Marie Stopes: Abortion counselling amendment defeated in Parliament

Today, Members of Parliament have voted against a proposed amendment to the Health and Social Care Bill on abortion counselling. We are pleased it has been recognised that the counselling, provided through organisations such as ours, should continue and is independent and non-directive. Our experience of delivering reproductive health services to more than 100,000 women each year in the UK means we have a place in helping women through what can be a difficult decision.

Tracey McNeill, Vice President & Director of UK and West Europe for Marie Stopes International says, “The debate in the House of Commons raised some very important points which clarify that there is no research or evidence base for the proposed amendment, there is currently an adequate provision of counselling to women that decide they want it, and that providers such as Marie Stopes International are already regulated by the Care Quality Commission (CQC).

“We have been, and will continue, to work in partnership with the Department of Health, the British Association for Counselling & Psychotherapy and other organisations to ensure that the counselling offered to women, irrespective of where they access it, is impartial, non-directive and regulated to ensure the highest possible quality.


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Notes to Editors

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Counselling services provided by Marie Stopes International
· Marie Stopes International values and encourages choice.

· we provide women with specialist support at what can be a difficult time in their lives and offer independent counselling

· the counsellors that we work with are all members of the British Association for Counselling & Psychotherapy (BACP)

· counselling is voluntary and offered to everyone who accesses Marie Stopes International’s services

· there are no targets or incentives for counsellors to promote abortion as an option above any other.

· the majority of women – approximately 90% in Marie Stopes International’s experience – make their decision about an abortion without choosing to speak to a counsellor.

About Marie Stopes International

The charity Marie Stopes International is the leading independent provider of family planning and sexual healthcare services. With a nationwide network of 22 facilities and our dedicated helpline, One Call, we support more than 500,000 clients each year.

Our friendly, professional teams are experts in both male and female reproductive healthcare and offer a wide range of services focussed on our client’s individual needs. We are committed to providing our clients with the expertise, advice and counselling they need to make an informed decision on their sexual and reproductive health while all our facilities deliver the highest standards of clinical excellence.

Our charity works to ensure that men and women across the UK and the world are able to access the information, contraception and treatments needed to protect themselves against unplanned pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases. Internationally, Marie Stopes International delivers family planning and sexual healthcare to seven million people in 40 countries each year.

For more information, please visit our website