Press Release: Cross Party unplanned pregnancy inquiry highlights concern over lack of focus on men

On 16th October Amber Rudd MP (Con), Sandra Osborne MP (Lab), Lorely Burt MP (Lib Dem) and Gail Beer from 2020health interviewed a number of stakeholders at the cross-party Unplanned Pregnancy Inquiry’s final oral evidence session. The Inquiry is being chaired by Amber Rudd MP and co-chaired by the 2020health think tank, whose purpose it is to improve individual health and create the conditions for a healthy society.

Many of the panelists challenged the assumption that unplanned pregnancy is only a women’s issue, with Rowan Davies from Mumsnet stressing the need for men to be involved in the process of contraceptive choices. Simon Blake from Brook said that teenage boys should be clear about what is expected of them, while JC from Respond Academy<http://respondacademy.com/home/> highlighted the problem of young boys viewing too much pornography and not having any understanding of contraception. JC also talked about how young men are often keen to be involved in the pregnancy and the arrival of babies, but all too often end up losing interest. She spoke about the terrible loss this is to mothers and babies, stressing the importance of engaging with young men about the consequences of not using contraception.

The Inquiry has now received dozens of written and oral evidence submissions, which will be used to formulate a series of recommendations to the Government with the aim of reducing unplanned pregnancies in all age groups. The recommendations are expected to be published later in the year.

Speaking after the oral evidence session, Chairman of the Inquiry Amber Rudd said:

“The oral evidence sessions have been extremely interesting and thorough, giving this inquiry a fascinating insight into the issues surrounding unplanned pregnancy in the UK. I would like to thank everyone who has contributed, both through oral and written evidence. I now look forward to coming up with some recommendations that will seek to reduce unplanned pregnancy in the UK.

“It was also very interesting to hear about the emphasis put on engaging with young men when so often this is viewed exclusively as a women’s issue.”

Gail Beer, Consultant at 2020health, added:

“We are delighted to be involved in this important inquiry, which aims to reduce the level of unwanted pregnancy in the UK. I have no doubt that this inquiry will provide a comprehensive and informative series of recommendations to the Government.”

 

ENDS

 

Note to editors:

*   The inquiry expects to release a series of recommendations to the Government before the Christmas parliamentary recess.

*   Any queries about the inquiry should be directed to Daniel Mahoney, who can be contacted at daniel.mahoney@parliament.uk<mailto:daniel.mahoney@parliament.uk> or on 0207 219 8220

*   MSD is providing sponsorship to 2020health.org for the cost of conducting research and the associated publication and dissemination of the inquiry report. MSD has not been involved with the content development of this press release.

About Julia Manning

Julia is a social pioneer, writer and campaigner. She studied visual science at City University and became a member of the College of Optometrists in 1991, later specialising in visual impairment and diabetes. During her career in optometry, she lectured at City University, was a visiting clinician at the Royal Free Hospital and worked with Primary Care Trusts. She ran a domiciliary practice across south London and was a Director of the UK Institute of Optometry. Julia formed 20/20Health in 2006. Becoming an expert in digital health solutions, she led on the NHS–USA Veterans’ Health Digital Health Exchange Programme and was co-founder of the Health Tech and You Awards with Axa PPP and the Design Museum. Her research interests are now in harnessing digital to improve personal health, and she is a PhD candidate in Human Computer Interaction (HCI) at UCL. She is also dedicated to creating a sustainable Whole School Wellbeing Community model for schools that builds relationships, discovers assets and develops life skills. She is a member of the Royal Society of Medicine’s Digital Health Council. Julia has shared 2020health's research widely in the media (BBC News, ITV, Channel 5 News, BBC 1′s The Big Questions & Victoria Derbyshire, BBC Radio 4 Today, PM and Woman's Hour, LBC) and has taken part in debates and contributed to BBC’s Newsnight, Panorama, You and Yours and ITV’s The Week.
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