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Who didn't see this coming?

(13 Posts)

Apparently all those super-independent anti-abortion charities with absolutely no bias one way or the other don't give the full picture when it comes to pregnancy advice. shock

I for one am shocked and surprised. Who would have thought that pushing out Bpas, Maries Stopes, etc would have that effect? hmm

Pootles2010 Wed 03-Aug-11 13:45:48

Absolutely no one could have known that would have happened and it most certainly was not the hoped for result hmm

I suppose we just be thankful that 2 of the centres visited did give the right advice, or maybe with those sort of statistics what's the point in keeping any of them open?

KRIKRI Wed 03-Aug-11 15:11:22

The worrying thing is that Nadine Dorries and her ilk insist that the NHS shouldn't refer women for pregnancy counselling to organisations that provide termination services because they aren't really independent (but offers no evidence that this is true.) However, they want women instead referred to "independent" (as if) counselling services, including those that were mystery shopped in this report.

Thumbwitch Wed 03-Aug-11 15:17:33

From this bit:
"anti-choice campaigners are arguing that women seeking a termination must have "independent" advice, and criticising current provision because it "comes from organisations that rely so heavily on charging the NHS for each abortion they carry out and so have a vested financial interest in an abortion going ahead" as Nadine Dorries' 'Right to Know' campaign claims. "

I wonder how many terminations are carried out in private clinics as opposed to by the NHS? And where this financial incentive comes into play - I thought the patient paid the private clinic, not the NHS? Terminations are still available free of charge on the NHS, aren't they? I don't understand this bit at all.

But no, in answer to the OP, it's no surprise at all. And pretty sad.

Pootles2010 Wed 03-Aug-11 15:17:52

May I be really dozy for a moment? I'm not quite sure why there are independent type places, or how they work alongside nhs?

I had a termination about 10 years ago, iirc the 'counselling' was basically going to two dr's who just sort of said 'are you sure?' then I went to hospital for the actual termination. Is this not normal?

Thumbwitch Wed 03-Aug-11 15:19:26

Pootles, you're as confused as I am about it, that's exactly how I thought it worked as well except that I know there are private clinics that do it too, and I thought the patient paid directly.

Pootles2010 Wed 03-Aug-11 15:21:09

Oh, and it was on the baby type area of the hopspital, so there were loads of children's characters painted all over the walls and the last thing I heard before going under with the gas was babies crying. I do hope they've changed that at least.

KRIKRI Wed 03-Aug-11 15:30:56

Thumbwitch, in some areas, abortions are carried out in NHS facilities directly and in others, they are contracted out to external providers, including charities like BPAS or Marie Stopes and also possibly to private clinics. Same goes for sterilisations, vasectomies and fertility treatments - sometimes provided in-house and sometimes contracted out. When services are contracted out, it's usually because the external providers can offer a better and/or more cost-effective service.

There isn't any legal requirement for counselling to be provided. You just need the signatures of two doctors stating that you meet the legal requirement for a termination. So yes Pootles, that could mean going to your GP and then being referred to see a doctor at hospital, both signing the form and the procedure being carried out. From what I understand, external providers are more likely to offer counselling and support before the person decides to have an abortion, and also afterwards if they've had one. However, not every woman wants or needs counselling and may have already done the research and thinking through long before they approach a doctor.

Dorries insists that an organisation can't provide independent advice or counselling if they also provide terminations. But, she doesn't claim that there is anything wrong in the same organisation providing counselling and advice on sterilisation or fertility treatment, and providing the treatments as well.

It's pretty clear that Dorries main goal is to stop abortion provision, but as a step change, she would like to make it harder for women to access them. One way to make it more difficult is to make women submit to "counselling" from an organisation that has a clear anti-abortion agenda - like those found to be peddling incorrect information and resorting to emotional ploys in the Education for Choice Report.

Thumbwitch Wed 03-Aug-11 15:32:45

I think that varies from hospital to hospital, Pootles. sad
Mine was in a very austere ward, no babies anywhere near. The hospital I worked in later, terminations were carried out in a cottage hospital associated with the main one, and when that closed down, I think they ended up in the gynae wards - but the gynae wards were in the same block as the maternity ward, just a different floor.

Thumbwitch Wed 03-Aug-11 15:36:20

x-posted, KriKri - thank you.
All my experience has been that the NHS hospital provided the service themselves. I have to say, both the GP and the consultant who spoke to me were very sympathetic and very clear that I had options - but I was absolutely sure what I wanted to do and they were fine about it; I thought my counselling was fine.

I intensely dislike the agenda of anyone trying to take us back to the bad old days of back-street abortions because that is what is likely to happen if women can't easily access decent clinical facilities.

KRIKRI Wed 03-Aug-11 15:37:47

BTW, long ago and far away when I was a nurse, it peeved me to no end that in many NHS hospitals, women having terminations were plonked on the same wards as those who'd just had miscarriages, were having fertility treatments or were near maternity wards. Although I understand it was generally the same docs providing these services, it seemed incredibly insensitive and not the least bit "patient focussed" for anyone involved!

It has, imho, been a positive move to either provide family planning and abortion services from dedicated units with staff who are properly trained (it was another bug bear of mine that some of the nurses on the gynae ward were anti-choice and treated women having terminations very badly,) whether that's within NHS facilities or by contracting out services to women's reproductive health charities.

KRIKRI Wed 03-Aug-11 15:39:54

Geez, I'm cross posting all over the shop, ain't I? grin

Thumb, that's my worry - that if Dorries and her ilk succeed, it will roll back significant advances made in the past 20 years, and then eventually further back to the knitting needle years.

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