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Keep your laws off my body


Comment and summary of story from the Daily Mail, March 29, 2011

Senior MPs in the UK, including former Labour minister Frank Field and current Conservative MP Nadine Dorries, want to change the law so that women must be referred to an independent therapist for counselling before they can have a termination.

If approved, it would be the first tightening of the law since Parliament decided in 1990 to amend the Abortion Act 1967 to lower the time limit from 28 to 24 weeks.

Mrs Dorries, MP for Mid Bedfordshire, argues that organisations such as the British Pregnancy Advisory Service (bpas), which carry out abortions, offer counselling but have a ‘vested interest’.

She warned that under existing laws, ‘family doctors’ (GPs) could get into trouble for even trying to refer women to independent counsellors.

She said: ‘Women are treated like they are unable to emotionally deal with the information surrounding abortion. Vital information is withheld from them.

“They are not told that they are 30 per cent more likely to suffer from a mental health issue if they have an abortion, in case they change their minds.’

Mrs Dorries, a former nurse who insists she is not ‘anti-abortion, but pro-woman’, wants them to be referred to independent counsellors through their GPs in their local communities.

For its part, bpas says information is not withheld from women seeking abortion.

It points out that, as with other medical procedures, women must ‘provide informed consent’ before an abortion can take place.

This means that all women attending for abortion treatment have the risks clearly explained to them.

This is already provided verbally at consultation, and in the form of literature to take away and read.

It also provides guidance drawn up by those well-known radicals (I added that bit!), the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists.

Not to be outdone, the anti-abortionists have another amendment up their sleeve – to strip responsibility for drawing up the clinical guidelines from the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, saying it’s biased.

WVoN comment: It’s amazing isn’t it. These are the very same people who complain about the nanny state interfering.

Yet when it’s the autonomy of a woman’s body that’s involved, it seems there’s no such thing as too much interference.

  1. Eleanor says:

    Dorries: “They are not told that they are 30 per cent more likely to suffer from a mental health issue if they have an abortion, in case they change their minds.’

    They’re not told that because it isn’t true.

  2. I’m a feminist who is pro-woman and also pro-life. Many people don’t understand how I can be pro-life and also a feminist. Let me explain. I believe that all women should have power over their own bodies and that they should never ever be forced into doing anything they don’t want to do. This includes sex and contraception. If a woman wants to have sex she has the right to insist on using condoms, going on the pill, implant, injections, coil etc. However, abortion is not contraception. The term contraception literally means ‘to prevent one getting pregnant’. Abortion, however, takes place once the woman is ALREADY pregnant and therefore is already on course for giving birth to a beautiful human being in 9 months. A woman should have all rights over her OWN body, yet when she has another life growing inside her, I believe that she should respect that life and let it live. We need to stop being so selfish and start to respect the unborn. We really have no excuse today with such a wide range of contraception available to us (I’m not including rape or incest here as they are very extreme and separate cases).

    • Jane Osmond says:

      Thank you for your comment Emma. However, the tone of your comment seems to suggest that women use abortion as a contraceptive. It also suggests that you have never had to walk in the shoes of woman who is pregnant with no support from anywhere. Can I suggest that you talk to the women you know to assess whether the ones who have had abortions really did use it as a contraceptive? And then get back to us at WVON.

  3. You are jumping to conclusions about me yet you know nothing about me. When my mother told my father that she was pregnant with me he was furious and tried to convince her to abort me. My mother refused to have an abortion and as such my parents divorced. Once I was born I was homeless, I slept on church floors as a child and this was all because my mother had refused to abort me. Should she have aborted me? I do know what it’s like to have absolutely nothing in this world and no support from anyone or anywhere. I know the feeling of fear very well. I now work in a family assessment centre and quite a few of my clients have had abortions. Most of these abortions were carried out as a form of contraception. I believe that studies have even been carried out which indicate that more and more women are having multiple abortions and are using this as a form of contraception.

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