This site is intended for health professionals only

Abortion advice hotline launched

The first ever telephone counselling service in Britain for women thinking of having an abortion has been launched.

Family planning agency Marie Stopes International (MSI) has set up the hotline as an alternative to face-to-face meetings, although these are still available.

Women considering an abortion and those who have already undergone the procedure at one of MSI's nine UK centres will be able to get help and advice.

Liz Davies, MSI's UK and Western Europe director, said the majority of women who want an abortion are sure they are making the right decision and often do not require counselling.

But the chance to talk to an experienced professional is "vitally important" for those who are undecided, she added.

"The fact that women can now talk to a counsellor outside a clinical environment, makes the service more accessible for many - both physically and psychologically," said Ms Davies.

"Many women find it easier to explore their emotions on the phone rather than face-to-face especially if they are within a familiar environment such as their own homes.

"Opting for telephone counselling also dramatically reduces the time a woman has to spend at a clinic which is critical, particularly for post-abortion counselling.

"By using the telephone counselling service, women can discuss their feelings without travelling back to the clinic where they had the procedure, which can be a difficult emotional journey."

Copyright © PA Business 2008

Marie Stopes International