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.

10 OCT 2019

Marie Stopes

Thank you for writing to me about the Early Day Motion to cut international development funding to provider Marie Stopes International.

I am afraid I do not sign any EDMs at all, as they have no effect whatsoever in Parliament and have been superseded by other Petition sites which are open to the public. EDMs give a misleading impression that action has been taken.

However, I will not be supporting the motion and I would like to make clear that I support the right of women to access safe termination of pregnancy. It's also important to remember that Marie Stopes provides a comprehensive range of services aiming to increase education in, and access to, family planning, contraceptives, vasectomies etc., and therefore to reduce the number of unwanted pregnancies.

Cutting funding to Marie Stopes international development funding would mean cuts to choice-based contraception and other health services for the most disadvantaged women worldwide. The proposed cuts would be counterproductive. Not only in terms of increasing the number of unwanted pregnancies and therefore the demand for abortion services, but because fewer abortion services does not necessarily mean fewer abortions, but more unsafe 'backstreet' abortions and maternal deaths. It turns back the clock on women's rights to exercise control over their own bodies.

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