Abortion counselling story dangerously misleading says pro life group SPUC
28 August 2011
Abortion counselling story dangerously misleading says pro-life group SPUC London, 28 August 2011: A leading pro-life group has warned about a newspaper story published today which claims that: "Abortion rules are set to be tightened by the Government in the biggest shake-up in a generation ... Pro-life campaigners suggest the change could result in up to 60,000 fewer abortions each year in Britain." (Robert Mendick, Sunday Telegraph, 28 Aug. )
The Department of Health says it is drafting proposals which are expected to say who can be a pregnancy counsellor and what expectant mothers must be told.
The Society for the Protection of Unborn Children (SPUC) www.spuc.org.uk the world's first pro-life lobbying and educational organisation (est.1967), described the story as "dangerously misleading".
Paul Tully, SPUC's general secretary, commented: “Handing the drafting of proposals relating to abortion to the Department of Health is like putting the fox in charge of the chicken-coop. The Department of Health commissions the vast majority of abortions in Britain, and says doctors should provide abortion on demand. Successive governments have regarded abortion as an answer to unmarried teenagers and other vulnerable women who get pregnant. “Since 2004, most NHS abortions have been transferred to private clinics, and the health department now funds more than 9 out of 10 abortions at these clinics. If the Department now want counsellors to help pregnant women avoid abortions, it would represent a major change of heart. We remain very wary of the proposals and the Department’s involvement. “Pro-life counselling can save many lives but independent counselling is not the same thing. It all depends on the approach of the counsellor and the information provided", Mr Tully concluded.
John Smeaton, SPUC's director, also commented: "I urge pro-lifers not to be misled by the Sunday Telegraph story. Instead, pro-lifers should write to their MPs urging them to tell the government that in any proposals put forward: * No counsellor should be required to be a conduit to abortion services; * and counsellors who refuse on grounds of conscience or other good grounds to refer women to abortion services are not prevented from operating as pregnancy counsellors.
John Smeaton, SPUC's director, can be contacted on (0)7785 325808. Paul Tully, SPUC's general secretary, can be contacted on (0)7939 178719. Anthony Ozimic, SPUC's communications manager, can be contacted on (0)7939 177683.