Tuesday, 30 August 2011

Amendment giving women option of independent abortion counseling is a step in the right direction

On 6 September MPs will debate an amendment to the Health and Social Care Bill, which seeks to enshrine in law the right of women to have full and free access to independent information, advice and counseling before going ahead with an abortion.

The amendment would also prevent charities such as Marie Stopes (MSI) and the British Pregnancy Advisory Service (BPAS) – which between them carry out about 100,000 abortions a year – from providing advice or counseling to women seeking abortion.

The MPs placing the amendment, Nadine Dorries and Frank Field, argue that because MSI and BPAS carry out and profit from abortions, they are conflicted from offering independent advice at the same time. Nadine Dorries has accused them of having a commercially charged ‘vested interest’ and believes this amendment could reduce the total number of abortions by as much as a third, or 60,000 a year.

The Department of Health, regardless of what happens in the Commons next week, is already promising to ‘develop proposals to introduce independent counseling for women seeking abortion’. In doing so, it has seemingly accepted that the advice given by BPAS, Marie Stopes and others is not independent.

CMF Head of Public Policy Philippa Taylor has written an excellent blog giving an overview of the amendment and explaining why Christians should support it.

In it she urges readers to write to their MPs urging them to support the amendment and points them to the website of the Right to Know Campaign for further information about how to do it.

A fascinating article in the Daily Mail today by Jenny Stocks raises very disturbing questions about the quality of abortion counseling currently available through BPAS and MSI.

CMF has previously highlighted the fact that those countries with laws requiring the offer of counseling or a cooling off period before abortion have abortion rates on average that are a third lower than those, like the UK, which don’t.

It also cites a 2008 Comres survey showing that 51% of British women felt they had no choice but to have an abortion and that 37% wish their decision could have been different.

I have previously outlined how private abortion providers gained a stranglehold on taxpayer funded abortions under the last government. In 1991 the NHS funded 84,369 abortions in total. By 2010 that figure had more than doubled to 181,304. The growth of NHS-funded but privately-provided abortions entirely accounted for this increase.

Women are currently are not given the information, support and time necessary to make an unpressured decision about abortion and this amendment is a small step in the right direction in giving them that opportunity.

At present there are over 2,000 abortions in Britain for every baby adoption. This is a staggering statistic.

I am convinced that given the opportunity to reflect, and with the right support, many thousands more women would choose to give their babies a chance, either by keeping them or offering them for adoption.

This amendment is a good move that deserves our support.

23 comments:

  1. Keep your grubby paws off of the wombs of women who want nothing to do with you and your ilk.

    If you want to practice religion, do so, but stop pretending to practice medicine.

    You're a disgrace.

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  2. Abortion runs contrary to the Hippocratic Oath, the Declaration of Geneva and the International Code of medical ethics and the British Medical Profession once called it 'the greatest crime'.

    It has never been part of medicine which aims to prevent and treat disease. Pregnancy is not a disease but a normal physiological process.

    Every abortion stops a human heart beating. If this amendment gives some chance of life to the 200,000 male and female babies aborted each year in Britain it will be a great thing.

    One might equally say 'keep your bloody curette out of women's wombs'.

    Peter

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  3. The survey you have used to back your argument used a sample size of 1% - not great research practice. Regardless of that I wanted to respond to your points as I genuinely believe that this is an area I am better qualified to comment on than you.

    Why? Because 13 years ago I had an abortion. Had ComRes asked me the same questions my answers would have likely been the same as the respondents you cite. I do wish that my situation had been different. I do think about the abortion still today. I did feel that terminating the pregnancy was the only option.

    Yet I felt then, and I know now, that it was the right decision for me. I do not regret it. Had I not had the option to terminate that pregnancy my life today would be very, very different. I wouldn’t have my husband, I wouldn’t have my education, I wouldn’t have my career. I’d be single parent to a child whose father would be the worst kind of role model and a woman inextricably and permanently linked to a man who was toxic for my mental health. If I could have my time over again I’d have given 21 year old me more self confidence, more love – and maybe she wouldn’t have got herself into the kind of relationship that ended with an unwanted pregnancy. But if she did, and had to take the decision again, she’d have made the right one.

    You seek to paint women like me as vulnerable children, unable to make their own decisions, victims to predatory abortion providers. You are wrong, and not a little patronising (the ‘opportunity to reflect’? Give me a break). It is your choice whether or not to use your professional skills to carry out abortions. It is not your choice what women do with their bodies.

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  4. If abortions were not carried out, what do you think would happen to the extra 60,000 or so babies born each year? There are not enough families willing or able to adopt all the unwanted children that we have now! If there were 2000 disappointed families on the waiting lists for each and every child that *does* get adopted, then maybe your argument might have a little merit, but there aren't and it doesn't.

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  5. People like you disgust me. Would you care to explain how "MSI and BPAS profit from abortions" when they are both NON-PROFIT organisations?

    Making the process of getting an abortion more difficult won't magically make people change their minds and become loving parents. You'll just cause unnecessary suffering and risk, by forcing people to get abortions at a later stage in pregnancy. You think that women really don't know their own minds to the extent that a provider can talk them into having an abortion just by providing basic factual information? We are not that weak. If I ever fall victim to an unwanted pregnancy, there is only one way the fetus is coming out of me, and that's dead. If I have to risk my own life in the process, by going to a backstreet abortionist or trying a DIY method, then that is what will happen.

    Restricting abortion does not stop it from happening, it just means that there is a lot more suffering, trauma and loss of life associated with it.

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  6. The survey you have used to back your argument used a sample size of 1% - not great research practice.
    >> It was carried out by ComRes, a well-known reputable polling agency. The sample was randomly selected and the results are statistically valid

    I do think about (my) abortion still today. I did feel that terminating the pregnancy was the only option.
    >> Why didn't you feel that adoption was an option? That way your baby could have had a life as well. Being a solo parent was not actually your only option.

    You seek to paint women like me as vulnerable children, unable to make their own decisions, victims to predatory abortion providers.
    >> Not at all. You are obviously not like this but were instead quite prepared to sacrifice your baby's life to protect your own future. But many women are not like you. They are coerced into abortion by the expectations and agendas of others.

    It is not your choice what women do with their bodies.
    >> No it is not. On this occasion it was your body and your choice but you decided to deny your baby any choice. Your baby's body was not your body but you still imposed your choice on it by colluding in taking its life.

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  7. If abortions were not carried out, what do you think would happen to the extra 60,000 or so babies born each year?
    >> In 1967 there were 28,000 adoptions in Britain. Last year there were only 91 baby adoptions largely because of abortion. There is a large number of childless couples wanting to adopt. One in seven couples is infertile and IVF is expensive and has a 75% failure rate.

    There are not enough families willing or able to adopt all the unwanted children that we have now!
    >> Tragically because many of those children needing adoption have special needs and require special care this is true. But baby adoptions are a very different matter. There are many more couples who would be willing to adopt babies if they were available.

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  8. People like you disgust me.
    >> Is that because you don't like it that I think it is wrong to take innocent human life, or because you don't tihnk women should be given the option of independent counselling?

    Would you care to explain how "MSI and BPAS profit from abortions" when they are both NON-PROFIT organisations?
    >> MSI and BPAS may be registered charities but they are run like businesses and they consume £60m of taxpayers money every year. They may not have shareholders but their employees profit hugely from their activities.

    Making the process of getting an abortion more difficult won't magically make people change their minds and become loving parents.
    >> Allowing an offer of independent counselling for those who want it is not making the process more difficult. It simply gives extra help for those who want it. And a significant number do change thier minds and do become loving parents.

    You'll just cause unnecessary suffering and risk, by forcing people to get abortions at a later stage in pregnancy.
    >> Many countries have right to know legislation like this without the effects you predict. They also have significantly lower abortion rates.

    If I ever fall victim to an unwanted pregnancy...
    >> Women who get pregnant are not generally victims. They choose to have sex along with its risks.

    ...there is only one way the fetus is coming out of me, and that's dead.
    >> Thankfully not all women are as callous and selfish as you are. Some are willing to make sacrifices to give their innocent baby a chance through adoption or through keeping it.

    If I have to risk my own life in the process, by going to a backstreet abortionist or trying a DIY method, then that is what will happen.
    >> You certainly do sound determined. You are even prepared to risk your own life in order to ensure that you kill your baby. But not all women are.

    Restricting abortion does not stop it from happening, it just means that there is a lot more suffering, trauma and loss of life associated with it.
    >> The myths of thousands of women dying at the hands of backstreet abortionists are just that, myths. Deaths in Britain from illegal abortion had fallen virtually to zero by the mid 1960s before abortion was legalised. And as for suffering, trauma and loss of life, many women suffer from the physical and psychological consequences of legal abortion and over 200,000 babies lose their lives in Britain every year at present. If the abortion rate were to come down there would be a lot less suffering and death for both women and babies.

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  9. Regardless of whether a 1% sample size is statistically valid (and I don't believe it is) my comments serve to illustrate how the responses given by those surveyed can be twisted to fit whichever ideological viewpoint you may have.

    I'm perfectly aware that not all women are "like me" - I'm not imposing my viewpoint on them. That's what pro-choice means. I need to take issue with your choice of language - I didn't have a 'baby' - I had a termination at 10 weeks. Your choice of words is deliberately emotive but what was in my womb at 10 weeks was not a baby. Had I carried on with the pregnancy I would have had a baby - but that's not what I had inside me at the time. And, yes, I had the option of adoption - carrying the child of a man who had treated me appallingly to full term, continuing to suffer the permanent 'morning' sickness that I had through the entire 10 weeks, continually being asked what I was going to call it, who the father was, giving my parents a grandchild (because it would have become a baby by that point) and then taking it away again. I couldn't have handled that. Judge me if you like, but I wont heap any more hate onto the girl I was back then - I know how difficult that period of my life was.

    PS. Which is it? Women are 'coerced by other people's agendas' or they're 'not victims' as you have told the poster above?

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  10. The responses given by those surveyed can be twisted to fit whichever ideological viewpoint you may have
    >> This is always a risk but the point remains - some women feel they were forced into abortion and given no choice and some regret their decision

    I need to take issue with your choice of language - I didn't have a 'baby' - I had a termination at 10 weeks
    >> No you had your ten week old baby killed at ten weeks gestation. When a baby is 'wanted' at any gestation we always call it a baby, never a fetus and certainly never products of conception. These are specious euphemisms aimed at dehumanising the baby so that it easier to justify killing it.

    I know how difficult that period of my life was
    >> I'm sure it was very difficult and it would have been difficult to decide to keep your baby or carry it for adoption but not impossible

    Which is it? Women are 'coerced by other people's agendas' or they're 'not victims' as you have told the poster above?
    >> Some women are coerced or choose abortion to please others. Others just choose abortion because they genuinely want to get rid of their babies.

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  11. A lot of hooey spouted by the usual suspects who trot out their standard euphemistic BS about "terminations" having nothing to do with "babies" but "products of conception" (or whatever handy euphemism comes to mind). I have news for you - nobody claims to be expecting a "product of conception" that can be "terminated", they usually conceive/expect a baby - unless of cours they plan to kill it, in which case they feel better for having de-humanised it first and reduced it to a bunch of cells - that's the guilt factor sorted then.

    >> You seek to paint women like me

    Where did you get the idea this was about YOU?! Talk about ego. FYI the article referred to ANY and ALL women seeking abortion. I presume you don't claim to represent ALL of womanhood in the entire Universe, or even these sceptred isles? Because that would be unspeakably arrogant. FYI also, the majority of women who seek abortion are vulnerable and easily exploited. Just because YOU happen not to belong to the category does not mean there AREN'T those who do. So stop speaking for others.

    >> the ‘opportunity to reflect’? Give me a break.

    Really? So you think "termination" should be undertaken on a whim, WITHOUT reflection?! A most peculiar attitude, I must say.

    Yes, abortion is legal - don't try to make out there aren't any OTHER choices, though.

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  12. >> You certainly do sound determined.

    That isn't determination, that is a special category which I term "online bravery". One can pretty much say what one likes on the internet (and one usually does) because one is never ever going to be put to the test, is one? That's the beauty of making seriously unlikley assertions online! The message boards are crawling with online stalwarts of this nature, I'm afraid.

    In the old days, one kept one's mouth shut and didn't utter fatuous claims in case one was laughed at. Nowadays, anyone can post anything they like, because 2 days later it will all be forgotten - besides the anonymity the net affords, of course.

    >> You are even prepared to risk your own life in order to ensure that you kill your baby.

    Oh twaddle - women as selfish as her would NEVER put their own lives at risk. They can pretend all they like on the internet - after all, the cyber-world is pretender's paradise....

    >> But not all women are.

    Actually, only a very SMALL minority of women have EVER risked their lives even when abortion was unlawful. These were women who had everything to lose by their pregnancy becoming public knowledge - unmarried women, widows, etc.

    Nowadays there is no stigma in being an unwed mum, the State gives benefits to single mums and unemployed people with children - and, should you wish, the State will also arrange for the adoption of any unwanted children. So, much as one may wish to AVOID a pregnancy, hardly any reason to die for it.

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  13. >> There are not enough families willing or able to adopt all the unwanted children that we have now!

    That is because they are not *babies* but much OLDER children with special needs i.e. serious behavioural problems. Few new parents would be able to cope with that.

    Your ignorance is showing, I'm afraid.

    Many couples would willingly adopt babies, but there are hardly any available, as they are all being aborted. In fact, many many couples who currently opt for IVF and surrogacy (and/or foreign adoption) do so BECAUSE their attempts at adopting babies in the UK have failed.

    In any case, not having enough adoptive parents is not any kind of a reason for killing babies.

    One would not advocate it for newborns, so there is no need to advocate it for the not-yet-borns.

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  14. Great - someone's just deleted my second post addressed to the brave lady who declared her intention to die and have the fetus out 'dead not alive' should she ever fall "victim" to an unwanted pregnancy. Oh well, I'm off anyway.

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  15. LR,

    Blogspot for some reason automatically deletes posts over a certain length. Sadly I can't do anything about it. Best thing is to break posts up into smaller sections.

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  16. I cannot believe some of the tripe spoken of here - or the extent of anger in some of the words from those who have been through a termination, or believe it to be moral.

    Having a photo of my four year old grandson at 12 weeks gestation, shows there is absolutely no doubt that this is a baby. His little eye sockets, nose, mouth, hairline, ears are so visible as to almost know what he was going to look like - and his little arms and legs are kicking happily in his mother's womb. Whether people like it or not, a feotus or embryo IS a baby, with a heartbeat, and to go through termination WILL stop that heart beat. To me, that is murder whether or not you are a Christian or belong to any other faith, or none.

    What a selfish world we have become when a mother-to-be can say, "the only way the feotus is coming out of me is dead"! And as for the person who did not want to go through with a baby by a man who was abusing her and would be a bad example to a child - what on earth was she doing with him in the first place?!

    Surely the answer to this problem is to live responsible lives - not abusing our own bodies with any man available, only to then kill the baby we have conceived.

    I am 70 years old now, and in my day we were not taught any sex education in schools, and not one girl became pregnant, and sexually transmitted disease was unheard of. Today we have sex education and the results speak for themselves!

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  17. Well said, Anonymous (that is, the poster before me). More women such as yourself, that is to say, older women who grew up in an age when all this liberal nonsense was not tolerated, should speak up.

    I am shocked to the core by the comments of some of the posters on this thread. I am also shocked at the abuse heaped on Peter for highlighting this issue. Why are you all so much against counselling? I think this shows your own agendas.

    >> If I ever fall victim to an unwanted pregnancy, there is only one way the fetus is coming out of me, and that's dead.

    Thank God you are not a mother! I sincerely hope you are using reliable contraception, so that you will not get pregnant, and inflict your sickening idealogy on innocent children. You are an utter disgrace and I find your remarks sickening.

    As a father myself I am shocked that any woman can make such disgusting remarks about small babies. Yes, fetuses are small babies. They can feel pain just like babies do. They move and swallow and do everything a baby does. Anybody who has watched an ultrasound scan will know this. I remember the thrill I felt when I saw my own babies moving inside the womb and responding to pressure from outside, and sound. Yes, they also respond to sound, especially the mother's voice. Indian mothers are taught to sing and talk to their babies because it says this in the Vedas (our holy scriptures). Just because you wish to deny all this and act as if fetuses are not babies, does not make it true.

    On the bright side, I do not feel any man, whether he is pro-choice or not, will feel anything but disgust towards a woman who talks so callously about killing her own child at any cost. Before I was married and had my own children, I would meet so many womenly women who were kind, compassionate and loving - each time I used to think 'oh this girl would make a good mother'. That is how most men think before they commit to a woman. But no man is his right mind would want you to be the mother of his children, so you are safe I hope.

    Raghu

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  18. The abstract ibcbetdoesn't define exactly what the 81% was compared to.
    I'd love to see the full study to be sure exactly what it's saying as I expect rabid people on both sides of the debate may ibcspin the results/studies.

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  19. The current case should encourage Christians exercising conscience on this issue. The two nurses are to be cแทงบอลommended for their courage and Neil Addison for his ingenuity. Whilst it doผลบอลesn’t establish any new legal ground or establish new precedents

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  20. some purpose instantly removes content over a certain duration. Unfortunately I can't do anything about it. Best element is to separate content up into lesser areas.

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  21. Your concepts were easy to understand that I wondered why I never looked at it prior to. Glad to find out that there's a blogger out there that certainly understands what he's discussing. Excellent.

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  22. Hi Peter.
    I appreciate your writing about this topic.

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