The move is designed to give women more ‘breathing space’, according to pro-life campaigners and could result in as many as 60,000 fewer terminated pregnancies each year in the UK.
The plan would offer a mandatory obligation on abortion clinics where women could receive independent counselling, which would be arranged on separate premises by a group who do not carry out abortions.
People who are not in favour of abortion clinics say the counselling that is currently offered by them is biased because they are run as a business. This is a claim that clinics rigorously deny.
There is set to be a vote in the House of Commons ahead of the proposed change, on amendments to a public health Bill that was put forward by Conservative backbench MP, Nadine Dorries. The amendment would stop private organisations, such as the British Pregnancy Advisory Service (Bpas) and Marie Stopes, which carry out terminations, from offering pre-abortion counselling. Women would instead be offered free sessions with independent counsellors.
An attempt to change laws surrounding abortion by reducing the time limit for terminations from 24 to 20 weeks was defeated in a free vote in 2008. Now, ministers appear keen to avoid a similar vote and believe that announcing discussions on independent counselling will prevent it from going ahead.
Original article from Sky News.