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ELECTION 2019: What to ask your Candidate

(updated 4th December 2019)

We are nonpartisan when it comes to party politics and cannot advise on which party you should vote for. Whether you vote tactically to limit harm or vote according to conscience is a choice that you will have to make, but please make sure it is well informed.

Let’s look at where the main political parties stand on abortion and what kind of questions pro-lifers can be asking their local candidates in the lead up to this election.

Whether it be by email, tweet or in person at a hustings, here are CBR UK’s top questions for holding policy makers to account when it comes to abortion. 

The manifestos at a glance...

LABOUR: want to decriminalise abortion which will most likely mean abortion up to birth (p48) 

LIB DEMS: want to decriminalise abortion up to 24 weeks (p61)

CONSERVATIVES: don’t mention abortion but mention adoption once (p 14) 

GREENS: want to see abortion expansion across Europe (p32 and 62) 

BREXIT PARTY: no mention of abortion or adoption

DUP: against decriminalisation and abortion (manifesto currently unavailable)

CPA: want to see the right to life of the unborn child protected by law (p18)

UKIP: want to reduce abortion and increase adoption (p30)

Top Tips

For too long policy makers have hidden behind euphemisms on abortion. Why not use this election to cut to the core of the issue.

  • Make it about the unborn child
  • Don’t tolerate euphemisms
  • Keep asking until your question has been answered
  • Find ways to make their answer public e.g. film it, tweet it, share it on social media, and let them know of your intention of doing so

Questions for Hustings

Hustings are public events giving constituents the opportunity to question local candidates on their policies. How your local hustings is run varies depending on region. You can search “2019 Election Hustings near me” to find out more. It’s worth noting that some may require you to submit questions beforehand by email. If this is the case, to increase your chance of having your question answered, you may need to couch your question in relevant terms. Here are some examples:

  • "Please state what your party’s gestational limit is on abortion and how your party justifies that limit?"
  • "Would you support parliamentary efforts to explicitly outlaw sex-selective abortion?"
  • "In light of medical advancements which have allowed babies as young as 21 weeks to survive outside the womb, do you support lowering the abortion time limit?"

Questions for Email, Twitter or Canvassing

If you have limited time why not ask them a GENERAL question:

  • “Your party is supporting the decriminalisation of abortion. So we can all understand exactly what it is you are decriminalising, please can you describe an abortion procedure as they occur in the first, second and third trimester?  If you can’t describe this because of ignorance or mental duress why is it your public policy?”
  • “Please state how decriminalising abortion, an act that could give way to: DIY home abortions, mail order abortions, abortions by the school nurse, sex selective abortions, abortions through coercion etc, will actually help vulnerable women in a crisis?”
  • “In September the Conservative government announced £600 million of foreign aid to be directed soley into the export of abortion. Is your party willing to not only cut this funding, but to redirect it to actually help women in a crisis?”

If you have more time you can be more specific:

For Labour

  • "In your manifesto you make clear your desire to transform the country 'so that it works not just for a few, but for all of us'. Please can you explain how Labour’s promise to strip all human rights from the unborn child up until birth will benefit 'all of us'?"
  • "Your manifesto states you wish to introduce 'violence reduction units' and 'ensure vulnerable people get the support they need' (p46). Why therefore are you seeking to decriminalise abortion, allowing violence against vulnerable babies, if your manifesto is apparently opposed to violence and wants to support the vulnerable?"
  • "Decriminalising abortion would make abortion available on demand up to birth. Please explain why your party wants the UK to have one of the most extreme abortion laws in the world, on par with China and North Korea?"

For Liberal Democrats

  • "The Lib Dems have included decriminalising abortion under the section ‘help to stay healthy’, however the NHS website states that 1 in 10 abortions leads to an infection, 1 in 20 leaves part of the child in the womb, 1 in 100 leaves the cervix damaged. Please can you explain how decriminalising this procedure will actually help women stay healthy?"
  • "One of your 5 priorities on your website is to 'give every child the best start in life'. Please can you clarify when you think a child’s life starts, and how abortion helps with your party’s desire to see children 'nurtured to become whom they want to be'?"
  • "Access to health care is an established human right (UN Declaration). Please can you explain why the Lib Dems believe it’s also a human right to kill an unborn child up to 24 weeks for any reason, when no united declaration agrees with them, and the procedure is most certainly not in the interests of the child’s health?"
  • "Your party want to make it illegal for individuals to peacefully pray or offer support to women outside abortion clinics. Please can you confirm who the 'safe zones' actually protect. The unborn child, the feelings of the mother or the financial interests of abortion providers?"

For Conservatives

  • "Your manifesto is totally silent on abortion, why is that? And who would you say is most affected by your silence?"
  • "On page 14 of your manifesto you talk about vulnerable children and how 'a strong society needs strong families'.  Do you think abortion provision in this country, which claimed the lives of 200,608 unborn children last year, paid for with our taxes, bolsters strong families or weakens them?"
  • "A Care Quality Commission report in 2016 showed that women were being treated like cattle in Marie Stopes abortion clinics. A more recent report showed that Simon Cooke, the CEO of Marie Stopes, was being paid a bonus of £434,000 for his supervision of Marie Stopes. Is the Conservative government committed to helping vulnerable women by ensuring abortion clinics are properly investigated and held to account?"

For the Brexit Party

  • "Your party is silent on abortion, why is that?"
  • "Will the Brexit Party seek to decriminalise abortion and place buffer zones around abortion clinics if they get in?"
  • "In 2018 the UK conducted 200,608 abortions on UK residents and 4,687 abortions on non-UK residents, what do the Brexit Party think of these figures and what are they planning to do about them?" 

For The Green Party

  • "It is clear that the Green Party is against waste, like the flushing of wet wipes down the toilet, but is simultaneously for 'abortion', 70% of which involve ejecting your unborn child into a toilet bowl and flushing them away. Is this because unborn children are biodegradable in a way that wet wipes aren’t?"
  • "How many children do you think may be at significant risk of death due to increases in global warming? And how does this compare to the number of children who will lose their lives if you extend abortion across Europe?"