Amendments tabled by Nadine Dorries MP to prevent groups that provide abortion services from offering advice and information – a move that would have ended the majority of pro-choice counselling services, leaving often religious anti-choice groups as their likely replacements – has been defeated by 368 votes to 118. The British Humanist Association (BHA) has welcomed the vote as ‘strongly reinforcing the pro-choice majority’ found in the United Kingdom.
The BHA briefed members of the All Party Parliamentary Humanist Group (APPHG) ahead of the debate, arguing they should vote against the amendments, and urged its members and supporters to contact their MPs asking that they do likewise.
Commenting on the result, BHA Chief Executive Andrew Copson said, ‘The evidence in support of the need for the proposed change simply wasn’t there, and as a result, the true motives for the amendments – to promote a conservative Christian agenda in opposition to a woman’s right to choose – was clear for all to see. We are glad that the vote strongly reinforced the pro-choice majority we have here in the UK.’
The BHA’s position on abortion is pro-choice, and the BHA would be concerned about any efforts to unnecessarily delay, restrict or harm a women’s right to choose whether or not to have an abortion.
For further comment or information, please contact Andrew Copson on 07534 248596.
The British Humanist Association is the national charity working on behalf of non-religious people who seek to live ethical and fulfilling lives on the basis of reason and humanity. It promotes a secular state and equal treatment in law and policy of everyone, regardless of religion or belief.