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International Planned Parenthood plan to sue UK Govt for cuts to abortion funding

The International Planned Parenthood Foundation (IPPF) has announced plans to launch legal action against the UK Government regarding its decision to cut its foreign aid budget, which includes funding abortions in developing countries.

On 13 July, MPs voted 333 to 298 in favour of cutting overseas aid from 0.7 to 0.5 per cent of national income.

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.

This follows the UK Government’s announcement in April that it will pledge £23m to the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) projects this year, as opposed to the initially pledged figure of £154m. 

In November 2020, Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced his intention to reduce 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, and has insisted the cuts are temporary.

The decision was made following an Independent Commission for Aid Impact report that condemned the UK Government for favouring overseas aid spending on family planning, which includes the provision of contraception and abortion services, at the expense of strengthening the delivery of quality maternal care programmes. 

The cut to spending follows years of successive Conservative Governments making large increases in the amount of taxpayer money they contribute to organisations that provide abortion.

In September 2019, the Conservative Government provided an additional £600 million 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 Savant ComRes shows that 65% of the British population are opposed to taxpayer money being used to fund abortions overseas.

IPPF claims that the government’s move to reduce aid spending without overhauling the International Development Act 2015 is unlawful, and have alerted the UK Government to its plans to push for an urgent judicial review of their decision to terminate the group’s funding unless the Government rolls back on the move.

A track record of scandal and exploitation

The UK Government was the single largest donor to IPPF in 2019, giving £46,616,000 to the organisation. It also receives assistance from the UNFPA, which UK funding contributes to.

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.

In 2019, the UK’s then Department for International Development drew criticism for providing IPPF with £132 million in funding, despite the charity being under investigation after multiple accusations of sexual misconduct and fraud were made against the charity’s Africa regional director, accusations which have not been investigated.

The then Africa regional director, Lucien Kouakou, was reportedly dismissed in November 2018 after allegations of fraud and sexual misconduct were made against him. Kouakou then made a series of allegations that the charity had hired prostitutes for staff, donors and guests at official functions.

Many of the women and men involved in prostitution in Africa are illegally sex trafficked or forced into it due to poverty, including many underage persons.

The Kenyan Government made IPPF aware of ‘serious allegations’ against Kouakou and other officials six years prior to the 2018 investigation, but no action was taken.

In 2019, the Mail on Sunday received documents revealing a wide range of allegations including accusations that Senior IPPF officials took tens of thousands of pounds in expenses for attending meetings that never took place in Senegal, Ivory Coast and Togo. One senior manager received £91,000 and £92,400 in cash for ‘expenses’ at two of these meetings;Fraud such as spending £17,000 for translation services from a fake firm in Senegal and £15,600 on fees for schools in Ghana that did not exist. ‘Malpractice’ concerns also arose regarding a £1.04 million purchase of less than an acre of ‘swampland’. There were too, Allegations that Kouakou sent a ‘witch porn’ video featuring a snake and naked woman to a senior female staff member to intimidate her.

A spokesperson for Right To Life UK, Catherine Robinson, said: “These significant cuts to such a notoriously corrupt abortion provider such as IPPF is 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 of people like you, on Monday 5 July, a major attempt to hijack the UK Government’s flagship Police , Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill with two extreme abortion proposals failed, in a major pro-life victory.

Unfortunately, this major defeat is not the end for our opposition.

The abortion lobby has already been successful at using the Coronavirus crisis to temporarily introduce ‘DIY’ home abortions.

The policy has not only accompanied a large increase in the number of lives ended by abortion but has also been linked to a number of serious incidents where women’s lives have been put at risk while performing their abortion at home.

Our opposition is now eager to see more widespread changes to legislation enacted and we are currently facing major threats on three fronts:

  1. The abortion lobby is further exploiting the COVID-19 crisis to attempt to make dangerous ‘DIY’ home abortions available permanently.
  2. The Northern Ireland Secretary has given himself new powers to force expanded abortion services on Northern Ireland.
  3. The assisted suicide lobby has brought foward a bill to legalise assisted suicide, which was introduced to the House of Lords on 26 May.

If these major threats from our opposition are successful, it would be a disaster. Thousands of lives would be lost. We can’t sit on the sidelines and watch these extreme anti-life changes become a reality.

As you can see, while we have won our most recent battle, we continue to be facing a very large challenge on life issues in the UK over the next couple of months – and we will be facing this across multiple fronts.

We are, therefore, appealing to you to please give as generously as you can. Every donation, no matter how small, will go towards saving the lives of the unborn and many others.

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?

Q

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    Q

    Be the first to know…

    When you sign up for email updates from us, you will be receiving:

    Action alerts on the latest pro-life developments along with tools to help you change hearts and minds

    Opportunities to help protect and defend more lives

    Where should we send your updates?

      By clicking submit, you agree that we may process your information in accordance with these terms below.

      Right To Life UK will use the information you provide on this form to keep in touch with you and to provide updates. You can change your mind at any time by clicking the unsubscribe link in the footer of any email you receive from us, or by contacting us at info@righttolife.org.uk. We will treat your information with respect. For more information about our privacy practices please see our Privacy Policy.

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