10 OCT 2019
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I am afraid I do not sign any EDMs at all, as they have no effect whatsoever in Parliament and have been superseded by other Petition sites which are open to the public.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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