Friday, 24 June 2011

Dorries' amendments to abortion regulations may pass without a vote

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Frank Field MP
Extraordinary news from the Liverpool Daily Post (via the Liberal Conspiracy blog), which today reveals that restrictions on abortion rights introduced as amendments to the Health and Social Care Bill by the Labour MP Frank Field and the Tory MP Nadine Dorries could be approved by the Department of Health without a vote in Parliament.

The amendments would prevent abortion providers, such as the British Pregnancy Advisory Service or Marie Stopes, from providing counselling to women seeking abortion, instead requiring that women are offered counselling from "a private body that does not itself provide for the termination of pregnancies" or a "statutory body". Pro-choice organisations such as Abortion Rights have pointed out that the private bodies most likely to step forward to offering counselling under such circumstances would be groups with an ideological interest in preventing abortions from taking place.

The Liverpool Daily Post article states that the paper can exclusively "reveal the Department of Health (DoH) is exploring how to make the switch without a showdown on the Commons floor – by changing existing regulations".

As Sunny Hundal points out on Liberal Conspiracy, if you're outraged by this news, you may be interested in joining the pro-choice rally taking place in London on 9 July.
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