Campaigns. It is important that I continue to know the strength of feeling on an issue and I prefer to respond to every inquiry, but the sheer size of campaign correspondence means that it is hard to justify to the tax payer the cost and time taken for individual written replies, so regrettably I will no longer reply to every item of campaign correspondence.  I will  post a response to the campaign on the "Responses to campaigns" page of my website.

I am sorry to do this, as it is rather impersonal, but can see no other way of maintaining a good service for all my constituents unless I approach campaigns this way.

30 MAY 2018

Abortion NI

Thank you very much for taking the time to email me about abortion in Northern Ireland.

I trust all women and will be voting for equal rights to abortion for women in Northern Ireland. This will now depend on whether Parliament is given the opportunity to vote on a cross Party amendment. The Speaker decides whether amendments are allowable/in scope & can be debated.

I would vote to support an extension of abortion rights to all women across the whole UK. As this is a devolved issue, if an amendment is not accepted by the Speaker, then there should at very least be a referendum in Northern Ireland on this issue. The Domestic Violence Bill is being proposed as an opportunity to bring amendments on abortion rights, but also a danger that some will use this as an opportunity to erode women's rights.

I will strongly oppose any threat to women's right to access safe termination of pregnancy. I would support a change to current legislation that demands two doctors need to support the grounds for the termination of pregnancy. Whilst it is a healthcare issue, I think it is paternalistic to insist both need to be doctors.

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