Will Independent Abortion Counselling Help Women Make an Informed Decision?

By Amy Taylor on July 05, 2012

Last year, 189,931 terminations were carried out on women in Wales and England. During their annual conference, members of the British Medical Association voted in favour of providing impartial advice to those who are looking to undergo abortion. With this, they hope to cut the abortion rate by up to third.

Currently, women are given advice only by the staff at the clinics, such as those that are run by the Pregnancy Advisory Service and Marie Stopes.

Why Some Women Decide to Undergo Abortion

Abortion refers to the process of ending pregnancy so it does not result to the birth of the child. There are different reasons why a woman may choose to end her pregnancy. It could be due to her personal circumstances, or to the possibility of the baby suffering from a serious medical condition. While some women find abortion as a kind of decision that’s easy to make, for some, it could be the most difficult and confusing decision. When women are faced with various psychological factors and pressures, they end up making a decision that’s not entirely their own.

How Counselling Helps

Pre Abortion

Unwanted pregnancy often puts a woman into a very difficult situation. Research shows that many women find it hard to decide whether to pursue an abortion or not. Experts found that those who went on abortion even just once suffer from emotional and psychological challenges either short-lived or long-term. In times of confusion, an unbiased counselling can help a woman foresee her options and make a decision of her own. In most cases, an unwanted pregnancy may end up in adoption, fostering, and the decision to struggle and care for the child. Counselling can help a woman make the right decision by showing them the pros and cons, and all possible options and consequences that might take place.

Post Abortion

Some women who have undergone abortion experience depression and guilt feelings later in life. To be able to move on and free themselves from whatever it is that’s pulling them back to sadness, choosing to undergo post psychotherapy is one great option.

The Role of Therapists

Professor Wendy Savage, a member of the British Medical Association and spokesperson for the group Doctors for a Women’s Choice on Abortion, warned that providing advice to women considering abortion may increase the delay for women before an abortion, which could be dangerous. But according to MP Nadine Dorries, access to counselling isn’t about delaying the process, but increasing the choice for abortion. However, therapists must be aware of the philosophical and religious beliefs of the clients and must help them understand more of their beliefs, needs, and values, rather than insisting the therapist’s own views.

Counselling helps individuals make an informed decision. There are clinics staffed with trained therapists who are non judgemental and are able to help. Even couples who are exploring their options should be given meaningful understanding of abortion through counselling.

What do you think – should women considering abortion receive independent counselling? Will this enable them to make an informed choice, or are information and advice they get from their doctors enough? Please feel free to add your comments below.

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