Press release: Cambridgeshire pregnancy advice centres misleading women

Here’s the press release which went out today.  Please share and quote:

Women seeking abortions in Cambridge are being given false information about risks and pressured to continue pregnancies, Feminist Action Cambridge has revealed.

Audio-recordings from Feminist Action Cambridge members presenting with unplanned pregnancies reveal the staff of clinics in Newmarket, Ely and Cambridge referring to a made-up medical condition and using emotional manipulation to discourage abortions.

Staff at all three centres referred to a condition which they called ‘post-abortion syndrome’, which the Royal College of Gynaecologists and Obstetricians have confirmed is not a medically recognised condition*.

The centres were also found to be emphasising the risks of abortion while minimising the health risks of pregnancy, childbirth and post-natal depression.

Staff used emotionally manipulative techniques, including showing images of the stages of development of the foetus (in order to increase the guilt women might feel at having an abortion), telling one client that her mother may be upset ‘at losing a grandchild’ and another that ‘the clock is ticking’ because of her age.

They also used delaying tactics to get women to spend a few weeks considering their decision.

Despite anti-abortion lobby group Care Confidential being exposed last year as misinforming and misleading women who approached them for advice about pregnancy and abortion, they continue to claim on their website that they provide ‘unbiased pregnancy and abortion counselling’, all the while giving women false medical advice and using emotional manipulation tactics to scare them into not having abortions.  They gave the women pamphlets from US Christian group Focus on the Family who are opposed to abortion under any circumstances*.

Women who seek help in this matter have a very serious decision to make and they cannot make that decision without medically accurate information,” Cambridgeshire MP Julian Huppert said.


“And organisations providing that information have a duty to make it crystal clear if they have a particular religious or anti-abortion stance.”

A spokesperson from Feminist Action Cambridge said “The anti-abortion lobby in the UK has become more vocal and more militant recently. But we now know that they are using much subtler techniques too. They are targeting women when they are most vulnerable and lying to them about a medical condition that does not exist. These centres should give proper impartial advice or be closed down.”

Local feminists are holding a rally on Saturday 15th December at 12 noon at the corner of New Square and Jesus Terrace (right next to the Grafton Centre) to inform local women and protest against local anti-abortion centres.

For more information, email feministactioncambridge@gmail.com

*See link for the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists’ statement that there is no link between abortion and mental health risks: http://www.rcog.org.uk/what-we-do/campaigning-and-opinions/briefings-and-qas-/human-fertilisation-and-embryology-bill/abor-0

*Focus on the Family are a US Christian group who are opposed to abortion under any circumstances.  We believe that the links with this group show that US anti-abortion tactics are travelling to the UK: http://www.focusonthefamily.com/socialissues/social-issues/abortion/our-position.aspx

For further information please see Channel Five’s expose of crisis pregnancy centres last year:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-ecV_qVr4FU&feature=plcp

The centres referred to are

  • The Haven Cambridge, Citylife House, Sturton Street, Cambridge, CB1 2QF
  • Ely Pregnancy Crisis Centre, Lighthouse Centre, 13 Lynn Road, Ely, CB7 4EG
  • Newmarket Pregnancy Support Centre, Unit 11, Studlands Park Avenue, Newmarket, CB8 7AU
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