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A poor choice for a health minister



As I read the newspaper, I felt sick.

I was feeling nauseated anyway due to being hooked up to a chemotherapy drip, but the news that Nadine Dorries is to be a health minister in the Johnson cabinet did nothing to ease my queasiness.

Nadine Dorries has previously called for the limit on abortion to be dropped from 24 to 21 weeks, and has suggested women should have a ‘ten-day cooling-off period’ before an abortion.

This ex-nurse has also suggested that 13-16-year-olds should be given compulsory school lessons on sexual abstinence. Presumably these lessons will be held in the same building as the ‘Bear Woodland Toileting Habits workshop’?

Requesting a termination is not normally something a woman would do without having thought it through at enormous length – to suggest otherwise would be intensely crass and patronising

I’ve had consultations with many dozens of women requesting terminations in my career, and I can only imagine what their responses would have been if I had suggested they might like a ten-day cooling-off period. Requesting a termination is not normally something a woman would do without having thought it through at enormous length – to suggest otherwise would be intensely crass and patronising.

Abortion has only just become legal in the Republic of Ireland, and we are in the very real position of things regressing around a woman’s right to choose in the UK, if Nadine Dorries has anything to do with it.

As a male, this issue does not directly affect me, and I can only imagine how enraged I would feel if an MP attempted to change the law to restrict what choices I made regarding one of my internal organs.

Perhaps the words of Catherine Mayer, the president of the Women’s Equality Party, sums this up best:

‘We should be deeply concerned about a cabinet that doesn’t want people to have a say over Brexit, which threatens to damage all of us. We should be at least as concerned by the appointment of Nadine Dorries, who doesn’t even believe women should have a say over their own bodies.’

Dr David Turner is a GP in North West London

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