There are hundreds of crisis pregnancy centres (CPCs) that offer counselling and advice independently of the NHS. The government has announced that they are considering handing the counselling role to independent organisations, which could see them take over work carried out by abortion providers such as Marie Stopes and the British Pregnancy Advisory Service (BPAS).
The undercover investigation was conducted by researchers for Education for Choice, a pro-choice charity that provides education and training about abortion. It was operated in 10 centres run by Christian and anti-abortion organisation, throughout which it was discovered that there was a wide difference in the quality of counselling being offered, evidence that there was poor practice in most of them and advice being given that was factually incorrect.
Some of this advice ranged from making links between abortion and breast cancer, to actions that were designed to steer women away from abortion, such as talking about ‘the child’ and showing them baby clothes.
Some of the centres that were visited included those run by Life, who were recently appointed to a panel that advises the government on sexual health, which has set alarm bells ringing amongst pro-choice campaigners.
At one Life centre in London, the undercover researcher was given a leaflet called ‘Abortions – How they’re Done’, which made claims incorrectly that 85 per cent of abortions are carried out using vacuum aspiration. The leaflet stated that ‘the unborn child is sucked down the tube’.
A spokesperson for Life, said, “The misinformation which allegedly a Life worker gave to a mystery client was apparently contained in a leaflet that was not produced by Life. We therefore can’t comment on it but are investigating the overall complaint.”
There were numerous cases of counsellors giving inaccurate information across a range of organisations throughout the country.
You can view the original Guardian article here.