Women’s Rights to Reproductive Healthcare: United States Debate

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Department: Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office

Women’s Rights to Reproductive Healthcare: United States

Baroness O'Loan Excerpts
Tuesday 28th June 2022

(1 month, 2 weeks ago)

Lords Chamber
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Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon Portrait Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon (Con)
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My Lords, the noble Baroness’s final point is of course very much a matter of discussion. Various initiatives and discussions are currently under way to ensure, as I have stated before, the ability of every woman who so chooses to have rights and access to such facilities. The noble Baroness rightly raised the issue of access to the UN initiative in this regard. I can confirm that we have already allocated £60 million. When my right honourable friend the current Foreign Secretary took over office, the reduced funding on women and girls was restored.

Baroness O'Loan Portrait Baroness O'Loan (CB)
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My Lords, does the Minister not agree that it would be both illogical and embarrassing for the United Kingdom to make representations to the US on this issue? The US Supreme Court has simply returned the issue of the provision of abortion services to each state, leaving the decision in the hands of the democratically elected representatives of the people of each state. Is the Minister aware that there is no human right to abortion under either the Universal Declaration of Human Rights or the European Convention on Human Rights, despite the regular but erroneous assertions that such a right exists? Is he also aware that the unborn child’s right to life is protected under the Convention on the Rights of the Child, to which we are a signatory?

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon Portrait Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon (Con)
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My Lords, I assure the noble Baroness that I am aware of all the respective conventions. We have articulated the clear position that this is a matter for the United States, but equally I respect—as we are seeing today—that people will have different perspectives, insights and principled views on abortion. My right honourable friend the Prime Minister has articulated where we are currently. I think that many across your Lordships’ House and the other place share his view but, equally, respect that others may have a different perspective.