Can advice on abortion really be independent?

Old news I know, but I’ve come across Conservative Home talking about abortion.  In an online survey, Conservative Home asked their readers if they agreed with this statement:

“Women considering an abortion should be guaranteed access to independent information and advice from someone who has no vested financial interest in the outcome of their decision.”

As it stands, I would not agree with that statement.  I have concerns about independent advice. As well-meaning as an organisation might be, I doubt that anyone working in this sector (on either side) would be able to be truly independent. Organisations which offer to provide advice would have views. Individuals working for these organisations would have personal opinions, and this is not the sort of thing about which it is possible to be completely objective.  In order to agree with Conservative Home’s statement, I would suggest two amendments.

Firstly, we should add “or moral or ideological” after “financial”. Beliefs are, at least for me, just as important as money. (Also, charities which receive donations for persuading women not to have abortions have just as vested a financial interest as organisations providing abortions.)

Secondly, replace “someone” with “a choice of individuals or organisations (of whom they can make more than one choice or none)”. If there is no one who is truly independent, then the least we can do is to ensure that women can see more than one person if they wish.  Oh, and take out the word “independent”.

I would say this: women considering an abortion should be guaranteed access to information and advice from a choice of individuals or organisations (of whom they can make more than one choice or none) which have no vested financial, moral or ideological interest in the outcome of their decision.

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About feminismfortories

Moderate Tory, Liberal Feminist. Based in the UK.
This entry was posted in Banning things and sexism, Definitions, Foolish comments, Media, society and state, Women in Parliament and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Can advice on abortion really be independent?

  1. jesurgislac says:

    I would say this: women considering an abortion should be guaranteed access to information and advice from a choice of individuals or organisations (of whom they can make more than one choice or none) which have no vested financial, moral or ideological interest in the outcome of their decision.

    So the local feminist pro-choice group then?

    The fact is: clinics that perform abortions do sometimes get circumstances (especially where an underage daughter is brought in by one or both parents) where the pregnant girl or woman has not actually chosen to have an abortion, just been told by her parents that this is the best outcome.

    One reason why we know these instances happen, is that the clinics require a counselor to talk one-on-one with the person who is actually having the abortion. And when they hear from the girl herself that she is uncertain and uncomfortable about termination, they refuse to perform the abortion. (In one instance I know of, a 14-year-old girl who had travelled from Northern Ireland to London with her mother to have an abortion at Marie Stopes, the charity promised that if she changed her mind when she was back in Northern Ireland, they would pay for her plane fare to come over again: but they would not perform an abortion on her when she herself was uncertain that this what what she wanted.)

    Prolife groups won’t do that kind of flexible response. The government of Northern Ireland makes it very damn difficult for a girl in that situation to have a genuinely free choice. But a pro-choice charity like Marie Stopes will do that – because their primary goal is women’s health and women’s reproductive freedom.

    That goal is not respected or supported by the Conservative party or by the present government.

  2. Pingback: Independent advice on abortion? Really? | Feminism For Tories

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