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Government cuts spending on overseas abortion following years of large spending increases

International abortion providers have had their funding from British taxpayers cut by up to 85% as part of a Government commitment to reduce the UK’s foreign aid budget. Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced he would be reducing the UK’s commitment of foreign aid spending from 0.7% to 0.5% of national income, as a result of the financial pressures of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

These cuts follow years of successive Conservative Governments making large increases in the amount of taxpayer money they contribute to organisations that provide abortion. 

The Government initially pledged £154 million to the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), an agency that oversees a range of operations, including abortion provision. The Government has since reduced this pledge to £23m for the upcoming financial year.

In 2017 the US withdrew UNFPA funding after a state department investigation found evidence that the agency facilitates programmes of involuntary abortion and sterilisation in China.

The UK Government’s Women’s Integrated Sexual Health programme (WISH), which works with abortion providers MSI Reproductive Choices (formerly Marie Stopes International) and International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF), will receive zero funding in the coming year. IPPF will lose an estimated £72m of UK taxpayer funding as a result of these new cuts.

Between 2010, when the Conservatives took power, and 2018, the then Department for International Development (DfID) increased its contributions to the abortion giant MSI Reproductive Choices by over 1,300% from £3,231,000 in 2010 to £48,173,000 in 2018.

Financial statements for the company found in Companies House reveal that between 2010 and 2018 the UK taxpayer has given almost £300m of taxpayers’ money to MSI, with over three-quarters of that total given between 2014 and 2018. This enormous increase has made DfID the single biggest donor to Marie Stopes International (MSI). The total financial contributions from the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO), which replaced DfID in 2020, do not include any money the British Government provides for MSI Reproductive Choices’ abortion provision in the UK.

UK Government contributions to MSI accounted for over 16% of their entire £296,849,000 income in 2018. This represents a dramatic increase from 2010 when DfID provided only 2.49% of MSI’s income for that year.

In September 2019, the Conservative Government provided an additional £600m of taxpayer money for overseas “family planning”, which included funding abortions. The pledge was the UK Government’s largest ever stand-alone spend of taxpayer money in this area and came on top of the £1.1 billion already pledged over a 5-year period beginning in 2017.

Polling from Savanta ComRes shows that 65% of the British population are opposed to taxpayer money being used to fund abortions overseas.

In a statement, IPPF said: “Without additional funding, IPPF will be forced to close services in Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Zambia, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Cote D’Ivoire, Cameroon, Uganda, Nepal and Lebanon and may be forced to close services in an additional 9 countries”. 

Right To Life UK spokesperson, Catherine Robinson, said: “These significant cuts to international abortion providers are most welcome. However, it remains a scandal that the UK Government is using taxpayers’ money in this way to begin with. That a single penny of our taxes goes towards ending the lives of children in the womb anywhere in the world is a gross misuse of our money and abuse of government powers”.

“This move will likely be welcomed by the British public too, 65% of whom have stated they are opposed to their taxes being used to fund overseas abortions”.

Help stop abortion up to birth for babies with disabilities including Down's syndrome & club foot

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Dear reader

Thanks to the support from people like you, last year a major attempt to hijack the UK Government’s flagship Domestic Abuse Bill with two extreme abortion proposals failed, in a major pro-life victory.

Unfortunately, this is not the end for our opposition.

We are currently facing major threats on five separate fronts:

  1. Pro-abortion MP Rupa Huq has brought forward an amendment to the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill to introduce a jail term of up to two years if a pro-lifer offers support or advice to a woman near an abortion clinic. This is a threat to unborn babies and to freedom of speech.
  2. The assisted suicide lobby has brought forward a bill to legalise assisted suicide, which was introduced to the House of Lords on 26 May.
  3. The Northern Ireland Secretary has given himself new powers to force expanded abortion services on Northern Ireland.
  4. The abortion lobby is further exploiting the COVID-19 crisis to attempt to make dangerous ‘DIY’ home abortions available permanently.
  5. The abortion lobby is expected to make another attempt to change abortion law to allow abortion on demand, for any reason, up to birth.

If these major threats from our opposition are successful, it would be a disaster. Thousands of lives would be lost. 

Fighting both the abortion and assisted suicide lobbies over this period has already made a huge dent in Right To Life UK's limited resources.

To cover this gap and ensure we effectively defeat these proposals during this period, we must raise at least £200,000.

We are, therefore, asking people like you to please give as generously as you can. Every donation, no matter how small, will make a significant difference.

By stopping these threats, YOU can save lives over this coming period.

Will you make a special gift right now to help protect vulnerable lives from these threats?

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Help stop abortion up to birth for babies with disabilities including Down's syndrome & club foot

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