Amber Rudd MP (Con), Sandra Osborne MP (Lab) and Lorely Burt MP (Lib Dem), have officially launched a cross-party inquiry looking into the issue of unwanted pregnancy in the UK. The inquiry is being chaired by Amber Rudd and supported by 2020health, a think tank whose purpose is to create the conditions for a healthy society.
The inquiry has been set up in the backdrop of striking trends in unwanted pregnancy:
1). Abortion rates in some age groups have markedly risen in the past few years, with abortions rising 10 per cent in the 30-34 age group over the last three years. The proportion of repeat abortions has also risen over the past decade, increasing from 31 per cent of all abortions in 2001 to 36 per cent in 2011.
2). Although teenage pregnancy in the UK has declined over the past decade, it remains the highest in Western Europe.
This inquiry is now looking to take written evidence from stakeholders and members of the public. Anyone is invited to contribute to the inquiry, offering suggestions as to how the Government can reduce the level of unwanted pregnancies. Any contributions submitted before the 28th September will be considered by the inquiry, and anyone who is interested in submitting evidence should visit 2020health to see the brief and email submissions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The inquiry will also be holding oral evidence sessions in Parliament, which will open to the public. The first of these will be on 12th September, taking evidence from Marie Stopes, BPAS, Family Planning Association, Royal College of GPs and Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists. A further two evidence sessions will be held on 16th October, taking evidence from women’s groups, youth clubs, professionals and other stakeholders.
Commenting on the inquiry, Chairman Amber Rudd MP said:
“This inquiry offers organisations and members of the public the chance to contribute to this important debate of how we reduce the level of unwanted pregnancy in the UK. These responses will help shape the recommendations we make to Government, and I would encourage anyone who feels they have something to offer on this debate to contribute to this inquiry.”
Julia Manning, Director of 2020health, added:
“We are delighted to be involved in this important inquiry, which aims to reduce the level of unwanted pregnancy in the UK. I have no doubt that this inquiry will provide a comprehensive and informative series of recommendations to the Government.”