The Department of Health have issued a press release tonight stating that the DOH wants women who are thinking about having an abortion to be able to have independent counselling. However,they do not believe primary legislation is necessary to achieve this objective.
This statement is in direct response to our amendment laid down to the Health and Social Care Bill.
My response is;
“I welcome the statement today from the Department of Health which states the intention to separate the provision of abortion counselling away from that of the abortion provider.
Legislation is required to prevent abortion providers establishing subsidiary counselling organisations in order to circumnavigate the new requirement.
This move is in direct response to the amendment laid down to the Health and Social Care Bill by myself and Frank Field MP and supported by a large number of MPs.
The statement sets out the objective to remove the financial vested interests of the abortion provider and the provision of counselling.
The statement also states that primary legislation is not necessary to achieve this outcome. If this is the case, why hasn’t this happened before now?
My intention is for vulnerable women to have access to the best possible care as quickly as possible. For counselling to be optional, independent and to present no delay whatsoever to the abortion process.
Since March, the Department of Health have denied any need for the amendment, what we now need to know is how is this objective to be achieved?
I believe that for the purpose of clarity and in order that any change cannot be easily reversed in the future, that the provision requires primary legislation. I have sought a meeting with the Secretary of State to discuss how we can best meet our joint objectives in the full knowledge that this amendment has huge public support”.