsEvil Thu 01-Sep-11 22:17:09

Still waiting for my mp to respond to my email - he's a tory who rarely votes against the party, so fingers crossed smile

WilsonFrickett Fri 02-Sep-11 09:38:45

Nothing from mine yet either, however, there is a big kerfuffle going on in my city just now so I suspect his in-box is clogged...

MyGoldfishIsEvil Fri 02-Sep-11 11:18:34

Wilson I love the word kerfuffle. Will try and use it at least once irl today.

My MP has responded with:

'Thanks for this which I will certainly bear in mind when this is debated next week.

I believe that abortion counselling should be independent and unbiased, and that will govern my vote. However, the actual amendments to the legislation are still being tabled each day (and keep changing), so it isn't possible to tell yet which one will be selected for debate.

Kind regards,
Michael Fallon MP'

So, as I said on the 'other' thread, there seems to be a great deal of confusion as to what is even being debated next week. There also seems to be a huge red herring in the 'vested interest' of the abortion providers Marie Stopes and BPAS - yet I have yet to see any evidence of a financial conflict, seeing as they are not-for-profit organisations.

My MP plays his cards close to his chest doesn't he? But I take comfort that he rarely votes against party, and David Cameron is telling his people not to back Dorries now.

Empusa Fri 02-Sep-11 11:20:34

No reply from my MP yet, but he tends to reply by post rather than email. He's always been really good, so <fingers crossed> he doesn't let us down here.

WilsonFrickett Fri 02-Sep-11 11:40:43

I think that is such a good point - there was a really interesting post from a barrister or similar on 'the other thread' talking about how loosely-written amendments cause trouble down the line. Of course, that can't have been Nadine's intention, can it?

bumbleymummy Fri 02-Sep-11 11:41:48

Or you could decide to put pressure on for better counselling for all women considering abortions because it would seem that even Marie Stopes and BPAC don't always give the best advice. Surely it's better to have the best counselling available for women rather than bicker over where it might/might not come from? Just ask for genuinely independent and impartial counselling. I'm glad that some other MPs are taking that view of things.

Empusa Fri 02-Sep-11 11:43:47

bumbley Sure. But that isn't what Dorries is attempting to achieve, Dorries wants Marie Stopes etc to not be allowed to offer counselling.

Currently they are the best placed to offer counselling, the NHS doesn't have the funds for it.

bumbleymummy Fri 02-Sep-11 11:47:03

Yes, but the legislation isn't written in stone yet so why not express what you DO want rather than just opposing the whole thing because it comes from someone that you don't like.

kelly2000 Fri 02-Sep-11 11:47:36

i would ask him if he was accusing Marie Stopes of giving bias advice, and if so does he tihnk they should b stopped from giving contraceptive advice? It really annoyes me that this ammendement is being pushed by people who in my opinion are fundementalists (and in Dorries case unhinged in my opinion), yet those who are not for it are not bothering to do their own research and just hear the phrase "unbias advice" and go along with it without actually doing any decent research into marie Stopes, or dorries claims. And it really gets up my nose that most of parliament are men, and so will never be pregnant, have an abortion or be subjected to this so called independent advice. I am sure if men were going to have to go to independent counsellors who claimed sex was a sin that grieves God every time they bought condoms they would think differently.

Empusa Fri 02-Sep-11 11:47:40

I'd rather oppose it before it gets written in stone.

MyGoldfishIsEvil Fri 02-Sep-11 11:48:13

As an aside to the actual issue here - has anyone actually glanced at Nadine Dorries' blog?

It makes very uncomfortable reading (the understatement of the year) - it reads like the spiteful ramblings of a deranged harridan. It has little to do with her constituency, as far as I can make out, and is more about smearing anyone in political opposition / writes anything critical of her. It's so bitchy!

She gives MP's a bad name.

bumbleymummy Fri 02-Sep-11 11:48:50

Who do you think funds the counselling from Marie Stopes or BPAC? You either pay for it yourself or it is free if you are referred by your GP - so presumably the NHS are covering those referrals. Why not just cover them with another organisation that do not provide abortions and are completely impartial?

kelly2000 Fri 02-Sep-11 11:50:04

Marie stopes do give impartial advice, there have no financial interest in encouraging more abortions hence they supply contraceptives, and are a not-for-profit charity.
I want the law left as it is in regards to counselling.

Empusa Fri 02-Sep-11 11:50:12

So what organisations do you think are in a position to offer that? If it was places like Mind etc I'd agree, but I also know that Mind are stretched to their limits (and having their funding reduced)

bumbleymummy Fri 02-Sep-11 11:51:47

Well that's the point Empusa - but rather than just opposing it with a NO, never. Why not express your view that it is a good idea AS LONG AS it is genuinely impartial etc. Surely no one would object if 'independent' was clarified and there was no risk of the advice being biased from either side?

MyGoldfishIsEvil Fri 02-Sep-11 11:52:02

Oh no, Bumbley's here. Thought Kelly had a pretty good last word on that other thread. wink

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