Next week, three amendments to the NHS bill are to be brought before the Commons and debated. These have been tabled by veteran Labour MP Frank Field and (yes, it’s her again) Tory MP for Mid-Narnia Nadine Dorries. La Dorries has characteristically been scathing and on occasion downright menacing towards those whose opinions she regards as inconvenient.
Put simply, these amendments would exclude organisations like the British Pregnancy Advice Service (BPAS) from counselling women who decide to have a termination. The reasoning behind the move is that BPAS is making money out of abortions, although as a not for profit entity it isn’t. Those wanting a fully referenced background piece should consult Unity at the Ministry of Truth blog.
What the Dorries amendments appear to be enabling is an increasing role for religious groups to become involved in abortion counselling, such as those associated with Christian Concern – who feature Dorries’ recent Newsnight appearance on their site – an organisation we’ve already encountered through their support of Colin Atkinson and Richard Scott.
But Dorries does have an ally out there in the blogosphere: step forward Cristina Odone, who is one of many who occupy the bear pit that is Maily Telegraph blogland. Odone, a former editor of the Catholic Herald, is happy to accuse BPAS of double standards, suggesting that the organisation, along with Marie Stopes International, is making £60 million a year out of terminations.
This, of course, is the same Cristina Odone who works for the Centre for Policy Studies, an organisation that has called for the emasculation of the BBC, and who recently laid into the Beeb for supposedly lifting its copy from the papers, while providing no evidence, and doing so when her own paper was running a BBC bashing piece it had lifted from the previous day’s Manchester Evening News.
Odone does not explain why women should do the equivalent of ignoring specialist medical advice and instead listen to a quack doctor willing to peddle scare stories about mental health issues. But she does suggest that the status quo is being maintained by the Guardian, while ignoring the strict regulation of BPAS and Marie Stopes by the Department of Health.
Still, she’s good at smearing former Lib Dem MP Evan Harris, just like Dorries, and she’s even better at playing the Christian victim card. Nadine Dorries couldn’t have a more faithful ally.