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Who we are

We're the leading independent provider of sexual and reproductive health services in the UK.

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Advocacy and Opinions

Raising our voice to remove barriers to accessing safe abortion and contraception services in the UK

Our expert medical, clinical, governance and advocacy team members work to inform and influence improvements to sexual health services, access to care and progressive policy in the UK. Advocacy intersects with all departments here at Marie Stopes UK. We use our expertise so that women and pregnant people are no longer denied the services they have a right to.

We have always pioneered an ‘advocacy by doing’ approach. We do this in our own unique way - showing what works, speaking up publicly, pushing for change and ensuring positive reforms are implemented. ​

This section shares the ways in which we share our expert opinions and advocate for safe, legal and accessible sexual and reproductive healthcare for all our clients.

Our position papers

Our UK position papers outline our stance on key medical, clinical and safeguarding issues in the media spotlight that affect our clients.

Position Paper - Sex Selective Abortion in the UK (Feb 2020)

Health Professionals at Marie Stopes UK have a small, but significant window to identify and raise any safeguarding concerns, and to offer support for the adults or children at risk. We take responsibility to make sure that all our teams know how to identify any potential issues, including any form of reproductive coercion.

Read our Marie Stopes UK Position Paper - Sex Selective Abortion in the UK (Feb 2020)

Position Paper - The need for Safe Access Zones (Mar 2020)

Over the past 25 years many of our centres and clinics have been targeted by anti-abortion individuals and groups gathering outside. We need Safe Access Zones around all premises which are registered to provide abortion care services with the Department of Health and Social Care.

Read our Marie Stopes UK Position Paper - The need for Safe Access Zones (Mar 2020)

Position Paper on Disability Equality and Abortion in the UK (Jun 2020)

However well intentioned, arguments against giving time to families to understand a diagnosis of a severe fetal impairment and to consider their options is an attack on broader rights to abortion access and prevents medical professionals from providing pregnant people with the best possible care.

Read our Marie Stopes UK Position Paper on Disability Equality and Abortion in the UK (Jun 2020)

Press Statements

Marie Stopes UK provides press statements on a number of important issues that are linked to innovation in abortion care, improving understanding of abortion services, smashing abortion stigma and supporting our clients to make the reproductive health decisions that are right for them.

Contact our press office Read our latest press statements

Consultation responses

We produce submissions to government consultations and inquiries on issues that impact our clients, from harassment outside abortion clinics, to access to domestic abuse services and abortion law reform. Our expert clinical, medical and governance teams inform our evidence-based submissions to positively influence government policy and legislation.

Inquiry Response - APPG SRH Access to Contraception in England (2020)

We call for government to mandate co-commissioning of sexual health services, to end fragmentation of services and allow patients to have all their contraceptive needs met following this pandemic and throughout their lives.

Read the Inquiry Response - APPG SRH Access to Contraception in England (2020).

Submission Health and Social Care Committee - Delivering core NHS services during the pandemic (2020)

During the Coronavirus pandemic, several barriers were identified with the provision and access of abortion care emerging from social-isolation and other measures to prevent and manage COVID-19 infection. We are proud to have been able to overcome many of these barriers to continue to deliver this core NHS service.

Read the Submission Health and Social Care Committee - Delivering core NHS services during the pandemic (2020).

Submission Women and Equalities Committee COVID-19 (2020)

The nature of our abortion care services means that our client cohort engage the protected characteristics of sex and pregnancy, as they are accessing a healthcare service specific to female reproduction, and specifically for termination of pregnancy. This means any impact on our abortion care services during the COVID-19 crisis will impact persons with these protected characteristics.

Read the Submission Women and Equalities Committee COVID-19 (2020).

Inquiry Response - NI Regulation Consultation (2019)

We ask the government to recognise women’s agency and autonomy and provide full and unrestricted access to abortion services in Northern Ireland. States must make every effort to avoid over-regulation to ensure universal access. Providing women with greater access to abortion care by bringing it in line with other healthcare provision should be a priority for the country.

Read the Inquiry Response - NI Regulation Consultation (2019).

Inquiry Response - APPG SRH Access to Contraception in England (2019)

Choice is fundamental to everything that we do and we respect the right of every person to decide whether and when to have children. It is vital that people have access to the full-range of contraception to be able to control their futures.

Read the Inquiry Response - APPG SRH Access to Contraception in England (2019).

Submission Draft Domestic Violence and Abuse Bill Scrutiny (2019)

For the Domestic Abuse Bill to be fit for the purpose of UK compliance with the Istanbul Convention, the scope of the legislation must be widened. The final protections that the draft Domestic Abuse Bill provides should be for all victims of abuse. We urge the UK Government to protect women and girls from across the UK.

Read the Submission Draft Domestic Violence and Abuse Bill Scrutiny (2019).

Inquiry Response - Women and Equalities Committee Northern Ireland Abortion Law (2018)

It is to the UK Government’s shame that oppressive laws that criminalise women and girls are still in place on our shores. Access to abortion care is central to women’s human rights and equality, and the UK is falling short.

Read the Inquiry Response - Women and Equalities Committee Northern Ireland Abortion Law (2018).

Submission - Home Office Inquiry Harassment Near Abortion Clinics (2018)

We absolutely believe in, respect, and support the right to protest and freedom of speech, but not the right to harass and intimidate. Our Centres and Clinics are the sites of healthcare provision and should not be the site of an ideological battleground.

Read the Submission - Home Office Inquiry Harassment Near Abortion Clinics (2018).

Reports

Our governance and assurance structures are designed to ensure we consistently provide a safe, effective, caring, and personalised service for everyone who comes to us.

 

Our teams produce two annual reports to share details of our world class safeguarding and quality innovation.

Quality Accounts Report Safeguarding Report

Coalitions and Networks 

Collaboration

We support and partner with allied organisations, campaigners, advocates, Royal colleges and professional bodies within coalitions and networks to improve access to sexual and reproductive healthcare across the UK.

Coalitions

  • Voice for Choice – The UK’s national coalition of pro-choice organisations.
  • Back Off Coalition – The national coalition to stop harassment and intimidation of women outside abortion clinics.
  • We Trust Women Coalition – The national coalition to decriminalise abortion across the UK.

Expert Networks 

  • The Advisory Group on Contraception - An expert advisory group of leading clinicians and advocacy groups to discuss and make policy recommendations on contraception services. 
  • Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists Abortion Taskforce – An expert group to ensure women have access to safe, sustainable, high-quality abortion care services. 

APPG for Sexual and Reproductive Health

We are proud to support the All Party Parliamentary Group for Sexual and Reproductive Health. The APPG is a group of MPs and Peers looking to raise awareness of abortion and other sexual health needs across the UK.

"We bring together Parliamentarians, experts and campaigners to examine issues within sexual and reproductive healthcare in the UK, and to explore options to improve healthcare through policy and legislative change."

Find out more about the APPG for Sexual and Reproductive Health.