The Lord Hall of Birkenhead CBE
Dear Lord Hall
Re. Abortion Advice on BBC’S Call the Midwife
Life has followed with interest the debate about whether the BBC should be providing advice on abortion following its “Call the Midwife” series. I have noted that the BBC decided in the end to provide this advice. As a charity which cares for thousands of vulnerable women every year, we believe that pregnant women should have as much information as possible to make informed choices. This is why I am writing to you.
I wish to request that the “Call the Midwife” programme include details of our Life pregnancy care services, Pregnancy Matters™. Pregnancy Matters™ is the caring arm of Life which provides non-directive emotional and practical support to pregnant women. We have done this for almost five decades because we recognise the importance of empowering women with the ability to deal with some of the challenges which an unplanned pregnancy can bring. Last year Life’s Pregnancy Matters™ dealt with almost 1700 women in crisis pregnancies. We also counselled 77 women after abortion and 35 women who experienced pregnancy loss. Last year our 23 Life houses provided accommodation to 197 women.
I hope you can see that it is crucial for women who are in crisis to know that these services exist to support them. At the moment, the advice being provided by the BBC on Call the Midwife is just information about one option; terminating the pregnancy. I recognise that the agreement accompanying the BBC Charter challenges it to ensure controversial subjects are treated with due impartiality. Abortion does remain a controversial subject in this country.
By providing information on where women in crisis pregnancies can go if they want to talk and receive help other than the provision of abortion, the BBC will be demonstrating that impartiality.
If you need to read more about our Pregnancy Matters™ service our website is at https://lifecharity.org.uk/our-services/pregnancy-matters/. Please also feel free to call with any questions or clarification you require.
I look forward to hearing from you.
Chair of Trustees – Life