The House of Commons has voted 67 to 61 in favour of a ‘Ten Minute Rule’ Bill introduced by Conservative MP Nadine Dorries to ensure that sex education for girls includes ‘information and advice on the benefits of abstinence from sexual activity’. According to Christian Concern, the Bill comes in light of the UK having the highest teenage pregnancy rate in Western Europe and a high rate of sexually transmitted diseases.
This followed her amendment to the Health and Social Care Bill, tabled on 31 March, together with the Rt Hon Frank Field MP. This amendment, which is outlined on the Right To Know website, aims to set in law a guarantee that any women seeking abortion will be given access to independent information and advice.
Under the amendment, private abortion providers will be barred from providing the counselling in a bid to remove the financial conflict that is prevalent in abortion. According to the Conservative Party’s web site, 79 per cent of party members back the Right to Know campaign.
Currently, private abortion clinics provide both NHS counselling and abortions. But according to government estimates, outsourcing abortions to private providers is a £60m industry — presenting a conflict of interest.
Speaking as the amendment was tabled, Nadine Dorries said, ‘When vulnerable women in a crisis pregnancy situation consult a GP about an abortion, many are referred to a private clinic for counselling, the same clinic paid to carry out terminations.
‘Women are being denied independent information upon which to base such a huge decision. Advice, support and counselling should be available to the woman via her GP practice in her own community, before she steps over the abortion clinic threshold’ (www.right2know.org.uk).