Prior to the 2014 Scottish Labour leadership election, Ms Boyack was contacted by Abortion Rights Committee Scotland in regards to her views on abortion. In her reply she stated:
- I have been a strong supporter of a women’s right to choose since I became interested in politics as a young woman. As our NHS faces unprecedented pressure financially, it is vital that those rights are upheld and services both for abortion and reproductive health are not undermined. It is particularly important that there is easy access to GP services as I know from the experience of constituents in my own region that some GP practices are under such pressure that they operate a waiting list to get access to practices and thus they are effectively closed.
- In relation to the issue of whether a referral for abortion services should only be required from one doctor, my initial response would be that I can see the argument that there is a need for a check and balance for accessing this service, but I would be happy to discuss this further with LARC.
- I also believe that alongside access to good health services sits the need for good advice about sexual health in relation to contraception sexually transmitted diseases and abortion services. Although it is particularly important for young women to have access to good information, I believe that young men also need this information so that they can take responsibly for their actions and be in a better position to support women. The experience of older women also needs to be considered with specific support available for them too.
- As Convenor of the Scottish Parliament’s Cross Party Group on International Development I have taken a keen interest in the rights of women across the world. The next round of the Millennium Development Goals will offer the chance to ensure that women’s sexual health is on the agenda and that Governments and NGOs work to support equality for women through good quality health services and education about reproductive rights.
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