Chief executive of UK’s largest abortion provider to step down in 2021

The Chief Executive of the UK’s largest abortion provider is retiring after nearly two decades in the role.

The British Pregnancy Advisory Service (BPAS) announced yesterday that Ann Furedi would be stepping down in 2021.

Despite BPAS being responsible for over 70,000 abortions last year, Furedi has described her role as the “the best job in the world”.

She has repeatedly campaigned for more extreme abortion legislation and has told the Guardian, “the best abortion law would be a blank sheet of paper.”

Speaking at the launch of BPAS campaign ‘We Trust Womenshe said: “I would like to be very, very clear and blunt… there should be no legal upper limit.”

Push for abortion up to birth continues

In a warning shot to pro-life campaigners, following the announcement that she would be resigning, Furedi tweeted: “I’m not done yet 🦊 and there will be no softening of our stand with the next CEO. ‘Ball-breaking’ is in the job description!”.

Additionally, the Chief Executive job brief asks women to commit to lobbying for the ‘decriminalisation’ of abortion, which would allow abortion for any reason right up to birth.

Just this week, the abortion lobby failed in yet another attempt to achieve the first step towards this long term objective when they unsuccesfully attempted to hijack the Domestic Abuse Bill with extreme pro-abortion amendments.  

However, Furedi’s tweets and BPAS’ job brief shows this threat is not going away and the organisation will continue lobbying for more extreme abortion legislation.

‘Abortion is birth control that women need’

Furedi has worked in ‘pro-choice’ organisations for more than twenty years, having previously run the press office at the UK Family Planning Association before leading the Birth Control Trust.

She joined BPAS as its chief executive, in June 2003 and has pushed for more extreme abortion laws ever since.

Alongside the launch of a BPAS report claiming women need access to late-term abortions, Furedi argued that abortion should be seen as a form of “birth control”.

She said: “Family planning is contraception and abortion. Abortion is birth control that women need when their regular method lets them down.”

‘The point isn’t when life begins, but when life begins to matter’

In her book, The Moral Case for Abortion, the BPAS chief executive states: “The opponents of abortion claim that abortion is wrong because ‘it ends the life of the unborn child’ whereas for abortion’s supporters ending its life in the womb is precisely its point” (p.64). 

She continues: “Essentially, the point for us is not when life begins, but when life begins to matter… Abortion may be an act of killing – but it kills a being that has no sense of life or death, and no awareness of self as distinct from others.” (pp.99-100).

‘The law is silent on gender selection [abortions]’

In 2014, Furedi came under strong criticism when she wrote in online magazine Spiked that women should be able to abort on the grounds of the child’s gender, saying:

“The woman gives her reasons, the doctor decides on the grounds as set out in the law… there is no legal requirement to deny a woman an abortion if she has a sex preference, providing that the legal grounds are still met.” 

She added, “the law is silent on the matter of gender selection, just as it is silent on rape.”

A survey, conducted by Savanta ComRes, found 89% of the general population and 91% of women agree that gender-selective abortion should be explicitly banned by the law. limit for abortion should be reduced.

‘We all make it work’

In 2013, Furedi commented that doctors had to make the law “work” to enable more abortions to take place. 

She said that “women have to pretend they will have a nervous breakdown if they continue the pregnancy, and doctors pretend to believe them.”

“I think that doctors would be far happier with a situation where they didn’t have to go through the arrangements that exist at the moment, but because they do, we all make it work,” she added.

BPAS has objected to life-saving plans that would let coroners hold inquests for stillbirths over fears the move will recognise the humanity and personhood of an unborn baby.

Doctorate awarded for pro-abortion work

Last year, Furedi was awarded an honorary doctorate from the University of Kent at a ceremony in Canterbury Cathedral on 22 November.

Controversially, former BPAS board member and abortion activist Professor Sally Sheldon is a member of the Honorary Degree Committee that selected Furedi for the award.

The law professor at the University of Kent has campaigned for abortion on demand for more than 20 years, supports sex-selective abortion and was an architect of a private members bill calling for more extreme abortion legislation.

Additionally, Ann Furedi’s husband, Frank Furedi, is the University of Kent’s Emeritus Professor of Sociology.

The University of Kent says it awards honorary degrees to “distinguished individuals from many walks of life who have made a significant contribution to society”

‘Tragic legacy’

Right To Life UK spokesperson Catherine Robinson said: 

“Ann Furedi leaves a tragic legacy of overseeing an organisation that, as the UK’s largest abortion provider, has likely deliberately ended the lives of more babies in the UK than any other single institution or organisation in history.

“While it is welcome news Ann Furedi is stepping down from her role as chief executive of BPAS, the organisation’s work to end the lives of thousands of babies each year will continue. She has also made it clear that her replacement, along with BPAS and the rest of the radical abortion lobby, will continue pushing for extreme abortion legislation.”