UK pro-life group skeptical about ‘independent’ abortion counseling proposal
BOURNEMOUTH, July 4, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) – A leading UK pro-life organization is skeptical about the usefulness of a decision late last month by the British Medical Association to support “independent counseling” for women considering abortion.
The idea that women should be able to receive counseling from a source separated from abortion facilities, since the latter have an immediate financial interest in promoting abortion, was put forward by members of the Christian Medical Fellowship. The UK’s leading pro-life group, however, has warned that in practice such counseling would likely end up being totally in favor of abortion, given the current political and social climate.
At their meeting in Bournemouth June 25-28, the BMA voted for the motion despite strong opposition. However, the “independent counselling” idea has support from Health Minister Andrew Lansley in the wake of the sex-selection abortion scandal, and has become a project of Conservative party MP Nadine Dorries, whom the British media characterizes as pro-life, but who supports legal abortion.
Anthony Ozimic, the communications manager of the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children (SPUC) told LifeSiteNews.com that, like some of Dorries’ other proposals, “independent counselling” would end up becoming a tool of the abortionists. Given that most MPs and nearly all of the medical community, including psychological associations, are totally on board with abortion, genuinely pro-life counselors would be either forced to refer for abortion or be forced out, he said.
“We think it’s dangerous to encourage the government to institute a system of so-called independent counseling,” said Ozimic. “We know that the reality is that any system of counselling will be regulated by strongly pro-abortion health department officials.”
“It’s not a step forward. It would mean that because any system of regulation will be imposed by the government, pro-life counselors will be forced to be open to referring for abortion.”
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The motion put forward at the BMA meeting said, “that this meeting: i) supports the universal availability of neutral counselling for women considering abortion; ii) believes that any counselling provided for women considering abortion should accord with NHS standards; iii) believes that women considering abortion should be able to access counselling that is independent of the abortion provider; iv) deplores picketing and intimidation around abortion services.”
While the motion infuriated abortionist groups, Professor Wendy Savage, a former press officer for an abortion group, observed that in-house counseling includes explanations of the “pros and cons” of abortion and added that most “independent counsellors” are not in fact independent.
Ozimic reiterated this point, saying that whoever would be available as an “independent” counselor would have to be vetted and approved by the abortion-supporting medical community that allows no effective opposition from its members.
At the BMA meeting, Mark Pickering, a member of the Christian Medical Fellowship, reassured pro-abortion opponents that independent counseling should remain optional, but said that it would provide women with “a safe space” in which to make a decision. He insisted that the motion was not “a pro-life stitch up.”
“I want to reassure those who are worried that this motion might be about obstructing access to abortion by the back door, it is not. It’s designed quite simply to increase choice for women,” Pickering said.
Ozimic criticized the whole idea of reforming the current law on abortion, saying that invariably, “in the current climate, with the current government and constitution of Parliament, you’ll get a pro-abortion result.”
“The massive deceit of the Nadine Dorries proposal is a warning sign that we’re not going to be able to get through pro-life reform to the abortion law,” Ozimic said. Instead, pro-life advocates should concentrate on “defending existing lines and building up a culture of solid pro-life resistance among politicians first.”
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