Monday, September 05, 2011

Survey Reveals Overwhelming Parliamentary Support for Independent Abortion Counselling



A ComRes poll published today reveals that over 90% of MPs support the principle that women considering an abortion should have access to advice from someone who had no financial interest in the outcome of her decision.

The survey found that 92% of MPs agreed with the statement that ‘a woman should have the right to impartial advice when considering having an abortion, from a source that has no commercial interest in her decision'.
An amendment to the Health and Social Care Bill, tabled by Nadine Dorries MP and Rt Hon Frank Field MP, that seeks to secure the provision of independent information, advice and counseling are expected to be discussed next week.

If adopted, the amendment would ensure that non-compulsory counseling was made available to women considering abortion from a source that the she could be sure had no financial interest in whether or not she proceeded to have an abortion.

Commenting on the findings a spokesperson for Right to Know said:

“The widespread support for the objectives of this campaign is unsurprising. It is important that conflicts of interest are removed from the provision of abortion counseling.”

"We want to see women considering abortion provided with the space to think through their decision. This is not a party-political issue. The welfare of women is at stake here.

“As we learned from the pension mis-selling scandal, it is vital that there is a separation between those providing advice and those selling a product or service. That way, the public can have confidence in the quality of the advice that they are receiving. This amendment seeks to extend that principle to abortion services.”

ENDS.

Download the poll results here.

Full tables are available here.


Notes to editors:

  • Right to Know (RTK) is a campaign group focused on improving the flow of information to women about abortion.
  • RTK supports the amendments to the Health and Social Care Bill which provides a right in law to non-compulsory independent counselling, meaning that women have more choice in the counselling services that they can access and removes the financial conflict from the abortion process.
  • 111,775 NHS abortions outsourced to private providers in 2010 worth an estimated 60m.
  • Total number of abortions that took place (for residents) in England and Wales in 2010 was 196,109.

Further information about the issues raised can be found at:www.righttoknow.org.uk

Poll Details

ComRes surveyed a representative cross-section of 154 MPs between 9thMarch and 4th April 2011. Data were weighted to reflect the exact composition of the House of Commons. ComRes is a member of the British Polling Council and abides by its rules. Full tables at www.comres.co.uk

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