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Government ambassador warns abortion is ‘fundamental’ part of healthcare


Abortion access is a “fundamental” part of women’s healthcare the government’s women’s health ambassador has warned.

Dame Lesley Regan, who was appointed as Women’s Health Ambassador by the Government in July, has said in answer to questions from The Independent about the voting records of ministers: “I think it’s really important that we never ever get complacent about freedom of choice.

“Now what my view is about whether abortion is good or bad is really irrelevant. My job is to tell the Prime Minister if he’ll listen and the Secretary of State that it [abortion] is an absolutely fundamental part of women’s healthcare."

“Because I’ve done so much work overseas during my career, what I know is that if you make it difficult to access, or you make it illegal, the problem doesn’t go away but women die as a result.”

Her comments come after it was revealed this week that the prime minister and senior members of his government have voted against boosting access to abortions or have opted out of key votes.

More than a third of the government’s current cabinet voted against early medical abortion at-home measures rolled out in the wake of the pandemic being made permanent.

The Department for Health and Social Care’s minister for women, Maria Caufield, who has been granted responsibility for abortion care, has previously voted to curtail access rights.

Earlier this year The Independent revealed women seeking abortions in the UK are having to travel hundreds of miles to access care as “untenable” waiting times put unsustainable pressure on services.

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Source: The Independent, 8 November 2022

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