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Attempt to strip abortion providers of counselling role is defeated

BMJ 2011; 343 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.d5743 (Published 08 September 2011) Cite this as: BMJ 2011;343:d5743
  1. Nigel Hawkes
  1. 1London

An attempt to strip some abortion providers of the duty to offer advice to women about abortion was heavily defeated in a vote in the House of Commons.

Nadine Dorries, a Conservative backbencher, moved an amendment to the Health and Social Care Bill that would have insisted counselling be provided by independent agencies and not by abortion providers such as Marie Stopes or the British Pregnancy Advisory Service (bpas). Ms Dorries argued that it was wrong for organisations that had a financial interest in carrying out terminations also to be providing counselling.

If passed, the effect would have been to give a greater …

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