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Issued by the Right to Know Campaign
For immediate release
4 September 2011
ComRes poll reveals Lib Dem Voters as strongest supporters of Independent Abortion Counselling
A ComRes poll published today reveals support for independent abortion counselling amendments is strongest amongst those who voted for the Liberal Democrats at the last General Election.
84% of 2010 Liberal Democrat voters agreed with the statement: ‘a woman should have a right to independent counselling when considering an abortion, from a source that has no financial interest in her decision.’
Moreover 73% of Liberal Democrat voters indicated that they would like their MP to vote for abortion counselling changes, agreeing with the statement: ‘I would like my MP to support proposals to ensure that women have access to independent abortion counselling from a source that has no financial interest in her decision.’
Overall 78% of the public supports the view that counselling should be independent and be provided by a source that has no financial interest in the outcome of a woman’s decision.
The poll was conducted last week in the midst of extensive debate in the national media over proposals to provide access to non-compulsory, independent counselling for all women considering an abortion.
An amendment to the Health and Social Care Bill, tabled by Nadine Dorries MP and Rt Hon Frank Field MP, that seeks to secure the provision of independent information, advice and counselling are expected to be discussed this week. If adopted, the amendment would ensure that non-compulsory counselling was made available to women considering abortion from a source that the she could be sure had no financial interest in whether or not she proceeded to have an abortion.
A spokesperson for Right to Know said:
“The strong support amongst Liberal Democrat voters for these improvements is hardly surprising. They are liberalising amendments that provide the option of a space for a woman to think through her situation with someone that has no financial interest in the outcome of her decision. These changes will ensure that all women have this space and not just those who can afford to pay for it.
“This poll, conducted in the midst of extensive coverage of the abortion counselling proposals, is the best barometer of public opinion on the issue. It serves as a reality check to MPs that they need to look beyond the Westminster bubble.
"There is very strong public support for these proposals.”
Notes to editors:
- 81% of those who voted Conservative in the general election and 80% of those who voted for Labour agreed with the statement: ‘A woman should have a right to independent counselling when considering having an abortion, from a source that has no financial interest in her decision."
- Right to Know (RTK) is a campaign group focused on improving the flow of information to women about abortion.
- RTK supports the amendments to the Health and Social Care Bill which provides a right in law to non-compulsory independent counselling, meaning that women have more choice in the counselling services that they can access and removes the financial conflict from the abortion process.
- 111,775 NHS abortions outsourced to private providers in 2010 worth an estimated 60m.
- Total number of abortions that took place (for residents) in England and Wales in 2010 was 196,109.
Further information about the issues raised can be found at: www.righttoknow.org.uk
ComRes interviewed 2004 GB adults online between 31st August and 1st September 2011. Data were weighted to be representative demographically of all GB adults. Data were also weighted by past vote recall. ComRes is a member of the British Polling Council and abides by its rules. . Full tables at www.comres.co.uk