Thank you for contacting me about UK Government funding for Marie Stopes International.
The UK is committed to remaining a global leader for family planning, women’s rights and sexual and reproductive health. Women and girls continue to bear a disproportionate burden of poverty across the developing world. However, voluntary family planning can transform lives. The ability to complete their education and take advantage of economic opportunities provides women and girls with greater choice and helps break the cycle of poverty between generations. These benefits are also transformational for their families, communities and economies. For these reasons, I support Marie Stopes' work in the fields of sex education and contraception and related health issues and have seen first hand these projects in action.
On the other hand, I do have concerns similar to a number of those expressed by constituents about the aspect of Marie Stopes' work related to abortion. For example, I have raised questions with Marie Stopes staff about the amount and degree of counselling being offered to women before abortions are carried out. In my view, Marie Stopes' role in providing abortion services internationally does require thorough and searching scrutiny.
Thank you again for taking the time to contact me.
Craig Whittaker MP
5th November 2019