There's currently some discussion in the UK parliament about abortion and the laws covering advice and counselling before abortion.
It's come as a bit of a surprise to me as I thought we in the
were pretty relaxed about the whole issue of abortion rights etc. UK
Nadine Dorries MP and Frank Field MP's main current beef is that the charities which perform the procedure also provide advice on options etc. and should be stopped from doing so in favour of "Independent" services. -
Nadine Dorries has criticised the "financial incentive" of the counselling offered by abortion clinics, claiming 60,000 of the annual 200,000 terminations .
She also said
"The important thing is that the government have highlighted and agreed that counselling by organisations that are paid to conduct the procedures is not independent [...] That's very reassuring"
And Mr. Field went as far as to say :
"It is a general principle that advice and services should be separate," [...] I have no evidence of [biased advice]. But we had no evidence of mis-selling of pensions until people investigated." (Guardian)
I suppose the implication is that the charities are pushing more women into abortions to make huge bumper profits for their charity.
Now I would never, ever, go so far as to say that an elected member of our country is smearing an entire sector with vague unsubstantiated innuendo's of downright dishonesty with no evidence.
I'm sure that may be going to far, even if I am a supporter of evidence based policy (which there appears to be not much of around here).
Therefore I'm going to take at absolute face value the suggestion that advice and services must be completely separate.
As a result I've decided to petition the government to make the rules consistent when it comes to treatments offered. As far as I can see it there are plenty of providers who currently provide advice on things that they have a hand in providing.
In order to be fair we need to make it a legal requirement for these things to be treated equally in all cases. I decided to start with dental treatment.
Heres the wording of my petition
It has recently been established in proposed amendments to the health care bill that organisations that are paid to conduct procedures are apparently not independent enough to advise on procedures.
Therefore I propose that all patients of NHS dentists have a legal right to receive counselling and advice independent of the dentist who performs the treatment, before the treatment is performed.Indeed there is currently nothing to stop dentists proposing unnecessary treatment for patients as they receive money for each piece of dental work completed.This makes sense and is consistent with other pieces of legislation that are currently being proposed
I think this is a completely logical extension to the proposed amendments, and I look forward to Nadine Dorries's support when the petition goes up.
In fact this should be extended to NHS treatment (performed by all willing providers) when the NHS is remodelled under the current governments NHS legislation. Doubtless, to be completely consistent Nadine and Frank will also fully support my next petition at that point.
If you wish to sign the petition - please look here - http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/15509