Nadine Dorries: Wrong, wrong, wrong… again

November 29th, 2010 § 9 comments

What the fuck is it with this thing about abortion and ‘informed choice’? That women should be told of all the choices about what they can do when they discover they are pregnant and don’t want a baby?

As far as I can tell the options are

  1. Abortion.
  2. carry the pregnancy through to term and put the baby up for adoption
  3. carry the pregnancy through to term and keep the baby.

Have I missed any? No, I didn’t think so. Are there any women anywhere in this land that doesn’t know about these choices or are there women about that think the only way to deal with an unwanted pregnancy is to terminate it, that have never heard of adoption? Who is ‘witholding vital information’ about the alternatives to abortion?

So why is Nadine Dorries going on about choices?

The other thing that Dorries may have a point about is the psychological after effects of having an abortion. No one disputes that having an abortion is a serious matter that needs to be thought through with careful consideration. I don’t know if I would be able to go through with it, and I’m sure many women are the some and wouldn’t know what to do either until placed in the situation.

The problem Dorries has is that she may have apoint that there may be serious mental consequences but, as usual, her sources for her information is erm, bollox.

The ‘plethora of studies Dorries cites to support her case are either not very scientific or do not actualy support her point at all.

Several times The MP for Mid-Beds has used the phrase “multi-million pound abortion industry”. It is nothing of the sort. The largest provider of abortions to the NHS (and it’s only one service they provide) may have an income of £25 million, but it is not all profit, as Dorries implies…

For 2009-10, the standard NHS tariff for abortions ranged from £502 for a medical abortion to £649 for a ‘D&E’ (surgical dilation and extraction). Had BPAS done nothing else that year but carry out medical abortions for the NHS at its standard tariff then, with 93% (51500) of its clients having their treatment paid for by the state, it would have generated an income of £25.85 million from the NHS.

This would be £840,000 more than its actual income for the year. Far from making ‘vast amounts of money’ it seems that BPAS actually provides the NHS with a range of cost effective services at less the NHS’s own internal tariffs.

So on all three counts, choice, evidence of mental health issues and of an abortion industry positively rolling in profits, Dorries is wrong, wrong, wrong.

  1. Choice: Women already know what the choices are when it comes to unwanted prgnancy.
  2. Mental health: There is no conclusive proof that women that have abortions are more likely to have mental health issues in the future as a result that women that carry through to term.
  3. The implication that people are getting filthy rich on the back of all these abortion is a fallacy.

And that, ladies and gentlemen, pretty much sums up the Honorable Member for Mid Bedforshire.

(via Martin Robbins)

Update: For a thorough fisking of Nadines article see Unitys’ post at the Ministry of Truth.

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§ 9 Responses to Nadine Dorries: Wrong, wrong, wrong… again"

  • Terry Daniels says:

    There may also be mental health problems for women who give up their baby for adoption. Would Nadine oppose adoption for that reason?

    • Sim-O says:

      Hi Terry.

      I was going to put that line in the post as well, but forgot.

      It’s a very good point as well, years of wondering what the child is doing, and again, did the mother do the right thing etc.

      There’s *always* a down side whatever the result of this decision.

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  • Helen says:

    But do women really “know about” adoption? I really don’t know anything about how it would work from the birth mother’s perspective at all. In the UK, the emphasis now, AIUI is very much on open adoption, with it being taken as read that child and birth parent will have the opportunity to form a meaningful relationship. But I don’t know what the rules are on contact between birth mother and adoptee, I don’t know what percentage of adoptions in the last 20 years have resulted in loss of contact versus maintenance of contact. In fact, I don’t really know anything about it.

    And were I to have an unwanted pregnancy, I wouldn’t be expecting to get that information in a 10 minute appointment with my GP.

    I’m no fan of Ms Dorries, but to say that women “know” about the options for unplanned pregnancy isn’t the whole story.

    • Sim-O says:

      Hi Helen.

      why should you ‘know about’ adoption? You know that there is an option called ‘adoption’. Maybe I should’ve said ‘know of’ instead.

      I think a GP would struggle running through even the basics of something like adoption or abortion in 10 minutes, never mind all the rules of contact and percentages of this and that. You’re not meant to get all the facts and make a decision after one ten minute appointment.

      That 10 minute appointment is just the start.

  • Helen says:

    But I know where to get advice about an abortion: GP, Marie Stopes, BPA, sexual health clinic (this is off the top of my head). I have no idea where I get advice about adoption. And I think that this is something I would have in common with most women. Adoption, as a consequence of maternal choice in an unplanned pregnancy, is really rare these days. I don’t know why that is. Without knowing any factors, one might start by expecting a 50:50 split between abortion and adoption as outcomes for unplanned pregnancy (excluding those where the mother decides to keep the child). Clearly that isn’t the actual result, but does anyone understand why not?

  • Sim-O says:

    For information about adoption, just off the top of my head, how about asking your GP while you’re there being told you’re pregnant, or family planning, or social services?

    I’ve no idea wha the split is between abortion and adoption, but I bet adoption is relatively rare because carrying a baby to term and then giving it up must be *so* hard compared to getting rid of (for want of a better phrase) a collection of cells. I really don’t know. Maybe with adoption there is always your ‘history’ ready to catch up on your at anytime.

    I haven’t been in the situation, but I really can’t see the conversation between a patient and GP going along the lines of

    GP: Your test results are back. You’re pregnant.
    Patient: Oh fuck. I can’t keep it (insert reason here).
    GP: Oh, ok. I’ll make an appointment at the clinic for you then.

    It just wouldn’t happen.

    Would it?

  • Ms Cushion says:

    I would very much like my MP to concentrate on WHY we have such a high unwanted pregnancy rate in the UK in the first place. Surely a better starting point than arguing about supposed lack of available information?

    As for adoption, anyone who has ever been pregnant knows exactly why that is rarely an option, you have to be a very special person to give your child up to another couple and the effects of doing so will stay with you for the rest of your life.

    Abortion isn’t an easy option however, but a necessary one in the vast majority of cases. As for a “cooling off” period, I’m sorry but that doesnt wash with me. Where are the statistics that show a patient is rushed into an abortion by their GP? I have no immediate personal experience in this but know that there is ALWAYS a wait, even if you go privately you will still have to wait at least a week for your treatment. (source) and NHS waiting times are currently 2 – 3 weeks (source)

    So, we have established that there is already a wait before abortion.. so lets get back to the roots.. In a modern country where contraception is free and easily available, WHY are so many pregnancies unplanned and unwanted? Lets get to work to fix the cause, not concentrate on the symptoms..

  • Ms Cushion says:

    This post is essential reading if you have an interest in the abortion V adoption argument. It, unlike Ms Dorries’ post is backed up by evidence and good old common sense. I strongly advise you read it.

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