Abbott accuses the Government of ‘ploughing ahead’ with abortion changes

SHADOW public health minister Diane Abbott has accused the Government of pushing ahead with plans to strip abortion providers of their role in counselling women despite an amendment on the issue suffering a heavy defeat in the Commons last year.

Ms Abbott said she had walked out of a new cross-party abortion group set up by the Government to look at the issue of counselling following the defeat.

She accused the Government of “ploughing ahead” with the controversial abortion changes, saying the new group was a “front” for pushing through the plans which were “unwanted, undemocratic and unsubstantiated with evidence”.

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The British Pregnancy Advisory Service (BPAS) also expressed dismay at what it sees as aims to implement the changes anyway.

MPs voted by 368 votes to 118 – a majority of 250 – to reject an amendment on the issue by Tory backbencher Nadine Dorries in the Commons in September.

It would have stripped providers including Marie Stopes and BPAS from offering counselling to women.