Dear Ms Cole
My Society believes that it is of critical importance that women considering the termination of the life of their child in utero have access to professionally trained pregnancy counsellors who are able to provide counselling on all of the options that are available to a woman considering an abortion. Right to Life believes that this counselling should be provided in a face to face interview where the counsellor is able to develop a warm and sympathetic rapport with the woman facing a crisis in her life.
Dr Simon Snook has been quoted as making the following statements with respect to his 0800abortion “service”,
“It is a requirement that all women accessing abortion care are offered counselling, but not that they have to have it, although some abortion providers do have compulsory counselling. Obviously that’s something that’s their own process and reasons for that. But yes technically if a woman accesses our service, she’ll have a consultation with one of our nurses who will give her the information she needs, do a history and she will also have her referral and certifying consultant telephone consultation.”
It would appear that Dr Snook is providing counselling provided by nurses by medium of a telephone consultation. This raises several important questions. The Committee in 1998 adopted the excellent Standards of Practice for the Provision of Counselling prepared by the Counselling Advisory Committee.
I would be grateful if you would oblige by providing a response to the following questions.
- Does the Committee approve of counselling being provided by telephone?
- If so would the Committee approve of other abortion providers providing counselling by phone?
- Are the nurses required to have the qualifications as set out on pages 4 and 5 of the Standards of Practice?
- Are the nurses required to have the specific knowledge required on page 7 of the Standards of Practice?
- How does a nurse counsellor provide a woman considering an abortion pictorial information about the development of the unborn child in the womb?
Right to Life