you to constituents for their emails asking me to sign EDM 2 tabled by Carla
Lockhart MP which calls for an end to ‘at-home’ or DIY abortion.
As I am sure they can imagine, I get hundreds of requests to sign EDMs on a regular basis.
However, when I was elected in 2015 I pledged that I would not sign any, since they have no legislative power, rarely achieve anything, and cost the taxpayer a substantial amount.
I find that making representations directly to Ministers on these issues far more effective and I will endeavour to do this when I get an opportunity.
The issue of DIY abortion, in particular, is one that I have taken a great deal of interest in, not least because many constituents have been writing to me to express their opposition to this appalling practice.
Constituents who have previously written to me on this will be aware of my position, which has not changed since we last corresponded:
Since this measure was introduced at the start of the pandemic in 2020, as has been reported extensively in the media, a number of significant problems have put the lives and health of many women in danger. For instance, police in the Midlands launched a murder investigation last summer following the death of a newborn after a mum took abortion drugs posted to her. Other cases include a pregnancy being terminated at 28 weeks — four weeks after the legal limit. Inspectors at the Care Quality Commission are now investigating 13 significant incidents after identifying an “escalating risk” with medical terminations at home.
Furthermore, a nationwide undercover investigation has found evidence of abortion providers putting women at significant risk by not carrying out basic checks before sending them home abortion pills. The investigation also discovered home abortion pills can easily be obtained and administered to others, potentially in a coercive manner, which is especially concerning for domestic abuse victims: https://christianconcern.com/ccpressreleases/undercover-investigation-exposes-diy-abortion-service-as-unsafe-and-crossing-legal-boundaries/
Based on the evidence we have seen so far I am concerned that this form of ‘DIY’ abortion should become the norm after the pandemic. More than anything, I believe the health and safety of women have to be the priority and I am far from convinced that the current arrangement where women are able to easily obtain pills without adequate consultation and clinical assessment and carry out abortions without of any direct access to medical should be allowed to remain beyond the pandemic.
In Westminster I have the privilege of serving the Health Secretary Matt Hancock as his Parliamentary Private Secretary, and I have spoken to him at length about the contentious matter of abortion, as it is a conscience issue and MPs are free to vote based on their beliefs and personal views.
I know he is very much aware of the latest situation with at telemedical abortions and is consulting with the care minister and medical professionals urgently to look into the issues that have come to light.
I will continue to do all that I can to oppose DIY abortion and any move to extend its provision beyond the pandemic.
I hope the above adequately sets out my position on this important issue.