“Nick Clegg to vote against abortion counselling law”

So reports The Guardian:

Nick Clegg is on Wednesday planning to vote against a cross-party amendment, tabled by socially conservative MPs, that would strip abortion providers of their counselling role.

In the most high-profile parliamentary debate on abortion since the general election, the deputy prime minister will lead a series of Liberal Democrat and Tory ministers into the no lobby. They will be joined by most Labour MPs in voting against the amendment tabled by Nadine Dorries, a Tory backbencher, and Frank Field, Labour’s former welfare reform minister…

A rival amendment, tabled by the Lib Dem MP Julian Huppert, has also been accepted for debate. This would prevent any organisation from offering counselling unless it followed “current evidence-based guidance produced by a professional medical organisation specified by the secretary of state”.

Huppert said: “My amendment effectively supports the status quo. It says that all advice should be based on the medical evidence that we have.”

You can read the full story here.

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3 Comments

  • Mark Pack Caron Lindsay 7th Sep '11 - 7:28am

    I have to say I would have been really shocked if Nick had backed this amendment to be honest.

    Scottish Blogger The Burd said that “it insults women and represents potentially the worst attack on their legal capacity since the 19th Century when married women were not allowed to own their own property”. I couldn’t have put it better myself.

    I really hope none of our lot supports Dorries.

  • Where is the story in this? It was clear a few days ago that both Clegg and Cameron would vote against the Dorries-Field amendment, and that (unusually for a ‘matter of conscience’) both coalition parties had been making it clear to their MPs how they preferred them to vote.

    The only news in this Guardian article is essentially that Cameron might not be in the Commons for the vote, and that Clegg will be. I am not sure why they are reporting it, but it’s actually reasonably positive (if pointless) coverage for Nick Clegg, so I guess one shouldn’t be complaining….

  • “the worst attack on their legal capacity since the 19th Century when married women were not allowed to own their own property”.

    How so – the abortion act confers no addtional rights on women. It’s more about providing a defence for someone who carries out an abortion.

    I’ve read so many pieces about “defending a woman’s right to choose” when there is no such right as the law currently stands. A woman can ask two doctors (occasionally one) to authorise an abortion but there’s no right to insist they agree.

    Dorries is a fool but it doesn’t help the debate when people talk about things that don’t exist.

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