Diane Abbott raises concerns about the abortion clinic investigation
23 Mar 2012Diane Abbott, Labour’s Shadow Public Health Minister, raises concerns about the abortion investigation:
‘These are serious allegations about breaches of the law. Where there is bad practice, the government has a responsibility to vulnerable woman to take action. The law is very clear, and we need to work to make sure doctors are working within the law. However, I have real concerns about the way this investigation has happened. There are questions that need to be answered by Andrew Lansley. Why was this raid carried out in the first place? What was the evidence that led to it? When was the data from the 250 clinics processed? Why was the media told about the latest inspections before the clinics?
‘Last month we had another story from the Daily Telegraph alleging illegal activity on the part of abortion clinics This month the BPAS website has been hacked by an anti-abortion extremist.And we have seen protestors outside clinics mimicking the tactics of the American far right and harassing women and abortion clinic doctors and nurses.
‘Of course we must stamp out poor practise. But women could be forgiven for thinking that what we are seeing is a steady drumbeat from anti-choice activists and their friends in the media and Westminster.’
Today the government confirmed that it would not ask respondents to forthcoming abortion consultation to declare any anti-choice belief or funding.
Ms Abbott said:
‘If the government is successful in pushing the care of women seeking an abortion into the hands of anti-choice providers, my concern is that we will see problems increase greatly.
‘Women in this country want to have choice over their fertility and that is a basic human right. It is crucial that we maintain women’s access to impartial, non-directive and clinical information on pregnancy choices. At the moment, there is a duty for women to be fully informed about the choices available to her – including alternatives to an abortion.’
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