The Government has cancelled a public consultation on independent pregnancy counselling and will not now bring forward legislation on this, health minister Anna Soubry has revealed.
This comes despite promises to MPs last autumn and despite important pledges made during the Conservative party conference, in which secretary of state Jeremy Hunt said he would support pushing back the legal age of abortion to 24 weeks from 21.
The consultation was to be about ensuring that all women facing unexpected pregnancy were given access to non-compulsory, independent counselling.
However, during a parliamentary debate on abortion, Ms Soubry said holding the consultation would be a pointless exercise since the Government had no intention of pressing ahead with the proposals.
Christian Concern’s web site has provided a form for supporters to contact Ms Soubry and local MPs to encourage the Government to reconsider.
Andrea Minichiello Williams, chief executive of Christian Concern, said, ‘This is very disappointing and very little has been given to justify the decision to drop the consultation. Little has changed since the Government pledged to launch a consultation last year. Abortion rates are still too high and women still have a right to independent counselling’.