Women gather in protest after Blackpool South MP Scott Benton shares 'Life Wins' message in response to American Supreme Court abortion ruling

Pro-choice advocates organised an emergency meeting after Blackpool South MP Scott Benton appeared to celebrate the overturning of a landmark American ruling which protected the right to abortion.

By Wes Holmes
Wednesday, 29th June 2022, 3:45 pm
Updated Wednesday, 29th June 2022, 3:59 pm

The public meeting, attended by Blackpool councillor Amy Cross, Wyre coun Holly Swales, and co-chair of the Green Party women’s group Tina Rothery, took place at The Halfway House on Squires Gate Lane, South Shore, last night.

They discussed their concerns about Mr Benton’s support of the American Supreme Court’s recent overturning of the 1973 Roe V Wade ruling, which granted the right to abortion during the first three months of pregnancy. The move means that individual states are able to impose a complete ban on the procedure, even if the mother’s life is at risk, or the baby is likely to be stillborn or die shortly after birth.

The Court went onto say that other rulings could also be revisited, including married couples’ rights to use contraception, the right for same-sex couples to marry, and the decriminalisation of gay sex.

The meeting at Halfway House last night, June 28

The Blackpool South MP, who shared and later deleted a Twitter post proclaiming ‘life wins’ following the decision, was invited to the meeting but did not attend.

He did, however, issue a response to the group inviting them to visit him in London to discuss the matter instead.

Organiser Sarah Smith said: “We know that we are going to have this opportunity for MPs to either support, or not to include, abortion in the new British Bill of Rights, and we want him to support that, or at least listen to our reasoning.

“What he did does represent the likelihood that the things he will be lobbying on in Government will not include pushing for the rights of women in Blackpool, and we want to hold him to account for that.

The tweet shared by Scott Benton MP

“Fundamentally it has such an impact on a woman, the decision about whether they are going to have a child, and being able to access the health support they need is really important.

"Most Americans wouldn’t have dreamed the law would go back 50 years. We can’t be complacent; we have to make sure we don’t find ourselves in a similar situation where a vocal minority pushes us backwards.

"We want to ensure that Scott is pushing for Blackpool women.”

Blackpool South MP Scott Benton said:

Green Party women's co-chair Tina Rothery, centre, and coun Amy Cross, right

“If any constituent approached me for assistance with their reproductive rights I would of course help them in anyway which I could. In 12 years of being an MP and running an MPs office beforehand, I have encountered practically every single issue and problem you could think of, but I've never experienced an issue with access to abortion services. This is because the current process is well functioning and abortions are freely accessible, more so than any other country in the world, as are the care and support which surrounds them.

“I hold regular surgeries in the constituency several times a month. People can come and see me without the need for an appointment. I'm one of the few MPs nationally who operate this system.

"The Labour and Green Party activists who organised this small get together know this (some of them have attended my surgeries in the past). They invited me to a meeting on a Tuesday evening, giving no alternative dates or times, when they knew that I would be 250 miles away in Parliament doing the job I was elected to do - had they asked for a date when I was available I would have gladly agreed a time to address their gathering.”