Tag Archives: Nadine Dorries

Nadine Dorries returns – to what?

The author of Short Cuts Blog asks “What should Nadine Dorries do next?” and appears to be blithely unaware that although Nadine Dorries is suspended from the Conservative Party, she is still an MP, and will remain one until the next General Election, unless she decides to make David Cameron happy by resigning and triggering another by-election:

There’s a question mark over whether or not the programme-makers could have allowed her to promulgate a political agenda, under the terms of the Communications Act 2003. Perhaps she should have looked that up before she said yes, but she was too busy perverting the course of reproductive health (and whatnot).

Another miscalculation, I think, is that she assumed her likability would come across on screen. The truth is, in Portcullis House she is approachable, modest and subtly conspiratorial; but that kind of stuff is all relative. Somebody who seems nice in a room full of MPs does not necessarily shine in a box full of earwigs.

Nadine Dorries claims she is prochoice (no, really she does) she just wants women who need abortions after 20 weeks to have to travel to another country to get them, just as they do in Ireland for all abortions. So does Alex Neil, Health Secretary for Scotland, Alex Salmond, and David Cameron: an important company of men to decide what women can be allowed to do.
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Of pointless trivia: Nadine Dorries

It says something about how Nadine Dorries regards her role as MP that she feels free to head off to Australia for up to a month to record I’m A Celebrity: Get Me Out of Here.

Nadine Dorries in House of CommonsIf David Cameron succeeds in overruling Nick Clegg, boundary changes will eliminate Dorries’ present constituency, and she’s said enough to make herself unpopular with the crony power in the Tory party that she’s unlikely to be offered another.

If Dorries intends to go on campaigning for the US-style radical right-wing agenda exemplified in the UK by Christian Concern/Christian Legal Centre she will need a reason for the British press to pay attention to her. At the moment, she’s an MP: albeit a backbencher disliked by the powerful in her own party.

Appearing on I’m A Celebrity: Get Me Out of Here is a high-risk gamble.
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Nadine Dorries is back – Hallowe’en debate on abortion

On 31st October, Nadine Dorries has been granted a 90 minute debate in the House of Commons on reducing the time limit for legal abortions in the UK from 24 weeks to 20 weeks.

In 2011, less than 9% of the total number of abortions carried out in England and Wales were performed after 13 weeks. The number of abortions and the abortion rate have been falling (UK and worldwide: abortions and the abortion rate fall as women get access to contraception and teenagers are routinely educated in the use of contraception). A girl or a woman who is pregnant and doesn’t want to be, will try to get an abortion as early as possible: that’s common sense and it’s confirmed by the statistics.

NHS pre-natal care includes offering a scan between week 18 and week 20 to find if there are major physical health problems with the foetus. The scan is offered at this point because of the timescale of human foetal development: basic biological science which neither 50,000 years nor modern technology has changed.
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Is this a right-wing conspiracy?

Ireland has an abortion rate normal for its population in Europe – it’s just that all legal abortions that Irish women have are outsourced, mostly to the UK. Irish women who have illegal abortions buy abortifacients online, which is more dangerous than a legal abortion but, once accomplished, the woman can (and hopefully, does) go to a hospital to be treated for the aftereffects of a miscarriage. (This is probably the safest method of illegal abortion, if carried out early and if the woman does seek medical help (and get it) promptly afterwards. And of course it’s much cheaper than a trip to England.)

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How it works: contraception

In the UK, all pharmacies are required to abide by the guidance of the General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC) that a pharmacist has a right to refuse to sell the contraceptive pill (or emergency contraception) on the grounds of religious or moral beliefs.

Access to effective methods of contraception (including education in contraceptive methods and strong societal encouragement to use contraception except when intending to conceive) is shown to be the only effective method of preventing abortions.

Rising contraceptive use results in reduced abortion incidence in settings where fertility itself is constant. The parallel rise in abortion and contraception in some countries occurred because increased contraceptive use alone was unable to meet the growing need for fertility regulation in situations where fertility was falling rapidly.

From Boots the Chemist:

This is something that nationally affects all pharmacies, and not just Boots. The guidance however, is clear in that where a Pharmacist chooses not to sell or dispense, we expect that they explain this to the patient as sensitively as possible and that they’re directed to an alternative source for the medicine.

Whilst we appreciate that this isn’t great for any of our customers we have an obligation to respect the code of ethics to which all Pharmacists work to. I can, however, share with you that the GPhC are looking to review this particular area of their guidance and once this review has taken place we’ll support all our Pharmacy teams with whatever the changes could mean for them.

Most women are born with two ovaries and all the eggs she’ll ever have. Post puberty, most women go through a predictable hormonal cycle of roughly 28 days, during which one follicle on one ovary will ripen and release an egg, which travels down the Fallopian tubes. Since the dawn of recorded time (literally – there are recipes for contraception in some of the earliest written records in the world) the objective for everyone who enjoys heterosexual intercourse has been to solve the problem of women having unwanted pregnancies as a result. (There are records of abortions being performed even earlier than contraception.)

The PillHow the Pill works: Hormones in each pill, progestin and estrogen, restrict the follicles on the ovary from growing, and thus stop the woman from ovulating. No egg, no pregnancy.

Emergency contraception works the same way only more so Continue reading

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Dear Nadine Dorries

I got an email from Mark Lazarowicz confirming that he intends to vote against the Dorries/Field amendments. Good to have an MP you can rely on.

Now on to your blog. Ms Dorries, you’ve said before that your blog is “70% fiction and 30% fact” and your latest post is just 104 words, including the title. That makes it pretty easy to figure out which 30% is fact in your latest post:

30 words, fact:

Channel 4 Fact Check Telephoned today and asked for information regarding the research supporting the statement I made regarding the Bpas Central London Clinic on the Today programme this morning.

74 words, fiction:

So we gave it to them. There is a huge difference between one to one counselling and a consultation which is about gaining informed consent. There is also an opinion poll published today commissioned by Bpas using tax payers money I assume, which reveals that support for abortion has gone down over the last five years. The poll doesn’t even mention counselling so one wonders what was the purpose? More information on that later.

I like Mark Lazarowicz.

(Picked up via @cathynewman @Puffles2010. The C4 Fact Check is here.)

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Dear Mark Lazarowicz

The worst part about this article is the headline: it calls these damaging attacks on healthcare provision for women “reforms”. The second-worst part is the news that

The government has caved in to calls from anti-abortionists to overhaul existing protocols and strip charities and medics of their exclusive responsibility for counselling women seeking to terminate a pregnancy.

The Department of Health confirmed that it would change the rules to ensure that women are also offered counselling “independently” of existing abortion services. Its announcement was made in advance of an attempt next week led by the Tory backbencher Nadine Dorries to amend the health and social care bill to force such a requirement.

Nadine Dorries lies that the charity-run abortion services – including the British Pregnancy Advisory Service (BPAS) and Marie Stopes – have a “financial conflict of interest” in advising women seeking terminations. (Wrong on both counts. The counsellors employed by these women-centred healthcare charities operate independently of the abortion provision: abortion is not a profitable healthcare service and is frequently provided at a loss to women who could not otherwise afford it.)

Dorries claims that by offering “independent counselling” – of the kind quoted below – 60,000 of the women who get pregnant each year and decide to have an abortion, could be convinced to have a baby instead.

This kind of attack on healthcare provision, justified by these lies taken from the US prolife movement by Dorries (surely the least honest MP in the House of Commons?), is appalling. So naturally, I wrote to my MP:

I am writing to express my concern at proposed changes to abortion counselling arrangements currently under consideration by the Department of Health, based on amendments to the Health and Social Care bill.

The proposals require GPs to make provision for “independent” advice and counselling to be made available to women seeking abortion, stripping abortion providers of responsibility for carrying out this role, apparently with a view to hand this to pro-life charities whose standards of counselling are appalling – see this report from “mystery shoppers” who visited pro-life charities pretending to be considering an abortion:

Centres visited included those run by Life, recently appointed to a panel advising the government on sexual health. That appointment, as well as renewed pressure from socially conservative MPs to tighten abortion laws and strip abortion providers of their counselling role, has sparked alarm among pro-choice supporters.

At a Life centre in Covent Garden, London, the undercover researcher was given a leaflet entitled Abortions – How they’re Done, which said incorrectly that 85% of abortions are carried out using vacuum aspiration. It stated that “the unborn child is sucked down the tube” and that “the woman should wear some protection. She has to dispose of the corpse [in the case of chemically induced abortion].”

The counsellor was said to have focused on mental health issues that she associated with abortion, telling the researcher she was of a good age to have a child, showing her baby clothes and using terms such as “baby” and “grandchild” when referring to the pregnancy.

While a counsellor on Life’s helpline was regarded as being “friendly and non-judgmental”, she was unwilling to answer questions about physical aspects of abortion, saying she was not qualified to do so. When asked whom to talk to about arranging an abortion, the counsellor stated that the organisation was pro-life and could not recommend any service. She claimed not to know the names of abortion providers.

These proposals are at best, unnecessary and misguided. At worst they are a step towards the appalling women’s healthcare provision in the United States. One of the MPs responsible for them is Nadine Dorries, who has close links through the Christian Legal Centre to the US-based Alliance Defence Fund.

Abortion providers in the UK are already obliged to ensure that women receive all relevant information about the procedure, including details of possible risks and side effects and information on alternatives to abortion.

I am concerned that introducing further counselling requirements would delay women from accessing services, at a time when waiting periods are rising across the NHS. Please see this report on waiting times for abortions on the NHS.

The proposals would likewise disrupt care pathways for women who choose to self-refer to abortion providers, rather than approaching their GP.

Women must be trusted to make their own decisions regarding their reproductive health. It is vital that the information they receive remains scientifically accurate and driven by clinical best practice rather than by ideological agenda.

If these amendments are debated at Report Stage of the Health and Social Care Bill on 6-7th September, I urge you please to vote against them, to ensure that women continue to be able to exercise their right to safe, legal abortion without further impediment.

Anti-choice counselling: tell your MP to say NO! (Or use WriteToThem.)

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Did anyone see it coming?

The sight on the TV of young people looting and burning down whole suburbs in the UK has shocked us all. With over $300 million dollars AUD in damages, 5 dead, scores injured and whole suburbs still under siege. Many are asking, “Did anyone see it coming?”

The answer is yes.

Warwick Marsh, co-founder of the Australian Fatherhood Foundation, thinks  it’s very simple: in Britain we have “a fatherless and a marriageless society” and “all of this chaos and social destruction is the fruit of the policies of the powerful elites many of whom are ‘ultra feminists.'” The solution: “promote marriage and the natural family” or, Marsh threatens, Australia “will soon face the societal disintegration currently being experienced in Great Britain and it won’t be good.”

That British bankers, billionaires and Bullingdons  are “ultra feminists” is news to me, and I daresay to them too.

(But curiously enough, “promoting family values” is exactly what Nadine Dorries says is the fixit for the riots – except that being a British fundamentalist right-wing Christian she thinks it should be done by tax breaks rather than a National Marriage Day.)

March handwaves away talk of racial prejudice and discrimination, inequality, a failure to invest in young people, closing down youth clubs, the imposition of radical and fearful policies that no one voted for: senior police officers warned that the savage cuts in public services would cause “disaffection, social and industrial tensions” (September 2010) and talked of  “a new era of civil unrest” (January 2011) Before the last general election, Nick Clegg warned of  “serious social strife” if an administration with minimal support raised taxes, laid off public sector workers and froze wages – all of which David Cameron then did, with Nick Clegg’s support. (What would Britain have been like if Clegg had had a backbone? A question for another day.) No, the simple cause of riots in the UK has to do with civil partnership, equal marriage, and probably gay adoption, too.

Yet in Scotland, there were no riots. This has been ascribed to various causes – the weather, different kind of gang culture, urban planning (if you live in the most deprived areas of Glasgow or Edinburgh, getting to the nearest big shopping centre to riot and loot would take a fair amount of involved public transport – difficult to keep up the momentum of a riot when you have to plan on a long bus ride or a trip in the clockwork orange) but if you’re Warrick Marsh, it must surely be because Scotland is against premarital sex, homosexual marriage, and children born outside of a “natural family” (by which Warrick means, married mixed-sex biological parents, which is actually not that natural, but … pass):

From the 2010 Scottish Social Attitudes survey

  • Only 13% think that sex before marriage is always or mostly wrong, while as many as 69% think it is all right for a couple to live together without intending to get married.
  • Just 36% feel that people who want to have children ought to get married.
  • As many as 55% feel that contraception should be more easily available to teenagers, including those aged under 16.
  • A clear majority, 58%, feel that sex between two adults of the same sex is either ‘rarely’ or ‘not wrong at all’.

As the Herald said last Sunday: “In a society which values equality there can be no question of requiring any individual to act against their conscience or religious conviction. Neither, however, can there be acceptance of legally-enshrined discrimination.”

And yet… no riots.

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