Nadine Dorries claims backing for her campaign but it’s not so simple


9:03 am - July 5th 2011

by Unity    


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Yesterday, Conservative MP Nadine Dorries posted a press release on her blog, claiming that the British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP) backed the amendment that she and Frank Field MP have put forward.

The amendment calls for ‘independent’ abortion counselling for women who want an abortion, with the aim of excluding respected organisations such as BPAS and others, and is tacked to the contentious Health and Social Care Bill.

She wrote:

The British Association of Counsellors and Pyschotherapists (BACP) which has 32,000 individual and organisational members has declared its support for women to receive independent pre and post abortion counselling and has backed our amendment to the HSCB (Health and Social Care Bill). The following press release has been issued

The same press release has also been published at Dorries’s ‘Right To Know‘ campaign website.

So blogger Tim Ireland took the liberty of contacting the BACP press office with a couple of questions which aimed to clarify the organisation’s exact position on the contents of Dorries’ press release and on her proposed amendments.

Tim put the following questions to BACP:

Can you please confirm the accuracy of this quote on the site of Nadine Dorries (in bold) and point me in the direction of the source document? I cannot find a corresponding press release on your site.

Also, what is your position on CareConfidential’s non-disclosure of their anti-abortion position? They claim on their website to offer “unbiased pregnancy and abortion counselling”.

And this is the ful text of the response supplied by Phillip Hodson on behalf of BACP [my emphasis]:

Dear Tim,

1. In response to an enquiry, BACP issued a statement saying it believes counselling should be an independent accountable and ethical process free from ideological bias and manipulation. This is in accordance with our Ethical Framework which gives a paramount place to the needs and values of clients.

2. Our statement in its entirety reads as follows:

“BACP believes that all women (and their partners if required) considering terminating a pregnancy should be offered free, independent, unbiased and ethical abortion counselling at any point, supplied by trained counsellors. Counselling can help women (and their partners if required), reflect on and understand the often complicated feelings surrounding termination, and can aid decision-making. Counselling can also help women come to terms with the psychological consequences of the decisions they make. BACP respects that the laws governing termination of pregnancy in Northern Ireland are laid down in statute and fully understands that counsellors who work in this field in Northern Ireland should pay due regard to the document: Guidance on the Termination of Pregnancy: The Law and Clinical Practice in Northern Ireland”.

3. Since 2002, in accordance with our key message that counselling ought to be part of the nation’s healthcare, BACP has been calling for a better pre- and post-abortion counselling service. See endnote [i].

4. BACP has never suggested or implied that organisations like BPAS and Marie Stopes International should stop providing abortion advice or any of their other ancillary services. Counselling and advice-giving are in any case separate activities – “counsellors never give advice”.

5. BACP has no involvement with the organisation CARE CONFIDENTIAL and we confirm that it is not a member of our Association.

6. BACP is an acronym for THE BRITISH ASSOCIATION FOR COUNSELLING AND PSYCHOTHERAPY and not as stated in Ms Dorries’ press release. We currently have nearly 36,000 members – not 32,000 as stated in Ms Dorries’ press release.

Phillip Hodson

It is entirely clear from Phillip Hodson’s response that…

1. BACP have issued nothing more than a general position statement in response to an enquiry – and Tim is enquiring as to who made that enquiry.

2. That BACP have NOT offered full-throated support for Dorries’s amendment, in fact their statement draws a clear distinction between abortion advice and counselling and states explicitly that:

BACP has never suggested or implied that organisations like BPAS and Marie Stopes International should stop providing abortion advice or any of their other ancillary services.

This goes entirely against the express intent of Dorries’s amendments, which does seek to prevent BPAS and Marie Stopes International providing information and advice relating to abortion.

It does NOT look like the BACP is not giving its full backing to Dorries.

This is not the first occasion like this either. During her ’20 Reasons for 20 Weeks’ campaign in 2008, she claimed that Marie Stopes International was in favour of her proposal to reduce the upper time limit for legal abortions in the UK, prompting the organisation to issue the following statement:

Contrary to assertions on Nadine Dorries’ campaign website Marie Stopes International (MSI) does NOT favour a reduction of the abortion time limit. We hereby reaffirm our continued and unyielding support for 24 weeks and respect for the needs and rights of women to access abortion at later gestation.

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About the author
'Unity' is a regular contributor to Liberal Conspiracy. He also blogs at Ministry of Truth.
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Story Filed Under: Blog ,Equality ,Feminism ,Health

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Reader comments


1. Flowerpower

This goes entirely against the express intent of Dorries’s amendments, which does seek to prevent BPAS and Marie Stopes International providing information and advice relating to abortion.

No, it doesn’t.

The amendments would allow BPAS and Marie Stopes to continue offering their services on a pro bono basis. Dories merely seeks to prevent NHS commissioning consortia from having to pay them to do so…. thus avoiding a conflict of interest.

2. Just Visiting

Not sure BPAS paint themselves in a good light with this:

But Ann Furedi, chief executive of the British Pregnancy Advisory Service which provides abortions, said: “The publication of these statistics after a campaign by the anti-abortion lobby reveals little more than their own vindictiveness.”

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-14015096


Reactions: Twitter, blogs
  1. Liberal Conspiracy

    Nadine Dorries claims backing for her campaign but it's not there http://bit.ly/m588TS

  2. Unity

    RT @libcon: Nadine Dorries claims backing for her campaign but it's not there http://bit.ly/m588TS #dorries

  3. Steve Greer

    Nadine Dorries claims backing for her campaign but it's not there http://bit.ly/m588TS

  4. Jonathan Davis

    Nadine Dorries claims backing for her campaign but it's not there http://bit.ly/m588TS

  5. Hannah M

    Nadine Dorries claims backing for her campaign but it’s not there | Liberal Conspiracy http://t.co/7f0sY0T via @libcon

  6. Nick00031

    Nadine Dorries claims backing for her campaign but it's not there http://bit.ly/m588TS

  7. sunny hundal

    MP Nadine Dorries claims big org BACP is backing her abortion campaign. NOT what they say http://bit.ly/m588TS by @Unity_MOT & @bloggerheads

  8. Saggydaddy

    MP Nadine Dorries claims big org BACP is backing her abortion campaign. NOT what they say http://bit.ly/m588TS by @Unity_MOT & @bloggerheads

  9. Dr Eoin Clarke

    MP Nadine Dorries claims big org BACP is backing her abortion campaign. NOT what they say http://bit.ly/m588TS by @Unity_MOT & @bloggerheads

  10. Tim Ireland

    Nadine Dorries claims backing for her campaign but it's not there http://bit.ly/m588TS

  11. Andy S

    Nadine Dorries claims backing for her campaign but it's not there http://bit.ly/m588TS

  12. David Whewell

    Nadine Dorries claims backing for her campaign but it's not there http://bit.ly/m588TS

  13. David McMillan

    MP Nadine Dorries claims big org BACP is backing her abortion campaign. NOT what they say http://bit.ly/m588TS by @Unity_MOT & @bloggerheads

  14. Life: Downloaded

    Nadine Dorries claims backing for her campaign but it’s not there | Liberal Conspiracy http://t.co/p0YNMfk via @libcon

  15. Martha Burgess

    MP Nadine Dorries claims big org BACP is backing her abortion campaign. NOT what they say http://bit.ly/m588TS by @Unity_MOT & @bloggerheads

  16. Ali B

    MP Nadine Dorries claims big org BACP is backing her abortion campaign. NOT what they say http://bit.ly/m588TS by @Unity_MOT & @bloggerheads

  17. Aaron Chandra

    MP Nadine Dorries claims big org BACP is backing her abortion campaign. NOT what they say http://bit.ly/m588TS by @Unity_MOT & @bloggerheads

  18. Caroline Entwistle

    MP Nadine Dorries claims big org BACP is backing her abortion campaign. NOT what they say http://bit.ly/m588TS by @Unity_MOT & @bloggerheads

  19. gocmc

    She fibs again! Nadine Dorries claims backing for her campaign but it’s not there | Liberal Conspiracy http://t.co/DiJOzGW

  20. nobby-Lobby

    Nadine Dorries claims backing for her campaign but it's not there http://bit.ly/m588TS

  21. Judith Flanders

    MP Nadine Dorries claims big org BACP is backing her abortion campaign. NOT what they say http://bit.ly/m588TS by @Unity_MOT & @bloggerheads

  22. Birmingham Feminists

    MP Nadine Dorries claims big org BACP is backing her abortion campaign. NOT what they say http://bit.ly/m588TS by @Unity_MOT & @bloggerheads

  23. Lucy Brown

    MP Nadine Dorries claims big org BACP is backing her abortion campaign. NOT what they say http://bit.ly/m588TS by @Unity_MOT & @bloggerheads

  24. Prym face

    Nadine Dorries claims backing for her campaign but it's not there http://bit.ly/m588TS

  25. Dawn

    Nadine Dorries claims backing for her campaign but it's not there http://bit.ly/m588TS

  26. nutt

    She fibs again! Nadine Dorries claims backing for her campaign but it’s not there | Liberal Conspiracy http://t.co/DiJOzGW

  27. marian cleary

    @ali_thompson1 @Simon_Gardner And with regards to her rather strange relationship with the truth: http://t.co/dOsfuOOv





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