Gillian Anderson: Maria Caulfield’s appointment ‘devastating step backwards’
The X-Files actress and campaigner criticised the reshuffle appointment of the MP who opposed decriminalising abortion to a role representing women.
Actress and campaigner Gillian Anderson has criticised the appointment of an MP who opposed decriminalising abortion to a role representing women as a “devastating step backwards”.
The X-Files star commented after Theresa May made Maria Caulfield the Conservative Party’s vice chair for women during Monday’s reshuffle.
Pro-choice activists had condemned giving the role to the Tory who led parliamentary opposition to decriminalising unapproved abortions, arguing the law change would put women and unborn children at risk.
London-based star Anderson joined their calls, telling the Press Association: “It’s such a huge, monumental, devastating step backwards, I’d say.
“It’s really disappointing.”
The British Pregnancy Advisory Service said it was “shocked” by the appointment, while shadow women and equalities minister Dawn Butler branded it an “appalling decision”.
Ms Caulfield, the Conservative MP for Lewes and a former nurse, spoke in March against a bill which aimed to prevent the prosecution of women who end their pregnancies without permission.
It would have meant women who took abortion pills they ordered online would not be prosecuted.
Despite the legislature winning a vote, it ran out of time to progress when the snap election was called.
Currently women face imprisonment if they have an abortion if it is not signed off by two doctors.
Anderson, who was speaking after she was presented with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, also discussed her affiliation to the Time’s Up initiative against sexual harassment.
“I think right now it’s a matter of gathering people to develop policy and legislation so that the right conversations about accountability and safe and fair environments can be structured in all industries,” she said.