To ask the Secretary of State for Health, whether any funding from the public purse has been disbursed to (a) Marie Stopes International and (b) the British Pregnancy Advisory Service for the purposes of campaigning for a change in the law on abortion in Northern Ireland; and if he will make a statement.
The Government is neutral on the subject of abortion legislation. Information on contracts held by clinical commissioning groups with independent abortion providers, including Marie Stopes International and the British Pregnancy Advisory Service is not collected centrally.
No funding has been provided directly from the Department to either organisation which has been used for the purpose of campaigning.
All women seeking abortion, including women travelling to England for an abortion from Northern Ireland, must be given impartial, accurate and evidence based information (orally and written) delivered neutrally, which includes what to expect during and after the abortion. Clinical guidance from the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists ‘The Care of Women Requesting Induced Abortion (2011)’ states that “complications and risks should be discussed with women in a way that they can understand and should emphasise the overall safety of the procedure”.