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EXCL: Health minister admits BPAS a “reputable org”


9:40 am - September 2nd 2011

by Sunny Hundal    


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The health minister Anne Milton has admitted in a letter to other Conservative MPs that the British Pregnancy Advisory Service (BPAS) was a “reputable organisation” whose clinics are approved by the Dept of Health to provide an abortion service.

It confirms briefings from Downing Street that the abortion amendments by Nadine Dorries and Frank Field MPs will get no support from the government.

Both have tried to discredit BPAS counselling services in media interviews. Nadine Dorries recently claimed BPAS was “utterly reprehensible and money grabbing”.

Milton’s assertion that they are a “reputable organisation” undercuts Dorries’ argument once and for all.

It also undermines claims by the Department of Health that BPAS were not providing an adequate service to women.

Anne Milton also says she did not think it was necessary to set out the requirement for independent counselling (over abortions) in primary legislation.

Opposition to the amendments now runs across all parties. Several Conservative MPs have come out against them in letters to constituents.

The letter by Milton was sent to Conservative MP Margot James, who is also opposed to the amendments.

James tweeted a few nights ago:

Good for Newsnight exposing Care Confidential’s approach to so called independent counselling for women considering abortion

It is now more likely than not that the abortion amendments will be defeated in Parliament.

The letter below was leaked to Liberal Conspiracy by a reader.

LC exclusive: Anne Milton Letter

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About the author
Sunny Hundal is editor of LC. Also: on Twitter, at Pickled Politics and Guardian CIF.
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Reader comments


This is nau

“Milton’s assertion that they are a “reputable organisation” undercuts Dorries’ argument once and for all.”

Really? One person’s word against another? The word of a person you like vs the word of a person you don’t like? And that’s supposedly an argument that undercuts, and settles a discussion? Which planet are we on here? Are we still in the playground?

This certainly does not undermine the argument for opening up the cartel of advice givers to those not financially compromised.

Can you provide a genuine argument for restricting the advice given to women to bodies that get paid only if the woman says “yes”?

@2 Remove the mandatory requirement for counselling. If women want advice, then they can go where they want, if they don’t then the state won’t force them to seek it from any potentially compromised sources. Job done.

” One person’s word against another?”

Eh? One is a health minister and the other a widely reviled backbencher. I’m not saying one is a better person than the other – but their words carry different weight.


Reactions: Twitter, blogs
  1. Liberal Conspiracy

    EXCL: Health minister admits BPAS a "reputable org" in leaked letter #abortion http://t.co/q9uvnYo

  2. The Unknown James

    EXCL: Health minister admits BPAS a “reputable org” in leaked letter #abortion | Liberal Conspiracy http://t.co/i29oQ0Q via @libcon

  3. sunny hundal

    EXCL: Health minister Anne Milton admits BPAS is “reputable org” in (leaked) letter to Tory MPs, undercutting Dorries http://t.co/sy1C4UJ

  4. A Man Called Wood

    EXCL: Health minister Anne Milton admits BPAS is “reputable org” in (leaked) letter to Tory MPs, undercutting Dorries http://t.co/sy1C4UJ

  5. MerseyMal

    EXCL: Health minister Anne Milton admits BPAS is “reputable org” in (leaked) letter to Tory MPs, undercutting Dorries http://t.co/sy1C4UJ

  6. Andy Emmerson

    EXCL: Health minister Anne Milton admits BPAS is “reputable org” in (leaked) letter to Tory MPs, undercutting Dorries http://t.co/sy1C4UJ

  7. Thomas Kohut

    EXCL: Health minister Anne Milton admits BPAS is “reputable org” in (leaked) letter to Tory MPs, undercutting Dorries http://t.co/sy1C4UJ

  8. Christine Burns

    EXCL: Health minister Anne Milton admits BPAS is “reputable org” in (leaked) letter to Tory MPs, undercutting Dorries http://t.co/sy1C4UJ

  9. Lesley Bruce

    EXCL: Health minister Anne Milton admits BPAS is “reputable org” in (leaked) letter to Tory MPs, undercutting Dorries http://t.co/sy1C4UJ

  10. Will Porter

    EXCL: Health minister Anne Milton admits BPAS is “reputable org” in (leaked) letter to Tory MPs, undercutting Dorries http://t.co/sy1C4UJ

  11. Tim Ireland

    EXCL: Health minister Anne Milton admits BPAS is “reputable org” in (leaked) letter to Tory MPs, undercutting Dorries http://t.co/sy1C4UJ

  12. Tim Ireland

    EXCL: Health minister Anne Milton admits BPAS is “reputable org” in (leaked) letter to Tory MPs, undercutting Dorries http://t.co/sy1C4UJ

  13. Tim Ireland

    EXCL: Health minister Anne Milton admits BPAS is “reputable org” in (leaked) letter to Tory MPs, undercutting Dorries http://t.co/sy1C4UJ

  14. Tim Ireland

    EXCL: Health minister Anne Milton admits BPAS is “reputable org” in (leaked) letter to Tory MPs, undercutting Dorries http://t.co/sy1C4UJ

  15. Tim Ireland

    EXCL: Health minister Anne Milton admits BPAS is “reputable org” in (leaked) letter to Tory MPs, undercutting Dorries http://t.co/sy1C4UJ

  16. Sim-O

    Health Minister: "BPAS a reputable organisation" http://t.co/z86axJ1 #dorries

  17. Sim-O

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  18. Sim-O

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  19. Sim-O

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  20. Sim-O

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  21. Shakey

    Health Minister: "BPAS a reputable organisation" http://t.co/z86axJ1 #dorries

  22. Shakey

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  23. Shakey

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  24. Shakey

    Health Minister: "BPAS a reputable organisation" http://t.co/z86axJ1 #dorries

  25. Shakey

    Health Minister: "BPAS a reputable organisation" http://t.co/z86axJ1 #dorries

  26. Dave Davis

    Health Minister: "BPAS a reputable organisation" http://t.co/z86axJ1 #dorries

  27. Dave Davis

    Health Minister: "BPAS a reputable organisation" http://t.co/z86axJ1 #dorries

  28. Dave Davis

    Health Minister: "BPAS a reputable organisation" http://t.co/z86axJ1 #dorries

  29. Dave Davis

    Health Minister: "BPAS a reputable organisation" http://t.co/z86axJ1 #dorries

  30. Dave Davis

    Health Minister: "BPAS a reputable organisation" http://t.co/z86axJ1 #dorries

  31. Michael Bater

    EXCL: Health minister admits BPAS a “reputable org” in leaked letter #abortion | Liberal Conspiracy http://t.co/J7sSbzG via @libcon

  32. Michael Bater

    EXCL: Health minister admits BPAS a “reputable org” in leaked letter #abortion | Liberal Conspiracy http://t.co/J7sSbzG via @libcon

  33. Tim Ireland

    How typical of Anne Milton to deal with a Tory smear by only ever objecting to it in private http://t.co/hJTOEqG #dorries

  34. Tim Ireland

    How typical of Anne Milton to deal with a Tory smear by only ever objecting to it in private http://t.co/hJTOEqG #dorries

  35. Michael Bater

    How typical of Anne Milton to deal with a Tory smear by only ever objecting to it in private http://t.co/hJTOEqG #dorries

  36. Michael Bater

    How typical of Anne Milton to deal with a Tory smear by only ever objecting to it in private http://t.co/hJTOEqG #dorries

  37. Mark A. Oxley

    EXCL: Health minister Anne Milton admits BPAS is “reputable org” in (leaked) letter to Tory MPs, undercutting Dorries http://t.co/sy1C4UJ

  38. Abortion Rights

    On @libcon: leaked letter from Anne Milton to Tory MPs undercuts Dorries, backs bpas: http://t.co/wbeWbQn < huge reversal

  39. Abortion Rights

    EXCL: Health minister Anne Milton admits BPAS is “reputable org” in (leaked) letter to Tory MPs, undercutting Dorries http://t.co/sy1C4UJ

  40. laura heaps

    On @libcon: leaked letter from Anne Milton to Tory MPs undercuts Dorries, backs bpas: http://t.co/wbeWbQn < huge reversal

  41. Lisa Clark

    On @libcon: leaked letter from Anne Milton to Tory MPs undercuts Dorries, backs bpas: http://t.co/wbeWbQn < huge reversal

  42. Rocki Stone

    On @libcon: leaked letter from Anne Milton to Tory MPs undercuts Dorries, backs bpas: http://t.co/wbeWbQn < huge reversal

  43. Mike Flint

    @LouiseMensch @gabyhinsliff http://t.co/PkKznmX

  44. emmie baker larner

    On @libcon: leaked letter from Anne Milton to Tory MPs undercuts Dorries, backs bpas: http://t.co/wbeWbQn < huge reversal

  45. TheCreativeCrip

    EXCL: Health minister admits BPAS a "reputable org" in leaked letter #abortion http://t.co/q9uvnYo

  46. Alan M

    How typical of Anne Milton to deal with a Tory smear by only ever objecting to it in private http://t.co/hJTOEqG #dorries

  47. John Doran

    How typical of Anne Milton to deal with a Tory smear by only ever objecting to it in private http://t.co/hJTOEqG #dorries

  48. Darren Hanson

    EXCL: Health minister Anne Milton admits BPAS is “reputable org” in (leaked) letter to Tory MPs, undercutting Dorries http://t.co/sy1C4UJ

  49. annaarrowsmith

    On @libcon: leaked letter from Anne Milton to Tory MPs undercuts Dorries, backs bpas: http://t.co/wbeWbQn < huge reversal

  50. Dancing Piglet

    Yes!!! RT @Abortion_Rights On @libcon: leaked letter from Anne Milton to Tory MPs undercuts Dorries, backs bpas: http://t.co/MZCt4vQ

  51. Meg Howarth

    On @libcon: leaked letter from Anne Milton to Tory MPs undercuts Dorries, backs bpas: http://t.co/wbeWbQn < huge reversal

  52. TheCreativeCrip

    On @libcon: leaked letter from Anne Milton to Tory MPs undercuts Dorries, backs bpas: http://t.co/wbeWbQn < huge reversal

  53. #pressreform

    EXCL: Health minister admits BPAS a “reputable org” in leaked letter #abortion | Liberal Conspiracy http://t.co/6la6lHZ via @libcon

  54. Ben Soffa

    On @libcon: leaked letter from Anne Milton to Tory MPs undercuts Dorries, backs bpas: http://t.co/wbeWbQn < huge reversal

  55. Catherine Brunton

    EXCL: Health minister admits BPAS a "reputable org" in leaked letter #abortion http://t.co/q9uvnYo

  56. Sam Barnett-Cormack

    On @libcon: leaked letter from Anne Milton to Tory MPs undercuts Dorries, backs bpas: http://t.co/wbeWbQn < huge reversal

  57. Catherine Brunton

    On @libcon: leaked letter from Anne Milton to Tory MPs undercuts Dorries, backs bpas: http://t.co/wbeWbQn < huge reversal

  58. Andy S

    EXCL: Health minister Anne Milton admits BPAS is “reputable org” in (leaked) letter to Tory MPs, undercutting Dorries http://t.co/sy1C4UJ

  59. Steve

    EXCL: Health minister Anne Milton admits BPAS is “reputable org” in (leaked) letter to Tory MPs, undercutting Dorries http://t.co/sy1C4UJ

  60. Rocki Stone

    EXCL: Health minister Anne Milton admits BPAS is “reputable org” in (leaked) letter to Tory MPs, undercutting Dorries http://t.co/sy1C4UJ

  61. Nicola Knight

    EXCL: Health minister admits BPAS a “reputable org” in leaked letter #abortion | Liberal Conspiracy http://t.co/7yykpIT via @libcon

  62. Nimco Ali

    EXCL: Health minister Anne Milton admits BPAS is “reputable org” in (leaked) letter to Tory MPs, undercutting Dorries http://t.co/sy1C4UJ

  63. FBUNWC

    EXCL: Health minister Anne Milton admits BPAS is “reputable org” in (leaked) letter to Tory MPs, undercutting Dorries http://t.co/sy1C4UJ

  64. FBUNWC

    On @libcon: leaked letter from Anne Milton to Tory MPs undercuts Dorries, backs bpas: http://t.co/wbeWbQn < huge reversal

  65. sunny hundal

    What will Nadine Dorries say, since even health minister Anne Milton disagrees with her? http://t.co/sy1C4UJ (LC exclusive, from earlier)

  66. Katy Cousins

    EXCL: Health minister Anne Milton admits BPAS is “reputable org” in (leaked) letter to Tory MPs, undercutting Dorries http://t.co/sy1C4UJ

  67. Katy Cousins

    EXCL: Health minister Anne Milton admits BPAS is “reputable org” in (leaked) letter to Tory MPs, undercutting Dorries http://t.co/sy1C4UJ

  68. paulstpancras

    What will Nadine Dorries say, since even health minister Anne Milton disagrees with her? http://t.co/sy1C4UJ (LC exclusive, from earlier)

  69. BrikSchittHause

    What will Nadine Dorries say, since even health minister Anne Milton disagrees with her? http://t.co/sy1C4UJ (LC exclusive, from earlier)

  70. TheTwatFantastic

    Sorry #Dorries and @LouiseMensch, seems no one believes your smearing of BPAS: http://t.co/BN6k1mz (via @LibCon) #WhatAShame

  71. Duncan Idaho

    What will Nadine Dorries say, since even health minister Anne Milton disagrees with her? http://t.co/sy1C4UJ (LC exclusive, from earlier)

  72. Nat

    Sorry #Dorries and @LouiseMensch, seems no one believes your smearing of BPAS: http://t.co/BN6k1mz (via @LibCon) #WhatAShame

  73. Flake

    Sorry #Dorries and @LouiseMensch, seems no one believes your smearing of BPAS: http://t.co/BN6k1mz (via @LibCon) #WhatAShame

  74. Dick Mandrake

    Anne Milton describes BPAS as "a reputable organisation" & Louise Mensch tables amendments: http://t.co/d3VuOxI http://t.co/S8lkBTJ #Dorries

  75. EXCL: Louise Mensch’s abortion amendments | Liberal Conspiracy

    […] morning I revealed that health minister Anne Milton had referred to BPAS as a “reputable organisation”, […]

  76. silmisa

    EXCL: Health minister admits BPAS a “reputable org” | Liberal …: The health minister Anne Milton has admitted … http://t.co/0387iET

  77. Rhiannon Lockley

    Milton admits BPAS reputable http://t.co/EvEEFdR May now have to refer to @glitterylou as leaky lou instead.

  78. sunny hundal

    Health minister Anne Milton's letter to TORY MPs admitting BPAS a “reputable organisation” was sent weeks ago http://t.co/sy1C4UJ

  79. Bern O'Donoghue

    Health minister Anne Milton's letter to TORY MPs admitting BPAS a “reputable organisation” was sent weeks ago http://t.co/sy1C4UJ

  80. Rebecca Devitt

    Health minister Anne Milton's letter to TORY MPs admitting BPAS a “reputable organisation” was sent weeks ago http://t.co/sy1C4UJ

  81. Ceehaitch

    Health minister Anne Milton's letter to TORY MPs admitting BPAS a “reputable organisation” was sent weeks ago http://t.co/sy1C4UJ





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