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Diane Abbott resigns from UK’s abortion counselling group


Summary of story from The Guardian, January 26, 2012

A Labour party Member of Parliament (MP) has walked out of an all-party group convened to discuss the rules on abortion counselling, claiming it is no more than a front to push forward an anti-abortion agenda in the UK without a debate in parliament.

Dianne Abbott says she joined the group in good faith to discuss the issue of the independence of those who counsel women thinking of having an abortion.

But she said she was leaving because the talks were little more than window dressing for the agenda of “Tea Party Tories” determined to prevent abortion providers, such as Marie Stopes and the British Pregnancy Advisory Service, from offering counselling.

Proposals by Conservative MP Nadine Dorries to strip abortion providers of their current counselling role were defeated in the House of Commons by a substantial margin of 368 votes to 118 recently (see WVoN coverage).

Some of her earlier backers withdrew their support after the government promised to ‘take on board’ the spirit of the bill.

Abbott says the ten-strong all-party group is not open to considering all views and accuses the government of wanting to implement an anti-abortion agenda which the public would not support.

“There is no doubt which option the government wants to drive through. There will be no legislation or debate in parliament.

“These changes are unwanted, undemocratic and unsubstantiated with evidence.

“I think women and families across the country will be as horrified as I am by the way the government is trying to turn the clocks back,” she said.

  1. MezzoPiana says:

    Good for her.

  2. Dr Lofthouse says:

    As a woman, I am becoming increasingly distressed by the low calibre women David Cameron’s Conservative Party have chosen to ‘shortlist’ for membership of the House of Commons. I do not in any way feel I want Nadine Dorries to claim she is expressing my gender’s views on any matter. I don’t need anyone to express my opinions for me – least of all someone who in a true Meritocracy, would be working as a Dinner Lady.

    • While I have no idea who Nadine Dorries is as I don’t live in the UK, I wonder what is wrong with being a Dinner Lady. This, I am afraid, is the typical discrimination of female labor that is so inherent in western society, that it even makes an acceptable comment in a place like this……

  3. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with being a dinner lady either, but I still think Nadine Dorries would be more useful if she was feeding people food rather than feeding the public bullshit…

    • Dr Lofthouse says:

      Absolutely agree! It appears her CV is exaggerated – why else would Cameron appoint someone who appears only to have worked as a nursing auxiliary and nursery school teacher to Chair of the Science and Technology Committee ??? Because she does what she’s been told to, and her findings are going to be whatever Cameron wants.

  4. I used to be a dinner lady and believe me, there was a lot wrong with it, ha ha! Not least arguing with a prince of a small African nation about whether he was allowed a second yogurt (yes, it was a very posh school)!

    • Dr Lofthouse says:

      Dorries CV suggests she set up a school in Zambia – makes her sound very charitable, helping poor kids out there etc – but it seems all she did was run a creche for the expat workers (white) at her then husband’s copper mine!
      Do the Con party still employ Saatchi and Saatchi to write their advertising blurb for them? Or was it Jeffrey Archer ??????

  5. vicki wharton says:

    I feel the same sense of unease at the choice of Theresa May as Women’s Minister – really not interested in dealing with anti women anything – and Nadine Dorries – who seems hell bent on driving women back to the ‘utopian’ days of the 50s with their gin and Stepford Wives mentality. I think DCameron only promotes women he knows are really not bothered about other women.

  6. The agenda of any woman involved in a right wing party like the Tories will be..unsurprisingly…right wing..i.e. not about the pursuit of equality. The same goes for those involved elsewhere in the world in similar communities.

    I am concerned that Diane Abbott has left the group..not because I disagree with her reasons but, she’s in politics and I expect her to show some ideiological stoicism in the face of this crap….I am quite sure it will be hard for her to hear what’s taking place and have little or no power to prevent it…but, what about those of us who are not even able to get into the room?

    We need her and people like her to sit in as our voice and make it hard for Dorries and her ilk to do what they are doing..not leave them with an open door to do as they like without any challenge to their activities.

    On the subject of working together as the interest of women…..I found the earlier comments re: “dinner lady” unhelpful…they may not have been the best choice of words to illustrate the contribution being made by Dorries but, it is sad to see the contributor being pursued so aggressively when the focus of her frustration should be our focus also. Dorries represents a genuine threat to us all on a day to day basis..the day is behind us when we have the time to focus on bruised feelings. The majority of women are being screwed in a big way and need to get our s**t together before we lose everything

    Let’s focus on the real enemy..

  7. Dr Lofthouse says:

    1. RE: the ‘real enemy’? Are you a man hater? I just hate incompetence and positive discrimination myself? There is no collective ‘shit’ to get together I’m afraid, I support men who are culturally trapped as much as us ‘ladies’. To suggest that ‘women’s rights’ should be any different from men’s is just dim. I think dishing out scoops of mashed potato is about all she could do with any degree of competence.
    2. I’m saddened by your comments regarding ‘us’ needing ‘people like Diane Abbot to ‘make our voices heard’. And as for ‘not even able to get in the room’…jeez! Why are you so politically ignorant. Acquaint yourself with UK Parliamentary Procedures – you could have made a submission to this (or any other) Select Committee when the ‘call for evidence’ was issued – I don’t really need anyone to make my voice heard –

    • I appear “ignorant”to you because I operate in a specific political current that would be in disagreement with your ideological analysis and thus your suggested methodology for the pursuit of change.

      If you knew that but, ignored it then I wonder how much can be achieved by being rude and offensive as publicly as this? In politics..friends and enemies are never what or who they appear.

      Would it not be more effective to present a cogent argument in response to my post?

      If we agree this government acts contrary to all (men and women) our shared interests…we don’t have to be in total agreement on every other issue to pursue their demise. If you disagree…then I wish you good luck working out who decides the what, when and how.

      Your lone voice in the crowd? Being heard is one thing..being taken notice of is quite another.

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