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Press release – Government spending cuts on overseas abortion welcomed following years of large increases in spending on abortion

PRESS RELEASE – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

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

Right To Life UK has welcomed the news that the UK Government will be cutting funding to the UNFPA, which provides abortions in developing countries.

The UK Government has announced 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 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 Government’s announcement 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 on the UNFPA follows years of successive Conservative Governments making large increases in the amount of taxpayer money they contribute to organisations that provide abortion.

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 (formerly Marie Stopes International) by over 1300% 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 £300 million 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.

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 where DfID provided only 2.49% of MSI’s income for that year.

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.

A spokesperson for Right To Life UK, Catherine Robinson said: 
“Time and again, UK Government departments have pledged large sums of money for ‘family planning’ internationally, and time and again, this money has also be used to fund abortions. This cut to spending on the UNFPA follows years of successive Conservative Governments making large increases in the amount of taxpayer money they contribute to organisations that provide abortion.”

“This announcement of a reduction in funding, whatever the Government’s foremost motivation, is a welcome move. It will likely be welcomed by the public, 65% of which have stated they are opposed to their taxes being used to fund overseas abortions.” 

“While this decision is certainly a step in the right direction, this funding cut is a tiny fraction of the huge amount being spent on abortion providers. We are now calling on the Government to review all spending on organisations that provide abortion overseas, of which the UNFPA is only one of many.”

ENDS

  • For additional quotes and media interviews contact press@righttolife.org.uk or 07467 717514.
  • For further information on Right To Life UK visit www.righttolife.org.uk

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