Abortion and advice
There is quite a debate going on about an amendment that Nadine Dorries is promoting to the Health and Social Care Bill.
The first problem I have is that I have looked on the parliamentary website to find out precisely what the amendment is. I cannot find it. Hence it is difficult to comment precisely as to the amendment itself.
There are some simple principles, however.
It would be better if there were fewer abortions. The best way of achieving this is improved contraception. If a women is to have an abortion then the earlier this happens the better.
If, however, a woman has decided to have an abortion then she should not be forced into undergoing a long counselling process.
There, should, however be independent advice and counselling available for those who want it. Those advisors who work for providers are clearly subject to a conflict of interest. However, that does not necessarily prevent them giving advice.
To me the key is to ensure that women are made aware of various sources of advice. The advisors themselves will tend to have a range of views.
Martin Narey has talked about persuading women to go to term and have the child adopted. I am uncomfortable about anything that involves pressurising women to do this although of course it is an option as it has been in the past.