Press comment: Parental Leave (Premature and Sick Babies) Bill

David Linden MP is the Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Premature and Sick Babies. He presented his Ten Minute Rule Bill on Parental Leave (Premature and Sick Babies) on Wednesday, 12 June 2019.

Clare McCarthy, spokesperson for Right To Life UK, said:

“This is a welcome Ten Minute Rule Bill from David Linden MP that aims to relieve pressure on parents who have a very sick or premature baby, at what is an incredibly stressful time for them.

“Ten Minute Rule Bills rarely become law, so we are calling on the Government to commit to introducing new legislation that will ensure that these proposals become law.

“Parents in these situations often unexpectedly find themselves torn between the requirement to return to work and the need to be beside their very sick baby in hospital.

“This small change in the law would provide parents with the flexibility that would ensure they are able to care for their child without the added pressure of potentially losing their job.

ENDS

Press release: NICE abortion guidelines recommend NHS rush women through abortion process – could lead to an increase in abortions

12 April 2019 – NICE has today release draft abortion guidance that makes a series of recommendations which, if adopted in their current form, will encourage services to rush women through the abortion process, reduce medical support for women and could lead to an increase in the number of abortions.

The draft recommended changes include encouraging NHS organisations across the country to:

  • Remove current consultations with a GP where women can talk through their options and be provided with emotional support, instead encouraging ‘self-referrals’ directly to abortion providers (p25).
  • Reduce the time that women have to contemplate their decision and look at other support options (p4).
  • Replace any current face-to-face abortion consultations with phone or ‘telemed’ consultations (p5).
  • Expand abortion services from the current list of registered hospitals and clinics to a far wider range of settings ‘in the community’. (p5)
  • Increase funding for travel and accommodation to access abortion services, but not provide increased funding and support for women who wish to continue with their pregnancies (p4).
  • Where possible, remove doctor involvement with abortion procedures, replacing them with nurses and midwives (p5).
  • Increased integration of abortion training and practical experience into training for health professionals (p5) positioning it as ‘essential training’ (p27).
  • Not provide routine follow-up appointments for women who have expelled the fetus at home or another location other than an abortion clinic or hospital (p9).
  • Introduce procedure where abortions take place before pregnancy has been confirmed by an ultrasound (p16).
  • Encourages medical professionals to tell women that ‘having a termination of pregnancy does not increase their risk of long-term health problems’, without citing evidence base for doing so (p7). This is extremely concerning given for example extensive evidence linking abortion with an increased risk of subsequent pre-term births.
  • Reducing funding allocated to supporting women during the abortion process and focus this funding on ‘new referrals’ (p29).

A spokesperson for Right to Life, Clare McCarthy said:

“The recommended changes from NICE and the RCOG will rush women through the abortion process and provide less medical supervision and support for women. In 2017, in the UK 197,533 babies in the womb were aborted. This does not appear to be enough for the abortion lobby and head of the RCOG, Lesley Regan, who has said she wants to see abortion as easy as getting ‘your bunions sorted’. Instead, they have brought forward these recommended changes which would mean less time for women to explore options other than abortion and could see our already very high abortion rate increase even further.

“Contrary to the recommended changes seeking to rush women through the abortion process, a ComRes poll found that 79% of the general public in the UK are in favour of introducing consideration periods to ensure that a women considering an abortion has had enough time to consider all of the options available to her.

“The guidelines should address the reasons women seek out abortion services in such high numbers in this country, often because of; vulnerability, isolation, lack of financial or emotional support, or pressure from a partner. Simply rushing women through the abortion process does nothing to address the problems these women already face and would only later compound these issues if coupled with post-abortion regret.

“This is a reckless approach to healthcare. Women’s safety and mental or physical health should never be potentially compromised for the sake of expediency or convenience.

Dr Callum Miller, medical doctor and research associate at the University of Oxford, said:

“Self-referral, self-administration and less medical involvement in abortions is not an improvement in health services for women. Clearly, the absence of medical supervision for taking powerful drugs, often with great distress, is not an improvement in medical care.

“The draft guidance states that there is no routine follow-up necessary for women following an abortion procedure. This is especially concerning given what appears to be a drive to encourage out-of-clinic use of misoprostol where women will pass the fetus either at home or at another non-clinical location.

“Mental health reviews have repeatedly stressed the need for screening for those at risk of negative mental health consequences from abortion, and it is disappointing to see that such women are not offered psychological follow up after such a traumatic event which appears to be associated with worse mental health outcomes.

“In an attempt to increase the numbers of abortion doctors, the draft guidelines also state that abortion training should be a part of the core curriculum for all health professionals. This appears to be in response to decreasing numbers of doctors being prepared to do provide abortions. It is no wonder that there is a lack of doctors signing up to provide abortions. Many young medics, like myself, come to their profession because they want to save lives, not to end them.”

ENDS

Press release: Troubled abortion provider reports largest gender pay gap – men paid 44.7% more than women

9 April 2019 – Abortion provider Marie Stopes International has reported the largest gender pay gap among UK’s 100 largest charities with men on average earning 44.7% more than women.

This finding comes after a series of reports from the Care Quality Commission accused Marie Stopes of mistreating women undergoing abortions in their clinics in the UK. This included a damning report accusing Marie Stopes International of paying staff bonuses for encouraging women to undergo terminations. At all 70 Marie Stopes clinics, inspectors found evidence of a policy which saw staff utilise a high-pressure sales tactic, calling women who had decided against having an abortion to offer them another appointment.

Abortions at Marie Stopes were suspended for a month in August 2016 after inspectors “found dead foetuses lying in an open bin and staff trying to give a vulnerable, visibly distressed woman an abortion without her consent”.

In 2012, a woman called Aisha Chithira, 32, bled to death in a taxi after having an abortion in Ealing Marie Stopes. A Marie Stopes doctor and two nurses were charged and then acquitted of gross negligence manslaughter.

In 2015, Marie Stopes reported that it paid 22 of its employees more than £100,000 and their CEO, Simon Cooke, took home one of the UK’s largest charity salaries, with a total of £420,755 between his basic salary and a bonus of over £250,000.

In addition to taxpayer funding for its UK operations, Marie Stopes International was paid £163 million over a five year period by the UK government to run its overseas operations.

The organisation’s income from the taxpayer is set to increase with the announcement on Monday that they will join International Planned Parenthood Federation on leading on a project including abortion provision which will receive £42 million from the Government. This is despite polling showing that 65% of women oppose taxpayer money going to fund abortions overseas.

Spokesperson for Right To Life UK, Clare McCarthy has said:

“Marie Stopes have a terrible track record with regard to their mistreatment of women facing unplanned pregnancies both here in the UK and in their international operations. Now it appears that this disregard for women extends into their workforce, with men being paid an average of 44.7% more than women. Counter to the Marie Stopes International narrative that their ethos is to ‘empower women’, the evidence points to the contrary.

“Marie Stopes International have had a series of failures towards women over the past number of years including evidence of pressuring women into abortions, doctors pre-signing abortion consent forms and even a woman dying of ‘extensive internal bleeding’ after an abortion at a Marie Stopes clinic.

“Their disproportionately large gender pay gap is another embarrassing failure to add to the list.”

ENDS

Press comment – International abortion provider given £132m taxpayer funding despite sexual misconduct allegations

Right To Life Spokesperson Clare McCarthy said:

“It is scandalous that IPPF, an international abortion provider, would be approved for funding despite ongoing investigations and allegations of sexual misconduct at a regional and overseas office.

“After the scandal with Oxfam, the public were strongly assured that UK aid money would not go to any organisation that did not meet the ‘high standards’ of safeguarding and protection required. However, it seems an exception has been made for this giant abortion provider, allowing UK aid money to be pumped into funding abortions, whatever the cost.

 

Crossbench peer Lord David Alton said:

“This is a £132 million pound oversight on behalf of Ministers and DfID who have failed to follow through on their promise of zero-tolerance of misconduct in the humanitarian sector.

“This emerges as the second UK aid money scandal recently. In Kenya, the DfID funded abortion provider, Marie Stopes International, was issued with a cease and desist letter by the Kenyan Medical Board banning it from offering abortion services last November.

“At the very least, it would seem that the Government is not running proper due diligence on UK aid programmes funding abortions. It’s time for the Government to end its relationship with the abortion industry and divert the millions it is giving to these big private abortion providers to providing real practical and emotional support to women facing an unplanned pregnancy.

 

Notes to Editors

  • For additional quotes and media interviews contact Clare McCarthy on 078 336 61532 or email press@righttolife.org.uk
  • https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/f4ce843e-184e-11e9-abc2-c39e91e3ea05
    • Dfid has known of the allegations at IPPF, a global sexual-health charity, since August yet pressed ahead with funding for a two-year programme that began in September 2018.
  • https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-46254630
    • November 14th 2018: Kenya’s Medical Board bans Marie Stopes International from offering any abortion services
    • A letter was sent from the Medical Practitioners Board to Marie Stopes saying: “Marie Stopes Kenya is hereby directed to immediately cease and desist offering any form of abortion services in all its facilities within the republic.”
    • Witnesses who appeared before the committee said that they had made calls to the numbers provided and were referred to a clinic who charged Sh5,000 (£38) for an abortion at a woman’s request, and not according to Kenyan law.