Wednesday 7 September 2011

SPUC comments on Dorries abortion debate

The defeat of Nadine Dorries’ amendments in Parliament was a relief. SPUC had expressed serious reservations about the amendments, especially in light of Mrs Dorries’ previous attacks on pro-life counselling organisations, services which have done so much over the past 40 years to help women.

Paul Tully, SPUC general secretary, told the media earlier today:
“Mrs Dorries’ proposals were aimed at ending the abhorrent situation where abortion providers give a woman counselling and then abort her baby, and charge the NHS for both services. This was a laudable aim. But by adopting a ‘pro-choice’ position Mrs Dorries confused pro-life MPs and maddened pro-abortion ones. And she has created an opportunity which pro-abortion health officials will seek to exploit to promote more abortions.”

Speaking for the government in the debate, Mrs Anne Milton, Minister of State for public health, urged MPs to oppose the amendment and supported abortion as a woman’s choice.  She said that regulations for abortion counselling would be prepared. She made no reference to the current legal restrictions on abortion.

Mr Tully continued: “This bears out the fears expressed before the debate by SPUC that Department of Health officials will be given the opportunity to draft regulations.  The Department’s officials have a long track-record of promoting a radical pro-abortion interpretation of the law. We fear that they may now try to ban pro-life agencies offering pregnancy counselling that can help women avoid unwanted abortions.

“As a priority we must urge Parliamentarians to put pressure on the Minister to ensure that pro-life doctors, nurses and counsellors remain free to act according to their consciences. The abuse of women by abortion-providers must also be dealt with, but the approach must be politically astute and morally sound."
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