Christian group says women need independent abortion advice

It is a “matter of priority” that women receive independent advice when considering abortion, a Christian advocacy group has said.

The call from Christian Concern comes on the same day as Prime Minister David Cameron indicated he would not support an attempt by Conservative MP Nadine Dorries to change the rules on abortion advice.

Her amendment to the Health and Social Care Bill would end the practice of abortion providers like Marie Stopes giving counselling to women considering a termination.

Dorries has put forward the amendment out of concerns that the advice given by abortion providers is not impartial because they have a vested financial interest in the procedure going ahead.

Writing in the Daily Mail, Dorries said she wanted women “to be offered genuinely independent counselling, so they can at least consider their options and not necessarily feel, at a time when they may be desperately vulnerable, that a termination is the only option”.

The amendment is due to come before the House of Commons for discussion next week.

According to the BBC, Downing Street said that if the Prime Minister were present for the debate, he would vote against the amendment.

The debate coincides with newly published research that has found that women who undergo an abortion are significantly more likely than other women to suffer from mental health problems.

The study, conducted by American academic Priscilla Coleman, and published in the British Journal of Psychiatry, looked at the mental health of 877,000 women, among them 163,831 who had had an abortion.

Professor Coleman found that the risk of mental health problems among women who had undergone an abortion increased by 81 per cent.

“Nearly 10 per cent of the incidence of mental health problems were shown to be directly attributable to abortion,” she added.

Women who had an abortion faced an increased risk of 155 per cent in trying to commit suicide, a 37 per cent greater risk of suffering from depression, and a 34 per cent higher chance of having an anxiety disorder, the study found.

Responding to the research, chief executive of Christian Concern, Andrea Minichiello Williams, said: “It is so important that women are given all of the information on the risks of having an abortion.

“So many women live with deep regrets after being rushed into having an abortion without adequate counselling or awareness of the cost.

“Many find themselves on the conveyor belt of the abortion industry, vulnerable and under pressure. They need independent advice as a matter of priority.”