Women's Health Strategy for England
The following is an extract from the statement on 20 July 2022.
I welcome my right hon. Friend’s statement and its recognition of the need to have specific strategies to make sure that women have equal access to services. However, it is silent on the biggest healthcare injustice that women face in our country—that abortion is still treated under Victorian criminal law, with the most draconian laws in the world. Seventeen women in the past eight years have been subject to criminal investigation, including simply because they suffered the appalling issue of stillbirth. This strategy should stop that by expanding the Government’s own change in the law in Northern Ireland to ensure that abortion is an issue between women and their doctors, and that every woman is protected from criminal investigation at a time when what they need from us is care and compassion.
My right hon. Friend is right that there is a need for care and compassion, and she highlights an extremely important point. She will be aware that the sexual health review is currently being conducted. That will report later this year and will look into the issue that she raises.
[Official Report, 20 July 2022, Vol. 718, c. 981.]
Letter of correction from the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, the right hon. Member for North East Cambridgeshire (Steve Barclay).
An error has been identified in my response to my right hon. Friend the Member for Basingstoke (Dame Maria Miller).
The correct response should have been:
My right hon. Friend is right that there is a need for care and compassion, and she highlights an extremely important point. She will be aware that the sexual and reproductive health action plan is currently being conducted. That will report later this year and will include ensuring women have equitable access to abortion within the current legal framework.