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Additional Thoughts on the Defeat of a Proposal to Change Abortion Counseling in England

by | Sep 9, 2011

By Dave Andrusko

Nadine Dorries

On Wednesday I wrote about a overwhelming defeat of a proposal in the British Parliament which (as TIME magazine wrote on one its blogs) “attempted to divorce abortion counseling from abortion providers”.

I claim no expertise, but as a very interested outsider who has followed the proposal by avowed pro-choicer Nadine Dorries, I am fascinated.

The 368-118 vote was a foregone conclusion once the British government withdrew its support, opting instead to study the issue (which includes the incredibly high repeat abortion rate). During the debate Dorries said that  Prime Minister David Cameron had initially encouraged her, even coming up with the word “independent” to describe abortion counselors. However he had allowed himself to be “blackmailed” by his Liberal Democrat coalition partners, Dorries charged.

What else? In British politics, when in doubt invoke conservative Americans/movements (“Moral Majority,” Sarah Palin, “Fundamentalism,” and Fox News, etc.) Opponents of Dorries amendment to the Health Bill conjured up an image of an American invasion that had the intended impact of obscuring the issue, which was to “separate the provision of counselling services for women who are unsure about whether or not to have an abortion, from the private contractors who provide abortions on NHS [National Health Service] funding,” to quote one observer.

Just as Planned Parenthood has a largely impeccable (and totally unearned) reputation here at home, so, too, do the two major abortion providers in Great Britain: Marie Stopes and the British Pregnancy Advisory Service (All three are beneficiaries of hundreds of millions of governmental dollars.) In trashing Dorries’ proposal, opponents indignantly spoke as if it were beyond the pale to suggest that it is an obvious conflict of interest for the very same groups that perform most of the abortions to be counseling these young women.

England has a more than 40 year investment on abortion on demand. Turning that ship around will require enormous diligence and skill and perseverance.

But that same TIME magazine blog item—after all but announcing that it’s hopeless—ended with this:

“There are pockets of social conservatism everywhere, which if woven together, can become powerful. Just ask Ronald Reagan.”

Categories: Abortion