British Politicians Fight for Life

They will introduce a bill prohibiting abortion counseling by providers.

(photo: Shutterstock)

MANCHESTER, England (CNS) — Two British politicians are proposing legislation to prohibit organizations that provide abortions from offering abortion counseling to pregnant women.

Nadine Dorries, a Conservative Party member of Parliament, and Frank Field, a former minister in Tony Blair’s Labor government, said that on March 31 they will introduce two amendments to the Health and Social Care Bill aimed at removing financial conflicts of interest in the provision of abortions.

They say that it is an “inappropriate relationship” when private abortion businesses offer both counseling and abortions because the businesses have a vested interest in procuring the abortions.

Official figures from 2009 show that private businesses such as Marie Stopes International and the British Pregnancy Advisory Service netted about 60 million pounds ($96 million) to perform more than half of Britain’s 189,000 abortions on behalf of the taxpayer-funded National Health Service.

According to a March 29 statement by the two legislators, the first amendment would be to ensure “every woman considering an abortion has a right to independent pregnancy counseling before being referred to an abortion provider.”

Dorries said physicians often referred women for pregnancy counseling to the same private businesses that are paid to carry out abortions.

“Women are being denied independent information upon which to base such a huge decision,” she said in a statement.

The second amendment would ban the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists from producing guidelines for the care of women requesting abortions and transfer such powers to an accountable body.

This follows a February report by 18 members of the Royal College; the report recommended that women with unplanned pregnancies should be told it is medically safer to abort that to go through childbirth and that abortion produces no significant adverse psychological effects. The Royal College faced criticism from some legislators and pro-lifers when it emerged that 11 of the 18 members who produced the report are directly involved in providing abortion.

“This is like asking British American Tobacco to draw up guidelines for smokers,” Dorries said.

Dorries and Field say all future guidelines should be drafted by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence, which, unlike the Royal College, is accountable to Parliament.