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Abortion counselling to be offered 'independently' thanks to Nadine Dorries

(59 Posts)
VictorGollancz Sun 28-Aug-11 22:00:49

So the door is now officially open for pro-life Christian groups to 'counsel' women, and it is tantamount to forcing women to wait before they can undergo a LEGAL medical procedure. I'm so angry I'm not sure I can string together a coherent sentence. This is a warning, a very big warning, that we must never think for one moment that our reproductive rights are assured.

From that article:

Dorries said she did not know how the Right to Know campaign was being funded, claiming that it represented "hundreds" of people and was run by a lobbyist. She would not reveal the lobbyist's name, or the other organisations the lobbyist represents but did say that she was receiving advice from Dr Peter Saunders, the head of the Christian Medical Fellowship.

Saunders led the Alive and Kicking campaign, a group of anti-abortion groups including the ProLife Alliance, which campaigned for an immediate cut in the abortion time limit, prohibition of abortion for "social convenience" and a cooling-off period.

<screams in horror>

Even the most cursory google reveals Dorries to be an out-and-out liar. If this campaign was based on facts, that would be one thing - but the fact that this woman has twisted every piece of information she can get her hands on in order to push this through Parliament makes it a disgrace. I'm so, so angry about this.

VictorGollancz Sun 28-Aug-11 22:01:29

Sorry, link!

theginganinja Sun 28-Aug-11 22:06:00

I agree, in fact I think it's outrageous that Nadine Dorries should be allowed anywhere near an abortion advisory group. She is a vehement pro-lifer, so I, too do not believe that she is not aware of the genesis of this group.

NotQuiteSoDesperate Sun 28-Aug-11 22:20:31

Agree too, have been reading about this in the newspapers today and am totally livid. Seems like a very nasty, sneaky way of limiting abortions or delaying them, so therefore limiting them in another way.

DorisIsAPinkDragon Sun 28-Aug-11 22:33:53

The way this has been slipped in with the other health service changes and with such a short debate time means (as intentioned) neither get the attention they desrve.

It just makes me feel very very sick. That and realise how so very little we actually have any recourse or action within parliment. You made your choice you're stuck with us [mp's] now for the next 4 years.

breaktime73 Sun 28-Aug-11 22:38:54

oh god. sad 60,000 'prevented' abortions means in all probability, 60,000 unwanted babies born into situations where they don't stand much of a chance and their mother may well not be equipped or supported to care for them.

And once they're born, they cant' expect much help from the Coalition then, can they? Cos then they'll be part of the horrid unwashed masses. Future looters and 'benefit scum' no doubt.

This country is making me sicker and sicker. Can we leave please???

solidgoldbrass Sun 28-Aug-11 23:21:48

I honestly think that men should be prohibited from having any say on the subject of abortion. It's not up to them, it's not their bodies that are involved, and women's bodies are not men's property.

CRIKRI Mon 29-Aug-11 00:21:04

Saw this and thoroughly disgusted. It was only a few weeks ago that this mystery shopper survey was released, which found that many of the so-called "independent" pregnancy counselling services were peddling misinformation and using emotive language and scaremongering. I can bet you that many of those in the study will get a fat wadge when contracted by the health service to provide the "independent counselling."

It's abundantly clear that the agenda of Dorries and her ilk is nothing to do with ensuring there is a better service for women facing unplanned pregnancy, nor that they be better informed or have improved support in deciding what to do. It's all about reducing the number of abortions, and I can't imagine they will be averse to things like delaying tactics, inaccurate information and downright scare tactics to stop women having abortions.

Even in the Daily Mail reader comments, many are saying how stupid this is to create more children who are unwanted and born to mothers unable to care for them properly.

Perhaps in the Government's fantasy land, another of its initiatives Working Families Everywhere will get them back on the social straight and narrow, and if not, perhaps rich people can get richer with a punt on their future rehabilitation.

UsingMainlySpoons Mon 29-Aug-11 09:57:32

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

OddBoots Mon 29-Aug-11 10:01:39

I saw an interesting article on this yesterday, as well as the badly thought out idea itself I was stunned that an MP would say about their own blog that they use as part of their work "My blog is 70 per cent fiction and 30 per cent fact. It is written as a tool to enable my constituents to know me better and to reassure them of my commitment to Mid Bedfordshire. I rely heavily on poetic licence and frequently replace one place name/event/fact with another."

VictorGollancz Mon 29-Aug-11 10:15:46

CriKri, thanks for that mystery shopper link. It just proves, doesn't it, that this campaign is based on lies and misrepresentations?

Post Abortion Syndrome is a MYTH

Dorries has stood up in Parliament and openly lied about women's experiences of abortion. She said that women are given more information for 'surgery on an ingrowing toenail' than they are for a termination. Aside from being complete bollocks, that would also be illegal, seeing as you have to give informed consent for any medical procedure.

She is a liar and a fraud and she needs to be stopped. And those who support her campaign (a list that includes David Cameron), should hand their heads in shame.

HoneyPablo Mon 29-Aug-11 10:39:50

Agree with CRIKRI. it is nothing to do with supporting women and everything to do with reducing the number of terminations. I don't have any problem with somebody who has the courage of their convictions and fights for their cause, I just hate all the underhandness and duplicity.
I have recently had to take my 14 year old for a termination at Marie Stopes. I really can't fault them, they were fantastic, as were the local NHS nurse/ school nurse and DD's school. It was a very fraught and difficult time with 3 seperate visits to the clinic. Having to go somewhere else for counselling would have added to those difficulties.
As for post abortion syndrome, it's still early days, but DD has been much happier since her termination. She had several issues beforehand and I was seriously concerned that she was heading for some sort of breakdown. Being able to make the decision and have the proceedure so quickly helped DD to take back control of her life.
I am sure it is the same for a woman of any age-it's hardly a decision that is made lightly.

MaxSchreck Mon 29-Aug-11 10:52:45


I have written to my MP but don't expect a response, as I've never had one so far!

theothersparticus Mon 29-Aug-11 11:10:11

Speaking as someone who has had both an abortion and an in-growing toenail I can confidently say that BPAS provided me with more information than I actually needed to make a decision, as opposed to the ingrowing toenail, which was yanked out at a local clinic shock ow.

I did write to my MP who replied and explained that he is very much pro-choice, he hadn't read the guardian article but it did shock him and he would be voting against Nadine Dorries' proposals. So that's one at least (is there any way I can check if he's kept his word?)

anastaisia Mon 29-Aug-11 11:11:36

If anyone isn't sure about what to write in a letter to their MP there's a template available here but do try and personalise it.

And an e-petition here

HoneyPablo Mon 29-Aug-11 11:15:34

Thanks anastasia, I have emailed my MP using the template. I await his reply.

UsingMainlySpoons Mon 29-Aug-11 11:16:12

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

alexpolismum Mon 29-Aug-11 11:17:40

Why am I not surprised? It's amazing abortion was ever legalised at all, with the attitudes that seem to be out there.

Can I just ask why we call them 'pro-life'? I am pro-life, we all are, or we would all be committing suicide, but I am definitely pro-choice when it comes to abortion! Why not call them 'anti-abortion'?

CRIKRI Mon 29-Aug-11 11:21:04

Yes, as others have suggested, this move is aimed at limiting access to safe, legal abortions by stealth.

If women are required to make yet another visit to another separate service, this is an extra hurdle to get over and there is likely to be a further delay in the process because another agency is involved. Call me cynical, but I wouldn't be surprised if some of these anti-abortion lobbying organisations "independent" pregnancy counselling services will somehow end up having quite long waiting lists to access their services.

Delays not only cause more distress and anxiety for the woman but can mean that a more complicated and risky procedure is required if performed at a later gestation. I think this is part of the agenda as well. If you delay the process, they hope the woman will re-think either because of the later stage of gestation or the higher risks involved in a termination at that stage.

I can't lay my hands on them at the moment, and they'd be quite out of date since it was two decades ago that I was a nurse. But, I remember even then that there was ample research to show that delays, bureaucracy and judgemental attitudes of health care staff were all factors likely to cause distress and anxiety for women after termination. However, there negligible risk of poor mental health outcomes if the process is carried out efficiently and without judgement.

Someone else who's up to speed can probably find references more easily than I can.

Either way, this absolutely stinks to high heaven. Having said that, I have lost count of the number of times my jaw has hit the floor upon hearing of the latest regressive policies of the Government in Westminster.

forkful Mon 29-Aug-11 11:31:36

FFS sad

Many medical professionals have a techincal financial/vested interest in offering unecessary procedures! Private doctors/pharmacists/dentists/GPs with targets - but they are goverened by their professional ethics and standards and have professional oversite bodies to regulate them.

I just wonder <hopeful> whether this announcement by DoH is a disguised pre-emptive strike against Nadine. confused

"The DH confirmed that it wanted to change the rules to offer women independent counselling in addition to that currently offered by abortion services and said it was consulting on the precise method to use."

So what do they mean by "offer". This is key. Also the fact that they are consulting on the method to use. We need to get involved with this consultation.

Scenario "I'd like an abortion please." ... Info from BPAS etc on the procedure, counselling. Right before we procede " would you be interested in independent counselling from another organisation?" "what type of organisation?" "well they are anti-abortion/Christian". "eh no they can fuck off".

I suspect Nadine wants mandatory counselling from anti-abortion organisations. angry

I think that it is extremely important that organisations involved with abortion are clearly and officially classified into "pro-choice" and "anti-abortion". We need a clear list of statements which any organisation wishing to be in the "pro- choice" list adhere to. Any others should be required to advertise their services as "anti-abortion".

I was in Oxford the other day and there were adverts on buses for abortion counselling which to me was clearly from an "anti-abortion" organisation. To someone less informed they may have just appeared as a benign listening ear.

How can we get involved with the DoH consultation process?

UsingMainlySpoons Mon 29-Aug-11 11:37:43

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

forkful Mon 29-Aug-11 11:38:27

Another thought if Nadine has been "receiving advice from Dr Peter Saunders, the head of the Christian Medical Fellowship." - is this akin to a political donation which requires fuller disclosure on both the register of MP's gifts and as a political donation from the Christian Medical Fellowship.

Had a look at the righttoknow website - link in the Guardian article <not linking from here>. Useful to study the enemy.

"UK’s largest counselling body (BACP) backs pre-abortion counselling amendment to Health Bill.

I bet they fucking well do! They will have a financial vested interest! They will be paid by NHS to provide this counselling! Marvellous. Can Nadine & co not see the irony in this.

anastaisia Mon 29-Aug-11 11:39:14

Usually they publish the consultation details for any bills, on the relevant department's webpage. Then you just write or fill in the consultation on the website. I think that organisations or collective responses carry MORE weight, but being flooded with lots of (well written) individual replies can also have some impact.

forkful Mon 29-Aug-11 11:43:24

UsingMainlySpoons - IKWYM - I would have more respect for their point of view if the right wing anti-abortion really was pro-mother pro-family pro-help etc. It is best seen at its extreme in America. Vehmently anti abortion and next to no benefits/help for struggling families. Because of course women should just keep their legs shut for there is no rape. sad

forkful Mon 29-Aug-11 11:44:52

I guess we need to monitor this DoH page.

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