Next week, Members of Parliament are scheduled to meet and decide on a new bill being pushed by anti-choice MP Nadine Dorries that would strip abortion providers’ rights to counsel patients and make in mandatory to send those seeking abortion to “independent” counseling before the procedure.
In other words, this could be a potential CPC-style takeover of abortion rights in the UK.
It’s no news that not only is this is a way to tack more time onto the process (patients already have to get the consent of two doctors to obtain an abortion), but those “independent” counselors will not be other abortion providers — in other words, it’s very likely they could be anti-choice groups or crisis pregnancy centers.
While Dorries assures that religious groups should be allowed “nowhere near” a counseling room with a “vulnerable woman,” The F-Word points out her previous efforts to restrict abortion access were done in partnership with anti-choice Christian groups, therefore we can’t be too trusting of what she says.
This also brings up what is one of the most troubling contentions this bill makes (and that so many anti-choice legislators push in the U.S.): the myth that all individuals seeking abortion are “vulnerable,” “troubled” and simply aren’t capable of making the decision on their own. It just further stigmatizes the procedure (and the people who get it).
While the government has flip-flopped on their decision to support the anti-choice measure and are now opposing it, there’s no knowing which way the vote will go next week. If you live in the UK, contact your MP.