Tomorrow, MPs will debate whether to prevent abortion providers from counselling women seeking an abortion. The motion – put forward by Tory backbencher Nadine Dorries as an amendment to the Health and Social Care bill – is being opposed by the government, and pro-choice groups are backing a rival amendment, which reinforces the status quo. The amendement's author, Lib Dem MP Julian Huppert says:
"The present system which allows women access to evidence-based guidance works, therefore I cannot see why we need to change it. I do not want to see us opening the door to anti choice organisations which could prevent women making their own decision on such a momentus issue."
And a YouGov poll released today shows that, were the public to be voting instead of MPs, they would be much more likely to back Huppert's amendment than Dorries'.
Fewer than one-in-four people support changing the law to prevent charities like BPAS and Marie Stopes from providing counselling, while 40 per cent oppose it. And, strikingly, Conservative voters are no more likely to support Dorries' motion than the public as a whole. In addition, a majority dismiss the notion that "it is too easy for women to obtain abortions in Britain":
These results are hardly surprising in a country that is predominantly pro-choice, as shown by a poll yesterday showing more than three-to-one support for the claim that "if a woman wants to have an abortion, she should not have to continue her pregnancy".