Britain’s largest abortion provider has been criticised for trivialising abortion after announcing plans to send text message reminders to women booked in for an abortion.
BPAS, formerly the British Pregnancy Advisory Service, which carries out almost one third of NHS-funded abortions, likened the service to reminders sent out by dentists before a check-up.
Critics slammed the move which begins in November, saying it gave a disturbing insight into the casual attitudes to abortion.
Dr Peter Saunders, Chief Executive of the Christian Medical Fellowship said the text reminders would exert pressure on women uncertain about whether to go ahead with an abortion.
“If you have got an unplanned pregnancy and you are in a crisis you would think it would be at the forefront of your mind,” he said.
“Many young women become pregnant as a result of making an impulsive decision to have sex without thinking of the consequences often when under the influence of alcohol – these are the most vulnerable ones.
“Young people living chaotic lifestyles need personal help and support, not a text message.”
Meanwhile, those women who were agonising about whether to go ahead with an abortion, could feel pressured into it because of the texts, he said.
“Providers like BPAS and Marie Stopes International put women on a conveyor belt which is hard to get off. Sending text messages is an attempt to push women towards an abortion,” he said.
Stewart Jackson, Conservative MP for Peterborough, described the initiative from BPAS as “morally squalid”.
He said: “These kinds of tactics demonstrate the extent to which the clinics have trivialised abortion, treating it like a commercial service, or a 2-for-1 pizza deal.”
Norman Wells of Family and Youth Concern accused BPAS of “reducing the destruction of an unborn life to the level of a dental check-up or hair appointment”.
He said: “If some women really do need to be reminded about an appointment they have made at an abortion clinic, it suggests that either they have a casual attitude towards abortion, or else they are coming to terms with their pregnancy and are not sure that they really want to go through with the procedure after all.”