ABORTION: HOME OFFICE CRITICISED OVER LACK OF TRANSPARENCY OVER PLAN TO BAN PRO-LIFE CAMPAIGNERS
7 December 2017
Home Secretary Amber Rudd has been lambasted by pro-life campaigners over her lack of transparency in reviewing the law which could ban pro-life activists from holding vigils outside abortion clinics.
The attack comes as the Home Office was accused of lack of transparency for refusing to reveal how much it is spending on the exercise.
Ms Rudd has also been accused of ignoring questions on the subject,snubbing pro-life organisations and failing to take into account their views on the subject.
Antonia Tully of the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children (SPUC), the world’s oldest pro-life group said:
"There seems to be one law for some and no law for those who stand up for the rights of the unborn child and give help to their mothers. This is an outrageous betrayal of democracy and shows the Home Office to be utterly biased."
Mrs Tully added:
"It is quite scandalous that a Cabinet minister responsible for such a crucial portfolio and who purports to defend law and order doesn’t want to hear from pro-lifers and won’t say how much money her review into so-called 'harassment and intimidation'. outside abortion clinics is costing."
SPUC has encouraged its members to contact their MPs to complain to Amber Rudd about the terms of the review.
Pro-Life MP Mary Glindon has tabled a series of Parliamentary questions about the review.
Antonia Tully said:
"She has received some shocking answers."
"Firstly, the Home Office has completely ignored a question asking about the timetable for the review and what funding the Home Secretary had allocated."
"Secondly, the Home Office has failed to respond to the request that the groups outside the abortion clinics should be part of the review."
"Unbelievably, the review only wants to hear from 'the police, healthcare workers and local authorities'".
Mrs Tully continued:
"Thirdly, responding to a question about how many individuals have been prosecuted and convicted for alleged harassment and intimidation outside abortion facilities, the Home Office stated that it 'does not hold information requested'."
"It’s quite astonishing that a review is being undertaken without access to the basic and most fundamental facts. Clearly, the review is flawed before it reports."
Antonia Tully said : "The Home Office states this review will form an 'in-depth assessment of protests outside abortion clinics' after reports that 'some women' have been harassed and intimidated when visiting 'family planning clinics to seek information, advice and services from medical professionals'".
Mrs Tully said the Rudd review raises more questions than it answers:
"How 'in-depth' can this review be if pro-life groups cannot participate?"
"How does 'some women' who say they have intimidated, compare with the hundreds of women whose lives have been turned round for the better thanks to pro-life help?
"And how much 'information, advice and services' are given to women, other than to hurry them through an abortion?"
Antonia Tully, SPUC Director of Campaigns and Fundraising, can be contacted on:
Dr Anthony McCarthy, SPUC Director of Education and Communications can be contacted on:
020 7820 3144