Abortion and Women's Health launched in Parliament
3 November 2017
Michael Robinson of SPUC Scotland with Mary Glindon MP and Bishop John Keenan.
"I hope that everyone here will read the report – it’s really important that it gets to the people who can make a difference."
Yesterday, Labour MP Mary Glindon hosted a reception to launch SPUC's new report, Abortion and Women’s Health. The event was attended by MPs and peers from all the major parties, as well as representatives of nine pro-life organisations.
Guests were welcomed by SPUC Chief Executive John Smeaton, who began: "It is important to say loud and clear that SPUC cares about women."
We need to examine the impact on women
Mrs Glindon then made a speech, welcoming Abortion and Women’s Health, a fully referenced review based on global research. "It is only right that after 50 years of legalised abortion, those on both sides of the debate should examine the impact of abortion on women,” she said. “There are some shocking findings in the report, for example women who have had abortions are 30% more likely to experience mental health problems and that women who have had abortions are 6 times more likely to commit suicide than other women."
"The number of abortions at 8.8 million is staggering but it is equally worrying to read about the toll abortion takes on women," she continued. "I hope that everyone here will read the report – it’s really important that it gets to the people who can make a difference."
"I would like to conclude by thanking SPUC for producing this important report and for the tireless efforts it has made over the last 50 years as a pro-life organisation."
People need to know
Clare Bremner of the Abortion Recovery Care and Helpline also spoke. "When I told the women I’m currently counselling that I was coming here today, they were excited," she said. "They kept telling me, make sure you tell them what it’s like for us – they need to know." She went on to describe how for so many of the women she counsels, abortion didn’t seem like “their choice” at all – they were pressured into it by partners, family or doctors.
The report was also welcomed by Dr Greg Gardner, a GP working in Birmingham. However, he said, the kind of research from other countries that make up the review is not happening in the Britain, because there is no requirement to put a patient’s NHS number on an abortion form, so no data can be collected about patient outcomes. He called on the Department of Health to bring abortion providers into line with the rest of the NHS and make record linkage research possible in England and Wales. “The NHS should be a major contributor to the world literature on research on abortion, but it is not.”
The final speech was from Bishop John Keenan of Paisley, who endorsed the report on behalf of the bishops of Scotland. He said: "This is not about winning arguments, but real help, to real women."