By Matthew Barrett
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Nadine Dorries, a Conservative MP, and Frank Field, a Labour MP, jointly tabled an amendment to be debated when Parliament returns this month. The amendment's aim is to break the stranglehold on abortion counselling of certain groups which Dorries and Field say have a financial conflict of interest in advising women seeking terminations, and open up counselling to independent counsellers.
Today's development in the story is that Downing Street will reportedly vote against the amendment. How does the Guardian title their article on the issue?
"Downing Street forces U-turn on Nadine Dorries abortion proposals"
"No 10 decides to vote against Tory backbench amendment seeking to stop charities offering abortion counselling"
The Guardian then refers, several times to "the Dorries amendment", and makes no mention of Mr Field. This is another example of the media's fixation on Nadine Dorries.
It's been a tough 48 hours for the Dorries/Field amendment with reports that Cameron and Lansley won't back the amendment. ConHome sources say that former Liberal Democrat MP Evan Harris – who has the nickname Dr Death for championing the right to abortion and the right to die – has been lobbying Nick Clegg and, in turn, the Deputy PM has been piling the pressure on Cameron.
Nonetheless the principle of the amendment – "that women considering an abortion should have access to advice from someone who had no financial interest in the outcome of her decision" – appears to be supported by 92% of all MPs.
Will 92% of MPs vote for the amendment? Not a chance. Huge numbers of pro-abortion Labour and Liberal Democrats MPs, in particular, are mobilising to protect the current situation where counselling is provided by groups with an ideological and commercial interest in high numbers of abortion.