Dear Prime Minister, Given reports this morning about the appointment of the anti-choice MP Maria Caulfield as the minister responsible for abortion care, I am contacting you to ask that you reconsider and revoke this appointment. It is wrong to hand the responsibility of this vital area of healthcare to an MP who has consistently worked to undermine and restrict the provision of these services. One in three women in this country will have an abortion in their lifetime. Last year, over 200,000 women resident in England and Wales accessed safe, legal, NHS-funded abortion care. The women of the UK deserve and need a Minister who will work to improve access to abortion services. Maria Caulfield is not the appropriate person to take on this responsibility. Maria Caulfield is a self-declared “voice of the unborn” and former member of the parliamentary pro-life group. Your decision to hand this MP the portfolio for abortion is an absolute slap in the face to the women of this country and suggests a complete disregard for their needs. In the aftermath of Roe v Wade, the UK has an opportunity to really show the world what progress and protection of women’s rights looks like – your actions signal just the opposite.
This is an MP who has described those who support women needing to end pregnancies as the “abortion industry”, which she has accused of being “unethical, unsafe and unprofessional.” Unlike any other area of healthcare, decisions regarding the licensing of abortion clinics sit with the relevant government Minister. Maria Caulfield now has the ability to block the establishment of new abortion services and close existing clinics.
In the last year alone, Maria Caulfield voted to recriminalise at-home early medical abortions, and voted against measures to protect women from anti-abortion clinic harassment. These two important pieces of legislation were passed by an overwhelming majority by her fellow MPs. Maria Caulfield does not speak for the House, does not speak for women, and is in no way an appropriate Minister to oversee this vital aspect of women’s healthcare.
I urge you to revoke this appointment before Maria Caulfield has the chance to jeopardise women’s access to safe, legal, NHS-funded abortion care.We need the Minister with responsibility for abortion care to be a voice for choice.