Wed 30th Jul 2014 | Last updated: Wed 30th Jul 2014 at 15:38pm

Facebook Logo Twitter Logo RSS Logo
Hot Topics

Latest News

MPs reject Dorries plan to restrict abortion counselling

By on Wednesday, 7 September 2011

Nadine Dorries's amendment had only lukewarm support from the pro-life movement (PA photo)

Nadine Dorries's amendment had only lukewarm support from the pro-life movement (PA photo)

A parliamentary amendment that would have placed restrictions on abortion providers giving pregnancy counselling has been defeated by 368 votes to 118.

The Dorries and Field amendment to the Health and Social Care Bill proposed that “information, advice and counselling” could only be called independent when provided by “a private body that does not itself provide for the termination of pregnancies, or a statutory body”, and that those that did would make clear to any woman who approached them that alternatives were available. If successful, it would have cost groups such as Marie Stopes and BPAS multi-million pound contracts with the NHS.

The amendment was put forward by Conservative Nadine Dorries and Labour’s Frank Field, but was expected to fail after the Cabinet refused to give its support.

However, three Cabinet members – Defence Secretary Liam Fox, Iain Duncan Smith, Work and Pensions Secretary, and Owen Paterson, Northern Ireland Secretary – voted in favour of it.

In the Commons Mr Field asked Mrs Dorries to drop the amendment in light of a Government promise to hold a consultation and then a debate. He also said he had put his name on the amendment but, “for reasons unknown”, it had been taken off.

Before the vote Mrs Dorries had accused the Coalition of “covert whipping” after Health Minister Anne Milton sent a letter to all MPs detailing why the Department of Health was against the proposals, and stating that all health ministers would oppose the amendment if it came to a vote.

Mrs Dorries said it put pressure on Tory MPs, and accused Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg of blackmailing Mr Cameron by saying Lib Dem MPs would not vote for the bill if her amendment was supported.

She said: “Nick Clegg has put pressure on the Prime Minister; the Prime Minister is putting pressure on MPs.”

Mr Fox was the most prominent backer of the amendment. He said: “I would certainly want to support any amendments that saw the number of abortions fall in Britain. I think the level is far too high. I would certainly welcome any restrictions which enable people to think twice and get objective advice, [though] I would actually want to see what the amendments specifically are.”

Support for the Dorries proposal had been lukewarm among pro-life groups. The Society for the Protection of Unborn Children (SPUC) said it would not back the amendment because there was no evidence it would lead to a reduction in the abortion rate.

Olivia Darby of the Pro-Life Alliance said the amendment carried “many real risks”. She said: “What is important at this stage is the Department of Health’s forthcoming consultation on abortion counselling.”

But Ed Rennie, clerk to the parliamentary pro-life group, said pro-life MPs would support it, adding: “It will be a shame if David Cameron got cold feet on such a modest measure. The abortion lobby campaign has been underhand and built this straw man of religious counsellors bringing God into non-directional counselling… The Dorries amendment has very wide public support.”

  • ms catholic state

    Very sad and very nasty.  A sad state of affairs in our politics.  It seems the professional abortion providers are in cahoots with many MPs in the destruction of the nation’s children.  What an indictment.  Rotten to the core……and very nasty.
     
    It will be interesting and very telling to see what MPs voted for it.

  • D B McGinnity

    I hope that the Catholic Church has the good sense to give Nadine Dorries a wide berth. I watched the debate and she was an embarrassment with her supercilious demeanour. She was completely mixed up in what she was saying to the point of being self contradictory. She claims to be pro-life, which she is not because she believes in Trident and the death penalty. She said that she agrees with and accepts abortion. Her amendment was concerned with big money from American right wing evangelical groups and her interest seems to have been more pecuniary than ethical. She became a laughing stock at Prime Minister’s Questions and again during the debate and I find it difficult to understand how Catholics can support her antics.

  • Anonymous

    What an utter tragedy. I am disappointed in Frank Field for his gullibility in falling for the government’s “consultation” ploy, and in David Cameron for succumbing to Lib Dem blackmail and for ridiculing Dorries in the Commons today. He may be the Queen’s fifth cousin, but one can tell the bloodline is illegitimate.

  • D B McGinnity

    Frank Field was not being gullible; he was being truthful. The abortion amendment began with good grace and it was supported by over 80% of MP’s. Then it was discovered that Nadine Dorries had a hidden agenda of a pecuniary nature and that she was concerned only with self interest and self promotion, then the majority of MP’s quite rightly backed off and dissociated themselves from her hysterical and avaricious antics. With gross bad manners, she even omitted to recognise Frank Field as the co-sponsor of the bill, and thank goodness she was slapped down in public and was seen to lack professionalism and integrity. Frank Field actually saved the day because Ms. Dorries was uttering incomprehensible and incoherent gobbledegook, and Mr Field in point of fact got her out of the mess. She displayed poor intellect and lack of probity insofar that most the assertions she made were seen to be hearsay and conjecture. Your quip about the Queen’s cousin was very cheap and most ungracious and it shows that you possess the same cheap and nasty characteristics as Nadine Dorries. You are not a very good role model for the tenets of the Catholic teaching such as truth and forbearance.

  • Honeybadger

    Of course the professional abortion providers are in cahoots with the Government.

    Get this through to your head, people: ABORTION AND CONTRACEPTION PROVIDERS ARE IN IT FOR THE MONEY AND THEY DON’T GIVE A FOUR ASTERISK EXPLETIVE. FACT!

    It’s high time Pro-life MPs pumped some muscle, iron will and courage to stand up to these bullies who have a stranglehold on the NHS. Where do they come in with the swingeing cuts?

    In the US, many catholics are fighting against the same thing happening to them via their medical insurance. Bishops have given their voice in support of pro-life issues. One former Planned Parenthood manager has written a book, blowing the whistle on the sordid, murderous business of providing contraception and abortion.

    It is surely nasty, rotten and stinks to high heaven. No wonder the country is in a moral mess!

  • Anne

    so how did your MP vote?

  • ms catholic state

    At least now we have a list of possible friends of the unborn child in those MPs that voted for this ammendment.  If only they can work together and keep momentum going….even if it means going against their party line.  So what and good for them.  May God bless and strenghten them.

  • Michaelorourke83

    how can you find that out?

  • D B McGinnity

    Just go to:  http://www.theyworkforyou.com and enter your post code (or any post code) and all the information is there.

  • Alban

    Unfortunately Nadine Dories rather shot herself in the foot with an abysmal presentation in the House last Wednesday. What a pity, for although I detest the taking of human life by means of abortion (murder in the womb), at least counselling by organisations with no vested interest in the actual abortion business may have helped more women to have their babies even if they are then adopted. Apparently the number of babies for adoption in this country has dramatically decreased. Last evening’s moving TV programme showed a woman, unable to conceive, going all the way to Karachi to rescue and adopt a street abandoned day-old baby girl. Meanwhile hundreds of thousands of abortions continue to tragically take place in the UK. 

  • Anonymous

    TheWorld governments have an agenda of population control and have no intention to stop this, including their agenda to bring in euthanasia, and this is all paid for by the tax-payers. The only way to make them think is to cut off their cash flow. Read the Lifesite News on the abortion worker who said that the abortion -mill workers thought it was funny when a cleaner found a foot in the sink. We cannot imagine the horrors that go unseen.Are you still prepared to go on funding abortion.

  • Anonymous

    TheWorld governments have an agenda of population control and have no intention to stop this, including their agenda to bring in euthanasia, and this is all paid for by the tax-payers. The only way to make them think is to cut off their cash flow. Read the Lifesite News on the abortion worker who said that the abortion -mill workers thought it was funny when a cleaner found a foot in the sink. We cannot imagine the horrors that go unseen.Are you still prepared to go on funding abortion.

  • D B McGinnity

    He voted with the sensible majority on this occasion. Had the Bill been presented by Frank Field and had it been clearly debated on the day, without all the precursory hyperbolic media shenanigans by Nadine Dorries, it would have passed with a sizeable majority. The song was fine, but the singer was completely out of timing and out witlessly out of tune.

  • Jane Brady

    How can the Catholic Church (that I love) succeed when it attracted and influenced by an inconvertible pernicious ass. The Catholic Church ought not to compromise with alien pseudo facsimile religions, and it is for that reason that the true Roman Catholic Church has diminished in importance. The True Catholic Church of Pius X would never have allowed comedy Catholicism to replace the word of God with British Music hall antics. Until that matter is corrected The Catholic Church will sink further and further into abysmalism. Do not mess with the Church of Christ.

  • Aisake

    How often we always tried to take abortion as a solution to abuse but could we reflect on the scriptures that through God’s Love he gave his Son to death to save and reunite us to Him but children is the fruit of Love between a man and woman which they have try to build for years but in a short time try to ignore. My prayers goes to those neglect and unfortunate innocent little one, we are sorry for not fighting for you to have a chance to live with us but we know you are with the Lord and are witnessing the glory of his Kingdom