Abortion protocol changes

Just sent a letter to my MP via They Work For You, asking for clarification on the Department of Health’s proposals to change abortion protocols to, in the words of the Guardian, “ensure that women are also offered counselling “independently” of existing abortion services”:

Dear Joan Ruddock,

I am writing in relation to the proposed changes to abortion protocols. As I cannot find any information on the Department of Health website, I would urge you to ask the following clarifying questions (or, if you already have the information, please help publicise it).

– The phrasing being used in the media is that women should be “offered” independent counselling. Will a woman have the right to refuse such counselling?

– Who will be conducting these “independent” counselling sessions?

– How long will referrals and counselling sessions take? Could they take a woman over the legal time limit for an abortion, or over the time limit for medical abortion pushing them into the more invasive surgical abortion?

– Who is funding Right to Know, the group campaigning for these changes? Who is the “lobbyist” behind it?

– On what evidence does Nadine Dorries base her claim that independent counselling could prevent 60,000 abortions each year?

I thank you in advance for your efforts. A woman’s right to abortion is very important to me and I am concerned by any attempts – however slight they may initially appear – to put obstacles in a woman’s path.

Yours sincerely,


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