Government u-turn over abortion counselling

The Government has broken a promise to hold a consultation on whether women seeking an abortion should have the option of independent counselling.

Currently, many private clinics offer in-house advice, which pro-life campaigners say may favour abortion because of a financial conflict of interests.

The Government had pledged to look into making sure women are given independent advice.

No intention

But Health Minister Anna Soubry has announced that they have no intention of changing the law.

She said a consultation would now be pointless, adding: “There is other work we should be doing on counselling.”

Pro-life campaigners called for more independent abortion counselling because it had been revealed that only one in ten women who took advice from private clinic Marie Stopes, decided against termination.


Dr Dan Boucher, Director of Parliamentary Affairs for Christian charity, CARE, thinks the Government has made a big mistake.

He said: “To shut down the consultation commitment which was promised in response to concerns about financial conflict of interest is a monumental political misjudgement.”

Anna Soubry said plans for improving abortion counselling will be outlined in a “sexual health policy document” later this year.


In March, it was revealed that women were not receiving proper advice or counselling at clinics, following surprise inspections which were ordered by the Health Secretary.

And in 2010, a poll showed that 89% of people supported the right for women to be informed about the risks of having an abortion.

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