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On woman's hour - woman seeking abortion should receive counselling from GP rather than BPAS

(101 Posts)
Bumperlicioso Tue 29-Mar-11 11:28:16

Was listening to WH earlier and they were discussing this. Details from the bbc website below:

, Abortion Law, New Attempts to Tighten Rules Around Terminations

Nadine Dorries MP and Frank Field MP have put forward amendments to the Health and Social Care Bill currently passing through the Commons that would mean a tightening up of the rules around abortion. They claim that the current system means pregnant women receive advice from organisations such as British Pregnancy Advisory Service, who are ‘abortion providers with a vested interest’, consequently they say, they cannot give the independent advice that women should get. So are women not receiving enough independent advice? Ann Furedi, Chief Executive of BPAS and Nadine Dorries join Jane Garvey to discuss'

Am I being naive to think this is just another hoop for women to jump through and surely no one really has a 'vested interest' in convincing woman to have abortions. Are GPs really qualified to give this advice? That is what Dorries seemed to be suggesting should happen.

Prolesworth Tue 29-Mar-11 11:47:33

Message withdrawn

LessNarkyPuffin Tue 29-Mar-11 11:56:55

He has a history of this too

Bumperlicioso Tue 29-Mar-11 12:10:50

At least it's not as bad as in the US

RamblingRosa Tue 29-Mar-11 12:13:27

I read about this in paper the other day. I agree that Dorries is a loon.
A dangerous loon though.

Definitely another hoop for women to jump through.

this info on the Abortion Rights website is helpful.

Prolesworth Tue 29-Mar-11 12:24:24

Message withdrawn

sakura Tue 29-Mar-11 12:26:50

You'd get into power if you expressed her views Prolesworth! So would I.
Won't get anywhere with the views we actually do hold though..

Prolesworth Tue 29-Mar-11 12:29:23

Message withdrawn

donnie Tue 29-Mar-11 12:31:40

is everyone who does not support abortions a 'loon' then?

charming choice of terminology there.

Prolesworth Tue 29-Mar-11 12:32:13

Message withdrawn

suzikettles Tue 29-Mar-11 12:32:56

Does she really think (well, presumably she does) that BPAS are rubbing their hands together and crowing "hurrah, another one for us"?

GPs are human like anyone else and not necessarily neutral.

KatieMiddleton Tue 29-Mar-11 12:39:04

I think the counselling should be provided separately. Having had some experience of the work BPAS do, it is very geared up to having a termination and not looking at choice.

I think for women who are not decided an independent option for counselling is not a bad idea. And for those who have made their minds up BPAS and the like are the better option.

Personally I would not want to go via my GP for a termination though. I'd want the process and the counselling to be anonymous.

JenaiMarrHePlaysGuitar Tue 29-Mar-11 12:41:10

Improve the availability of terminations at NHS facilities and nobody would have to go to BPAS/Marie Stopes or wherever, unless they actually wanted to.

KatieMiddleton Tue 29-Mar-11 12:46:15

I do also agree with Jenai that the current process of relying on charities to provide the service is not good enough.

There needs to be an independent option so women can make informed choices and then depending on her decision there should be good Nhs services, whether it's termination clinic and post termination counselling or maternity services. Both of which, IMO, leave a lot to be desired.

CinnabarRed Tue 29-Mar-11 12:53:45

I fell unexpectedly pregnant just after Christmas, and seriously considered a termination.

I visited my GP, and she agreed on the basis of a 10 minute consultation that I was a suitable candidate for a termination. She referred me to BPAS, and it took about a week for my appointment to come through.

By the time of the BPAS appointment, I'd already decided to have the baby. However, I wanted to keep the BPAS appointment to talk through my lingering concerns and the plans I'd put in place to counter them.

The lady from BPAS, however, made it crystal clear that she wasn't there for talking or counselling. As far as she was concerned, I was there to discuss termination options. She was very nice when I explained that I wasn't going ahead, and in fact gave me a hug and said how pleased she was to hear a positive outcome. She certainly didn't try and influence my decision one way or the other.

I was shocked, looking back on it, that I wasn't offered any form of counselling by the GP. And how quick and easy it was to get to the stage that I was having a termination (as far as my GP and BPAS were aware).

LessNarkyPuffin Tue 29-Mar-11 13:00:30

What should happen then CinnabarRed?

CinnabarRed Tue 29-Mar-11 13:09:05

Umm, I guess in an ideal world the GP would have been able to offer me independent counselling.

Failing that, at least make it clear that BPAS doesn't offer any form of counselling, independent or otherwise, so that women know to seek it out for themselves if they want it.

I have no complaint with BPAS, BTW. I was just "mis-sold" their services. If I'd wanted to have the termination then their professional approach would have been right.

KatieMiddleton Tue 29-Mar-11 13:15:36

I agree with Cinnabar.

LessNarkyPuffin Tue 29-Mar-11 13:18:18

I do wonder when I hear about counselling what people think it should entail IYSWIM. Apart from, 'Have you thought about your decision?' what should it be?

LessNarkyPuffin Tue 29-Mar-11 13:22:55

I'm not trying to have a go, I just don't know what people mean when they say 'counselling' in this context. Is it someone to sit and listen whilst you talk about your feelings? Is it someone to play devil's advocate and check that you've really thought it through?

Thandeka Tue 29-Mar-11 13:23:28

Then the name "British Pregnancy Advisory Service" is a misnomer isn't it? Although I think the telephone helpline side of things is what they do?

KatieMiddleton Tue 29-Mar-11 13:25:10

I think counselling for those who are undecided should be counselling not a checklist of things people should have considered.

In a counselling session the counsellor helps you to explore your feelings to help you reach a decision and/or agree processes for coping with the decision (regardless if what that is).

I also think counselling should be optional.

CinnabarRed Tue 29-Mar-11 13:35:28

I can only talk about my specific case (although I agree with Katie's definition of counselling. I also agree that counselling should be optional. If a woman has made up her mind then she shouldn't be obliged to drag out the process any longer than is necessary.).

Here's my thread, if you want to read more:

But in a nutshell, DP is Catholic and very much wanted the baby; I had severe doubts. My main concerns were (i) I'm still suffering from PND from DS2 and was terribly worried about it coming back when DC3 was born; (ii) feeling like we were just getting back on our feet after DS2's birth and not wanting to upset the applecart; (iii) exhaustion because DS2 still isn't close to sleeping through; and (iv) fear that I can't cope with three DCs under the age of 4.

In the end, DP and I agreed that we will keep our nanny on while I'm on maternity leave so hopefully (iv) shouldn't be an issue. I spoke to my CPN about (i) and got my ADs reviewed and confirmed that there were safe to take during pregnancy. Time has largely put my concerns about (ii) to bed. And I've come to accept that there's not much I'm able or willing to do about (iii)!

What I really wanted was to talk to an impartial person about my fears and whether they could be managed.

LessNarkyPuffin Tue 29-Mar-11 13:40:29

That sounds reasonable KateMiddleton. Unfortunately on the NHS there is no provision for counselling in many areas for lots of mental health issues. They just wouldn't be able to provide abortion counselling.

ElephantsAndMiasmas Tue 29-Mar-11 13:46:16

Totally agree Suzi - I don't think abortion providers go "YES!" every time someone decides to terminate.

She is a vile woman though.

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