Women to receive text reminders for abortions

Britain's largest abortion provider says it is introducing text reminders about abortion appointments for girls and women

The British Pregnancy Advisory Service (BPAS) has been heavily criticised for its plans to introduce a text-message reminder service for women planning to have a termination.

The BPAS, who carry out almost one third of NHS funded terminations, defended the proposal by likening the system to reminders sent out by dentists before check-ups.

But MPs and pro-life groups say the very idea of sending a reminder text trivialises a serious decision and exerts pressure on women who are uncertain about whether to go ahead with an abortion.

‘Young people living chaotic lifestyles need personal help and support, not a text message,’ says Dr Peter Saunders, Chief Executive of the Christian Medical Fellowship.

‘Providers like BPAS and Marie Stopes International put women on a conveyor belt which is hard to get off,’ he says. ‘Sending text messages is an attempt to push women towards an abortion.’

But spokeswoman for the BPAS says: ‘This will work as a reminder service in the same way it does in some other parts of the NHS, reminding people to turn up for appointments.’

From November all women who booked an appointment to terminate a pregnancy with the BPAS will be asked if they would like to receive a text reminder about it.

Do you think text message reminders could sway vulnerable patients? Perhaps you agree that reminders are a helpful service? Let Marie Claire know your thoughts by posting a comment below.


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