Richard Holden, Member of Parliament for North West Durham, has today launched his campaign to see so-called virginity testing made illegal in the UK as he has led a ten minute rule motion in the House of Commons. This is the first stage in the process of making a change in the law.
The motion Richard established and led on today is the first stage of the Virginity Testing (Prohibition) Bill and was backed by MPs from across the House, including Richard’s Conservative colleagues Jeremy Hunt MP, Maria Miller MP, Sara Britcliffe MP, Dehenna Davison MP, Nicola Richards MP, Fay Jones, MP, Siobhan Bailie MP, Joy Morrissey MP and Labour MPs Meg Hillier MP and Sarah Champion MP. The Bill will, time allowing, see its second reading at the beginning of January.
Speaking as he launched the bill and led the debate, Richard described virginity testing as ‘medieval’ and asked how it is permitted that this is ‘continued practice’. Richard stated that Britain has taken a ‘strong lead’ internationally on work supporting girls education worldwide and preventing practices like female genital mutilation, and that the practice has an impact on women and wider society.
Commenting, Richard Holden, Member of Parliament for North West Durham, said:
“So called ‘Virginity Testing’ has absolutely no place in the United Kingdom and today marked the first step of the campaign I am leading to see it made illegal.
“Virginity tests are totally bogus with no basis in scientific fact. And moreover, women are not objects to be examined and tested by men and there are seriously detrimental impacts, both immediate and long-term, on women who are forced to undergo these tests.”
“With cross-party support behind me, I will continue to campaign on this until we see this dangerous, harmful and misogynistic practice outlawed.”
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