Friday, August 12, 2011

Women and the need for truth

The Right to Know Campaign has produced a report saying that abortion providers are not appropriate organisations to provide pre-abortion counselling for vulnerable women - and Education for Choice claims women visiting counselling centres provided by faith-based and anti-abortion organisations are met with "scaremongering, emotive language and inaccurate information."

Right to Know points out that in 2010 more than 100,000 NHS-funded abortions were performed by private providers such as Marie Stopes International and the British Pregnancy Advisory Service, worth an estimated £60 million.

It says BPAS and MSI are strongly driven by financial motivations, see success in increasing the number of abortions they perform, employ business development experts to promote abortion services, and have business plan objectives and targets to increase the number of abortions they perform.

It says marketing techniques are used to promote abortion to women, and the independence of counselling is compromised by the drive to encourage a decision for abortion.

Right to Know is backing an amendment to the Health and Social Care Bill proposed by MPs Nadine Dorries and Frank Field which would guarantee that women considering abortion would have access to independent advice from someone who had no financial interest in the outcome of their decision.

The Guardian recently published an article headed "Pregnancy counselling centres found wanting. Evidence of poor practice and factually incorrect advice discovered following undercover investigation." The article itself contained incorrect information about abortion and has twice had to be amended.

Women posing as women considering abortion had evidently made visits on behalf of Education for Choice - a pro-abortion organisation if ever there was one - to 10 counselling centres operated by organisations like Life and Care confidential. It claimed to have found in most of them poor practice and factually incorrect advice, but appeared to provide little evidence of either.

Education for Choice's website says "Several studies have shown that having an abortion does not lead to psychological problems." For some reason, it does not mention the many studies that do.

It also says "Contrary to belief, there are no links between abortion and breast cancer, and a straightforward abortion will not lead to infertility." The link between abortion and consequent breast cancer is well documented, and abortion can lead to consequent infertility.

Said Lisa Hallgarten, director of Education for Choice: "We strongly urge the Department of Health to think carefully about removing women from the professional decision-making support currently offered by abortion providers, while the current alternative is a network of unregulated individuals, many of whom are in breach of good practice."

Life said: "We are wholeheartedly committed to offering the best service possible to women facing crisis pregnancies by providing them with non-judgmental, person-centred counselling and skilled listening in line with guidelines set out by the BACP [British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy], of which we are a member."