The Blog of
Nadine Dorries
Penny to paper..
Posted Friday, 8 April 2011 at 15:14

Following the tabling of our amendments to the Health and Social Care Bill, Frank Field and I have been under predictable attack via the notoriously inaccurate medium of the internet, by both the pro-life and pro-choice lobbies.


The global pro-life news site, LifeSiteNews, contains a full on attack from Anthony Ozimic, communications director for SPUC (Society for Protection of the Unborn Child).

He describes our amendment as thus “The amendments are weak and ethically problematic. Although they seek to rectify deplorable facets of the British abortion industry, they are simply not adequate to do so.” The amendment was drawn up by a Parliamentary draftsman with the assistance of a legal academic and approved by a QC. Hardly weak. The ‘ethically problematic’ baffles me.

He is right, in as much as there are deplorable facts apropos the abortion industry, however, Frank and I are aiming to achieve two very simple objectives a) to reduce post abortion distress and b) lower the overall number of abortions from 189,000 per year, without in any way restricting access to abortion.

Our amendment seeks to make provision for a woman presenting with an unplanned pregnancy to be offered counselling via her GP. At the present time, it can only be requested and paid for via the abortion provider. We think that presents a vested interest. If the woman doesn’t want it, she simply says no and proceeds to abortion. It takes time to arrange an abortion and if she wants to accept counselling she can receive it immediately, in the GP practice, or in her own home, before she sets foot over the threshold of the abortion provider.

Many women will have made up their mind and decline the offer, however, to those who are confused and distressed, it may offer a lifeline and if those women do proceed to abortion, they do so empowered knowing help is at hand when they return home helping to negate any post abortion distress, now or in later life.

A very simple amendment with very simple objectives. The counselling is non compulsory and is simply an offer of help, via the GP, should it be required.

He continues..The MPs sponsoring these amendments Nadine Dorries and Frank Field, “are not anti-abortion themselves.” Well, he’s got something right I suppose. Frank and I have just laid down an EDM requesting that the government make the morning after pill free, rather than the £25 which is charged now. We see this as an alternative means to achieve both objectives.

“Such campaigns may give these MPs a profile in the tabloid press, but they won’t help protect unborn children from abortion,”. He obviously hasn’t noticed, profile isn’t exactly something either Frank or I struggle for and is something at least one of us, would like a little less of. There’s more..

“Nadine Dorries, who has been labelled in the media as “pro-life,” describes herself as “pro-woman” and is on record as supporting legal abortion and even of liberalizing restrictions on earlier abortions. Frank Field last week tabled a motion backing free provision of morning-after pills in pharmacies”. Actually, it was Frank and I together, so wrong again.

And here is the nub of his nervousness..


Pro-life campaigners, however, have repeatedly warned that the last time more restrictions were attempted; the concession was gained at the expense of protections for unborn disabled people. In 1990 when the 1967 Abortion Act was amended to lower the gestational age limit for abortion from 28 to 24 weeks, political support was only obtained by allowing children diagnosed with possible disabilities to be legally killed in utero up to the time of full gestation.

What happened in 1990 was a disaster and as a result children with the most minor disabilities, such as club foot, are aborted up to birth.  Look at Parliament, and wonder how on earth a law like that was passed?

He then goes on to criticise our second amendment, which is to transfer the responsibility for drawing up the guidelines surrounding the care of a woman seeking an induced termination from the unelected and largely unaccountable, RCOG to NICE, which via the Secretary of State is accountable to Parliament. On this he states..

Ozimic warned against allowing the NICE to decide abortion practice guidelines. “The NICE has a record of appointing anti-life experts to deal with abortion-related issues,” he said

If NICE ever had or did, something would have been done about it because in Parliament today, that would have been exposed.

The second article is by Laurie Penny at the New Statesman, however, I am leaving Frank to un-pick that one via a right to reply in the New Statesman. However, rarely have I read an article so badly researched, poor in content and consisting of such blatant scaremongering and misrepresentation of our position, that one realises, it may have been extremely useful if the editor had read the amendment -before he put Penny to paper.

Contact Nadine
Nadine Dorries MP
House of Commons
London SW1A 0AA
Telephone: 020 7219 5928

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