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BPAS comment on Maria Caulfield, an MP who has consistently voted to restrict women's access to abortion, being given Ministerial responsibility for abortion care.

Maria Caulfield, an MP who has consistently voted to restrict women's access to abortion, has been given Ministerial responsibility for abortion care.

Clare Murphy, Chief Executive of the British Pregnancy Advisory Service, BPAS, said:

“It is quite simply appalling that Maria Caulfield, a self-declared “voice of the unborn” and former member of the parliamentary pro-life group, is being given the government portfolio for abortion care. This is an absolute slap in the face to the women of this country and suggests a complete disregard for their needs. In the aftermath of Roe v Wade, the UK has an opportunity to really show the world what progress and protection of women’s rights looks like – this appointment signals just the opposite.

This is an MP who has described those who support women needing to end pregnancies as the “abortion industry”, which she has accused of being “unethical, unsafe and unprofessional.” Unlike any other area of healthcare, decisions regarding the licensing of abortion clinics sit with the relevant government Minister. Maria Caulfield now has the ability to block the establishment of new abortion services.

In the last year alone, Maria Caulfield voted to recriminalise at-home early medical abortions, and voted against measures to protect women from anti-abortion clinic harassment. These two important pieces of legislation were passed by an overwhelming majority by her fellow MPs. Maria Caulfield does not speak for the House, does not speak for women, and is in no way an appropriate Minister to oversee this vital aspect of women’s healthcare.  

We urge the Prime Minister to revoke this appointment before Maria Caulfield has the chance to jeopardise women’s access to safe, legal, NHS-funded abortion care.”

ENDS

The appointment was first reported by Kat Lay, Health Editor for The Times: https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/abortion-role-given-to-minister-who-opposed-ni-legalisation-q76g5trmt

For further information, please contact Katherine O’Brien, BPAS Associate Director of Campaigns and Communications, on katherine.o’brien@bpas.org or 07881 265276.