POLITICS
29/08/2011 07:32 BST | Updated 29/10/2011 06:12 BST

Nadine Dorries: 90 Per Cent Of Backbenchers Support Abortion Rule Change

The MP at the centre of attempts to force abortion clinics to provide independent counselling has claimed the Department of Health capitulated because they were concerned about the financial incentives of clinic-provided counsellors.

Nadine Dorries told the Huffington Post UK on Monday: “They want to separate out financial reward, financial payment, that is very definitely a Department of Health line.”

Dorries claimed this was reflected in comments by the Department in a Sunday Telegraph article about the issue.

However in a statement on Sunday, a Department of Health spokeswoman said the proposals were not a “judgement” on abortion clinics.

"These proposals are aimed at giving women choice and the right support when making the difficult decision of having an abortion. This is not a reflection or judgement on abortion clinics."

The Department of Health announced their intention to make abortion clinics provide independent counsellors ahead of parliament voting on an amendment by Dorries and Labour MP Frank Field calling for the move.

Dorries claimed that her proposal was supported by “over 90 per cent of MPs”.

“The government aren’t keen on backbenchers making policy ... In all backbench amendments if it has a large amount support from MPs, the government try to get there first.”

The Conservative backbench MP says she believes it is wrong that abortion clinics, who receive money to perform procedures from the NHS, should advise women seeking a termination.

“The principle that the person who advises receives financial benefit from a decision is the wrong decision; parliament had already decided this in regard to pensions mis-selling ... it is fundamentally the same principle.”

But a spokesperson for Marie Stopes, the largest abortion provider in Britain stressed they were a non-profit organisation.

"Our priority is always that women are able to make an informed choice. Women are able to access independent, non-judgenmental and accurate information from our counsellors, all of whom are members of the BACP [the British Association for Counselling & Psychotherapy] and receive independent monitoring and training.

“We know that approximately a quarter of the women that choose to access our counselling service choose not to terminate their pregnancy."