Amber Rudd MP has announced that she is launching an inquiry with cross-party support into unwanted pregnancies. The inquiry will look at how to cut the numbers of unwanted pregnancies through improved access to family planning services, and will seek evidence and input from BPAS and Marie Stopes.
Rudd told The Guardian: “I am unequivocally pro-choice. Women who want abortions know what they’re doing. They’re grownups. The correct debate we should be having is how to improve contraception. It’s about prevention.”
The inquiry is also supported by Labour MP Sandra Osborne, and Liberal Democrat MP Lorely Burt. The Guardian reported that the inquiry will focus on three key areas: the recent rise in unwanted pregnancy among the 30-plus; the continuing high rates of teenage pregnancy – the highest in Western Europe; and how to widen access to contraception.
Rudd is a strongly pro-choice voice within the Conservative party. At the recent pro-choice meeting in the House of Commons, she reiterated that the right to abortion is not a purely left-wing ideal, and that many Tories are pro-choice – a message which Abortion Rights is glad to hear.
Darinka Aleksic, campaigns coordinator at Abortion Rights, said that the inquiry is a reminder that “a sane majority within all parties that supports a woman’s right to choose and the medical benefits of providing good contraceptive services.”
Given the prominence afforded to anti-abortion voices within the Conservative party – with Nadine Dorries’ high media profile an obvious example – Abortion Rights hopes that the media give Rudd equal prominence in future debates on the topic.