Skeptical Voter Questionnaire Response
Many thanks for getting in touch on what you rightly identify as complex and important issues. I agree that scientific evidence should be the basis of policy decisions, including abortion time limits and for health spending choices. I also agree that, while I would always prefer alternatives to be used if they are available, and suffering to be kept to a minimum, tightly regulated animal epxeriments have a role to play in medical research - I do not however support any testing on animals for cosmetic purposes.
Faith groups clearly have an important role in our society, but I'm not in favour of alternative legal systems, and I do not think creationism should be taught as an equivalent theory to evolution (I'm not aware that this happens in any event). Wider constitutional reform , including of the House of Lords, is needed-I would like to see a wholly elected second chamber.
It's important that we get the right balance between free speech, respect for others' beliefs, collective responsibility and personal privacy. You raise a number of questions related to this and the devil is in the detail in each case in determining that balance. I was interested in your question about a public interest defence in libel cases and would be happy to consider any briefing you would like to send me on this subject.
In October 2010, Kate Green proposed Early Day Motion 807: Evidence Based Welfare Policies. The motion stated that:
- "That this House deplores the expected increase in the already very high poverty-related costs in ill-health and educational under-achievement to the taxpayer in the schools and health service as a result of the welfare cuts; regrets that housing benefit cuts, the abolition of the Health in Pregnancy grant and the Sure Start grant cut for second children will increase already wide income and health inequalities; notes the greater risk of underweight babies due to the malnutrition of mothers due to poverty incomes and debts imposed by cuts; furthernotes those babies will carry a greater risk of poor cognitive abilities, mental illness and cerebral palsy identified by the Institute of Brain Chemistry and Human Nutrition; further notes that a related increase in debts will increase the mental health problems for adults identified by the Government Office for Science; further notes that increased number of evictions and consequent insecurity of tenure will disrupt the education of children as shown in research in Brisbane and Sydney, Australia; further notes that rented private accommodation will be difficult to find because private landlords will not risk rents paid by inadequate housing benefit, predicted by the Chartered Institute of Housing, who also predict an increase in overcrowded housing; and calls on the Government to implement evidence-based welfare policies which will improve public health."
In October 2010, Kate Green signed Early Day Motion 767: Science is Vital Campaign. The motion stated that the house "believes that continued investment in research is vital in order to meet the technological and social challenges of the 21st century, and to continue to attract high-tech industries to invest here; further believes that large cuts to science funding are a false economy, due to evidence that research investment fuels economic growth".
Ms Green supported the Labour Party line in favour of equal marriage rights for gay and lesbian couples.
In the May 2013 debate Ms Green moved an amendment to allow legal recognition of Humanist marriage, making a speech in support of the amendment.
In February 2015 Kate Green voted in favour of allowing mitochondrial donation, which would allow women who carried mitochondrial diseases to have genetically related children who would not inherit the disease. An October 2014 briefing report by the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA), which had been investigating the issue for three years, stated that there was no evidence to show that mitochondrial donation was unsafe. However, some religious groups had said that such procedures should not be allowed. After clearing both Houses mitochondrial donation is now legal, regulated by the HFEA.
- Hansard: http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201314/cmhansrd/cm130521/debtext/130521-0002.htm#130521-0002.htm_spnew6
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