Dorries's abortion amendment rejected by MPs

Nick Clegg and other MPs

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Tory MP Nadine Dorries slammed the Liberal Democrats for having a stranglehold over the Tories on abortion.

She accused a former Lib Dem MP for Oxford and Abingdon Dr Evan Harris of making the Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg twist David Cameron’s arm into surrender on the policy of abortion by rejecting her key amendment.

Evan Harris had apparently been saying that there was no problem with the current policies on abortion help for young women.  

It came as earlier on in Prime minister’s questions, Dorries had accused the Deputy PM Nick Clegg of having a stranglehold over the Tory Prime minister David Cameron.

She said in PMQs: “Isn’t it about time the PM told the Deputy PM who the real boss is?”

David Cameron failed to answer her ridicule.

She said, in her tabled amendment on abortion, clinics offering independent counselling, that she had the PM’s support.

But Cameron had been held to ransom by Lib Dems and was forced to back down because of the Deputy PM’s party.

Dorries was talking passionately in the Health and Social Care bill before the vote after PMQs, in which she had tabled an amendment which would give young women the opportunity to be offered independent counselling within 48 hours – if they are mixed up and unable to make an informed decision at the time they reach an abortion clinic.

According to Dorries, in the debate, under the current legal framework, abortion organizations do not offer counselling unless the woman asks for it. She said that she had been receiving lots of emails from young girls who were distraught at the time of reaching the abortion clinic, and did not know who to turn to. “This is all it is about, plain and simple, she said.”

“I am “pro-choice,” she added.

But Labour MP Diane Abbot told MPs as shadow Public health minister that this Tory amendment was in part a ploy to slyly try to cut the rate of abortions.

She said was it seriously the case that out of 190,000 abortions that happen that the provider of the service was failing in its duty of care to inform the woman and provide the appropriate impartial advice on abortion.

Other Labour MPs also criticised Dorries for sensationalizing the abortion issue.

But Dorries said in her speech that the people involved in the process were only advising the women on the medical process of abortion, eg, the side effects, etc – and were almost being paid per abortion.

Labour’s Abbott said that the real issues that needed to be addressed when it comes to the plight of young women in society, were the focus on the constant sexualisation of young women in the media, the fact that for some young teenagers they felt they needed to pump their bodies full of Silicon and to become instant celebrities.

She also said that the Americanization of UK society also played a role in the number of young teenage girls who fall pregnant. Abbott, Labour MP for Hackney, also blamed Tory cuts and youth record levels of youth unemployment as another cause.

MPs eventually rejected the amendment by 368 votes to 118. Watch Nadine Dorries attack the Lib Dems brazenly below....

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