Life is surprised and extremely disappointed at recommendations today from the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence which suggests rushing more women on to the abortion conveyor belt in the interest of saving money.
In its radical liberal recommendations, NICE wants women to have consultations over the phone and to self-refer themselves to speed up the process. NICE says this is needed to overcome “the negative attitude of health professionals making it harder to get referrals for abortion”. It further suggests that counselling should not be compulsory, that women should be reassured that there are no mental health risks and that they should be informed of the implications of delaying having the abortion, which should be done one week after assessment.
Responding to the report, Life’s Head of Advocacy Liz Parsons said “This report from NICE reads like a dream business plan for the abortion industry at the expense of vulnerable women. NICE argues that speeding up abortion access will save the NHS money. Its flawed and irresponsible logic actually means the opposite is true. Easier access will inevitably increase the 193,000 abortions a year and result in abortion clinics raking in much more than the £100M they receive annually from taxpayers.
For all its talk about being rigorous and objective, NICE sweeps away the fact that some women do suffer mentally from abortions. At Life we have counselled thousands of women mentally scarred by abortion and many others who regret the choice of abortion. It is women in these vulnerable situations who NICE seem happy to put at risk for the sake of appearing to save money. It should remember that there is a huge cost to the NHS for women who suffer mental health issues.
Trivialising mental health assessments for women in crisis pregnancies is not in the interest of women. The CQC has in recent years voiced concerns about the conveyor belt culture in the abortion industry exposing women to health risks. NICE’s suggestions will expose them to even greater risks, especially its recommendation to expand the role of nurses in the abortion process. The one comfort we take from today’s report is that it is up for consultation and we therefore urge the Department of Health to ensure these irresponsible suggestions are not implemented but rather consigned to the dustbin where they belong.”