Blows traded in Parliament over abortion - while Rother Valley MP votes "No" in vote on abortion equality

MP SARAH Champion has “called out” an MP’s reaction to the US Supreme Court’s decision to overturn a key abortion ruling.

A debate had been convened to discuss women’s rights to reproductive healthcare in the US following the controversial scrapping of the historic Roe vs Wade judgment by the Supreme Court.

Conservative MP Danny Kruger made contentious comments stating his disapproval of the view that a “woman has a right to her body”.

However, Ms Champion (pictured) said “it’s not OK” for a man to tell a woman “what she can or can’t do with her body”.

MP for Devizes Mr Kruger said: “I recognise the degree of distress and concern felt by many Members in the House over the Supreme Court’s decision.

 

“The fact is, though, that I probably disagree with most members who have spoken so far on this matter.

“They think that women have an absolute right to bodily autonomy in this matter.

However, I think that, in the case of abortion, that right is qualified by the fact that another body is involved.”

Mr Kruger urged that it was a topic for political debate and did not understand the need to “lecture” the US on its judgement.

The ruling will give individual states the power to make their own rulings but she understands that 26 states will “ban or restrict abortion”.

Foreign secretary Liz Truss said: “As the prime minister has said, this is not our court, it is another jurisdiction, but this is a big step backwards — I share his view.

“The UK’s position is that women and girls in the UK should have the right to access essential health services, including those relating to sexual and reproductive health, which includes safe abortion care.

“More broadly, the UK’s approach is to support sexual and reproductive health and rights, including safe abortion for women and girls around the world.”

Meanwhile, Rother Valley MP Alexander Stafford sought to clarify why he voted against a motion to require safe abortion services to be made freely available in Northern Ireland.

A Labour source told the Advertiser: “There was a free vote on this so he wasn't whipped into it.

“Abortion was legalised in Northern Ireland in October 2019, but women in the region have still not achieved equality with the rest of the UK.

“Just last month, reports stated that over two years on, women in Northern Ireland are still not able to access abortion services, ranging from patchy in areas to non-existent.”

The vote, which was passed with a wide majority and 70 votes against, “makes provision allowing the secretary of state to ensure that specific recommendations...are implemented in respect of Northern Ireland.”

Mr Stafford drew criticism on social media for his “no” vote, with one poster saying: “Our MP’s voting record matches lines up with the DUP, who are notoriously pro-forced birth.”

Mr Stafford told the Advertiser he did not wish to intervene the affairs of Northern Ireland, adding: “All matters of Northern Ireland health are devolved to the Northern Ireland Assembly.

“I believe therefore that all decisions on health should be taken by the elected members of the Northern Ireland Assembly, rather than being imposed by Westminster.

“It’s up to the Northern Irish to decide.”