In Brief

Abortion can 'turn women into child sex abusers', claims clinic

Termination can 'really confuse' relationships with children, says counsellor at Crisis Pregnancy Centre

AN 'INDEPENDENT' clinic in London has been wrongly advising women that they could become child sex abusers if they have an abortion. The Daily Telegraph secretly recorded counsellors giving misleading advice at two Crisis Pregnancy Centres last month.

One counsellor at the Central London Women's Centre claimed there is "an increased statistical likelihood of child abuse" because women had to break "natural barriers that are around the child that you don't cross" in order to terminate a pregnancy.

"I think it is because it can really confuse relationships with children," she said.

An undercover reporter also visited the Alma Pregnancy Advisory Service in Luton, where she was wrongly warned that an abortion could lead to serious health damage, including an increased risk of breast cancer or the inability to carry future pregnancies to full term.

Dr Kate Guthrie, a spokesman for the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, said there was no scientific evidence to suggest an abortion put women at a greater risk of breast cancer or abusing a child.

She also said that the risk of being left sterile by an abortion in Britain is "very, very low" and it is "absolutely wrong" that women would be 25 per cent less likely to carry pregnancy to full term following an abortion, as one or the counsellors maintained.

The Telegraph's investigation comes amid fears that both pro-life and anti-abortion clinics are not offering reliable advice and is likely to add to growing calls for increased regulation of abortion services.

Across the country, there are more than 100 Crisis Pregnancy Centres, which are unregulated by any official body and are privately run. Each one offers "trained advisers" and claims to provide independent advice to pregnant women on whether they should proceed with an abortion.

However, the Telegraph says many are thought to be linked to religious groups and modelled on controversial American anti-abortion services.

Neither clinic investigated by the newspaper responded to its repeated queries about the reliability of their advice, their funding structure and links to Church groups.

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