Wednesday, 30 March 2011

Pro-lifers should be wary of mandatory counselling before abortion says Francis Philips

In a previous post, Nadine Dorries made a powerful case for overhauling the policies on obtaining an abortion. Dorries is not pro-life per se, and so she does not work to make all abortions illegal. Dorries has, however, pushed for new criteria to be met before someone may get an abortion; such as a woman seeking an abortion to get advice and counselling from some sort of organisation that does not perform abortions. This, in effect, would be mandatory counselling.
Over at The Catholic Herald website, Francis Philips has given some sage insights on why this may not be so hot an idea:

'Some pro-life campaigners are wary of this, for good reason. It would establish a condition to be met in order to qualify for an abortion. What information would be given to women? Who would give it? If counselling were required, some sort of certification would also be required. If pro-life groups were to give this counselling they would have to issue certificates. This was the very situation in Germany with Church groups who got involved. In 1998 and 1999 the late pope, John Paul II, wrote to the German bishops instructing them to stop Church counselling services from issuing certificates that could then be used to obtain an abortion. Mandatory counselling might sound a good thing but it is not as straightforward as one might think.'

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