Parliamentary motion launched to cut millions of taxpayer funding for overseas abortion provider

An MP has launched a Parliamentary motion calling on the government to cut controversial funding for abortion provider Marie Stopes International. 

An Early Day Motion tabled by Fiona Bruce notes that the abortion giant, which ended the lives of almost 5 million babies in the womb last year in developing countries, has had a funding increase of 5,000% in the last 12 years.

The UK government gave over £48,000,000 to MSI, in 2018, making the UK taxpayer the largest donor to the organisation. 

However, polling shows there is very little public support for taxpayers’ money being spent in this manner, with 65% of the UK population opposed to the government funding abortions overseas. 

The motion adds that the increase in funding comes at the same time as a Charity Commission investigation into Marie Stopes International for rewarding its chief executive, Simon Cooke, a total salary package in excess of £400,000. 

The amount that Mr Cooke was paid in 2018 would put him in the top-10 highest earners in the charity sector

The large salary and bonus come off the back of a series of scandals in the past few years where evidence has emerged of MSI performing illegal abortions in countries that protect unborn babies; investigations by the Care Quality Commission reported that MSI endangered the safety of women in the UK; and the case of one woman bled to death after having an abortion in one of MSI’s London clinics.

The motion also references a recent highly critical Independent Commission for Aid Impact report that condemned the Department for International Development for favouring abortion funding, at the expense of strengthening the delivery of quality maternal care programmes.

Last month, the Secretary of State for International Development, announced to the UN that the Department for International Development would be providing an additional £600 million of taxpayer money for “family planning”, which will include funding abortions. 

This pledge is the UK Government’s largest ever stand-alone spend of taxpayer money in this area and comes on top of the £1.1 billion already pledged over a 5 year period beginning in 2017.

Spokesperson for Right to Life UK, Catherine Robinson said:

“It is appalling that ‘international development’ now consists of funding overseas abortions at an ever-increasing rate along with funding lobby teams to introduce extreme abortion laws in developing countries. This is especially concerning given the series of scandals at Marie Stopes International and that the majority of the public do not want taxpayer funding spent on ending the lives of children in the womb overseas.

“We support Fiona Bruce’s parliamentary motion to cut all international development funding provided to Marie Stopes International and encourage other MPs to add their signatures to it.”

Pro-abortion MP confirms plan to hijack Domestic Abuse Bill with extreme abortion proposals

Diana Johnson MP has announced her intention to hijack the Domestic Abuse Bill with a radical amendment to introduce extreme abortion legislation to England & Wales.

Speaking at the Second Reading of the Domestic Abuse Bill, the pro-abortion MP championed a similar amendment to the Northern Ireland (Executive Formation) Bill, that could see abortion for any reason up to 28-weeks imposed up on the province. 

She declared it was time to do the same in this Bill, to introduce the same extreme abortion regime to England and Wales.

In July, in the absence of a functioning Stormont government, Westminster voted for an amendment to repeal sections 58 and 59 of the Offence Against the Person Act in Northern Ireland if Stormont’s Executive is not restored by 21 October.

Johnson is expected to introduce a similar amendment to change the law in England and Wales, to the Domestic Abuse Bill, during the Bill’s Committee Stage.

Repealing these provisions would introduce abortion on demand, for any reason, up until when a child is capable of being born alive with a ceiling of 28 weeks to England and Wales, removing almost all the legal safeguards around abortion provided by the Abortion Act.

This would leave England and Wales with one of the most extreme abortion laws in the world and would be the biggest change to abortion legislation since 1967.

All other MPs who spoke on the topic of abortion, during yesterday’s Second Reading, were united in their criticism of Johnson and her plans to hijack the Domestic Abuse Bill, which would remove protections for unborn babies with a disability and allow sex-selective abortion.

Chair of the Women and Equalities Committee, Maria Miller, commented that while some MPs had been quite open about their wish to change abortion law, the Domestic Abuse Bill is not the place to do it.

“I make a plea not to Ministers but to colleagues. Members need to resist the temptation to use the Bill to remedy all the issues, concerns, and campaigns in recent years to do with domestic abuse. Some of them have been quite open about their wish to include abortion reform in the Bill, and while there is clearly a strong case for reform, with which I would agree, this is not the place to do it. I do not believe that we have the time in this Parliament to give that issue the attention that it demands. My plea is for a separate Bill, sponsored by a Back-Bench MP in the usual way, to deal with that, and to deal with it swiftly.”

Pro-life MP Fiona Bruce said pointed to the unforeseen circumstances about to play out in Northern Ireland as a reason why the issue of extensive abortion reform “should not be undertaken by using Back-Bench amendments to an unrelated Bill.”

She added: “To learn our lesson on this, we need only look to the unforeseen circumstances now about to play out, sadly, in Northern Ireland later this month, with a five-month lacuna in the law on abortion there about to start because this place rushed through, with completely inadequate scrutiny, amendments to the Northern Ireland (Executive Formation etc) Bill.”

Pro-life MP criticises move to hijack Domestic Abuse Bill with abortion on demand

Huw Merriman said, “it is essential that the Bill remains roughly in a shape that allows it to succeed”.

“I agree strongly with my hon. Friend the Member for Congleton (Fiona Bruce) about abortion reform, which I very much favour, I do not believe this is the right Bill to deliver that reform”, he added.

Spokesperson for Right To Life UK Catherine Robinson said:

“It is highly inappropriate for pro-abortion MPs to hijack the Domestic Abuse Bill in a way that not only undermines its support for victims of domestic abuse and their families but also removes current legal safeguards for unborn babies, allowing abortion for any reason up to 28 weeks.

“Diana Johnson’s horrific amendment would introduce one of the most extreme abortion regimes in the world right across England and Wales.“

ComRes polling from 2017 showed the majority of people want the time limit for abortion to be reduced, to below 20 weeks, not increased. Should Diana Johnson follow through in her threats and introduce her radical abortion amendment, we hope MPs will take note that the majority of people do not want this and swiftly reject her proposals.

MPs decry ‘total legal chaos’ that will result from NI’s new abortion regime

A Government Report on the implementation of a new abortion regime in Northern Ireland has been heavily criticised from across the House of Commons with MPs decrying the “total legal chaos” that will result from it.

Without any regulatory or legal framework on abortion before 28 weeks, abortions could be performed almost anywhere, including schools; there would be no requirement for parental consent or involvement for under 16s; there would be no requirement to see a doctor; abortion on the grounds of the sex of the baby would become legal; and as in England and Wales, the state will have the authority to force a woman to have an abortion against her will.

If the new abortion regime comes into effect with no law or framework governing abortion up until the 28th week of pregnancy, it will result in what Ian Paisley MP decried as “total legal chaos”.

Following on from this in a debate in the House of Commons yesterday evening (09/09) MP, Fiona Bruce, questioned how the new law will deal with the issue of forced abortions. In removing the current law, it will no longer be clear how to prosecute someone who forces a woman to undergo an abortion.

She also drew attention to the fact that without any regulatory framework, abortions could take place well past the point at which a child could survive outside of the womb. Ms Bruce described this situation as a “legal vacuum”.

The Report was supposed to review the current abortion law in Northern Ireland, and set out some details for how it will be overturned from the 21st October if Stormont does not reform.

However, in the estimation of a number of MPs from Northern Ireland as well as Conservative and Labour politicians, it failed to do that.

The Report follows a weekend of demonstrations in Belfast where tens of thousands of people rallied against the imposition of this extreme abortion law on Northern Ireland.

The debate takes place as the Government’s Northern Ireland (Executive Formation) Act – initially designed to extend the period for the formation of an Executive in Northern Ireland – is set to radically alter the abortion law in Northern Ireland if the law comes into effect on the 21st October.

Currently, Northern Ireland has strong protections in law for unborn babies, but the new law set to be imposed by Westminster – without the support of a single MP from Northern Ireland sitting in the House of Commons – will repeal sections 58 and 59 of the Offences Against the Person Act, upon which the abortion law in Northern Ireland is based. This will make abortion up until 28 weeks legal without any restriction.

If the Northern Ireland Assembly is able to reconvene before the 21st October, the abortion regime will not come into effect. However, MPs from the House of Commons have drawn attention to the inherent challenges of reconvening Stormont by this date because one of the main parties in that discussion, Sinn Féin, want Westminster’s extreme abortion law to come to Northern Ireland. As such, Sinn Féin have no incentive to reunify the Assembly.

There are around 100,000 people alive today who would otherwise not be, had the Abortion Act 1967 in the rest of Britain, been extended to that region.

Spokesperson for Right To Life UK, Catherine Robinson, said:

“Stormont has consistently rejected abortion and polling has shown that the majority of women in Northern Ireland (66% in general and 70% of 18-34 year olds) do not want abortion law imposed on Northern Ireland from Westminster.”

“The Northern Ireland Act has been hijacked by pro-abortion politicians and the statistics and demonstrations from the weekend show that the people of Northern Ireland do not want this draconian abortion legislation.”

Westminster votes to force abortion on NI. 13 weeks left for people of Northern Ireland to stop introduction of extreme abortion regime

MPs have voted 328 – 65 to force more extreme abortion laws on Northern Ireland than the rest of the UK.

The vote took place yesterday (18/07) in the final stages of Northern Ireland (Executive Formation) Bill. MPs cast a single vote for a group of amendments to the Northern Ireland Bill which included a radical abortion amendment that was added in the House of Lords. The vote against was lower than the vote on the Creasy amendment last week, this is likely because the group of amendments included a number of other issues.

This focus now moves to Northern Ireland where, should the Executive in Stormont reform before October 21st, it is possible that all amendments to the Northern Ireland Bill could be rejected.

Nigel Dodds said: “[This amendment] makes abortion legal for absolutely any reason, including gender and disability, until a legal presumption of 28 weeks.”

This assessment is based on the fact that the amendment seeks to remove sections 58 and 59 of the Offences Against the Person Act (1861), which protects unborn life. In which case, the only legal protection for unborn children left would be the Criminal Justice Act (Northern Ireland) 1945 which only applies from 28-weeks gestation. This, would make abortion readily available for any reason – including discriminatory abortions based on gender and disability – up until 28 weeks.

This would make the abortion law in Northern Ireland more extreme than in the rest of the UK where abortion is available until 24 weeks and, as an important safeguard, must be signed off by two doctors. No such requirement would exist if this abortion amendment passes in Northern Ireland.

The amendments have been heavily criticised across both Houses of Parliament for being out of scope of the Bill, which was supposed to be concerned with extending the period for the formation of an Executive in Northern Ireland.

During the debate Ian Paisley MP said the Bill has been “hijacked” by these amendments, adding that it was “an outrage to common decency in Northern Ireland.”

A number of other MPs and Conservative MP Fiona Bruce, criticised the fact that, due to the fast-tracking of this Bill – it proceeded through both Houses of Parliament in only two weeks – there was a lack of public and parliamentary scrutiny, as well as little substantive discussion on abortion itself.

Bruce pointed out that 100,000 people are alive today because Northern Ireland did not adopt the 1967 Abortion Act – a figure backed up by the Advertising Standards Association – and that in just four days, over 19,000 people residents of Northern Ireland signed a letter objecting to the imposition of abortion on the region in this manner.

“If we read that across to the British mainland, that is the equivalent of 500,000 signing a petition in a matter of four days,”  Paisley added

Paisley, along with a number of other MPs, criticised the manner in which the abortion amendment was forced onto this Bill saying it was undemocratic, an attack on devolution and lacking proper scrutiny.

Fiona Bruce MP added:

“The way in which the issue of abortion and, indeed, the Bill has been handled has been, I believe, unconstitutional, undemocratic, legally incoherent and utterly disrespectful to the people of Northern Ireland, yet the Government are pressing on today with just a derisory one hour’s debate. That is despite the fact that abortion is a devolved policy area and a hugely controversial issue, and despite the shamefully limited scrutiny time we have already had.”

Deputy leader of the DUP Nigel Dodds, echoed concerns regarding devolution saying:

“Either we have direct rule and legislate on all those areas, or we respect devolution—we cannot have it both ways…”

Clare McCarthy from Right To Life UK said:

“The people of Northern Ireland have thirteen weeks to stop the introduction of one of the worlds most extreme abortion regimes to the province.

“Many thousands of people in Northern Ireland are deeply angered and distressed by this action by the Westminster Parliament. The manner in which MPs from Westminster have attempted to impose abortion on a people that do not want it, and who they do not represent, is grossly disrespectful and unconstitutional. 

“This horrific abortion law can be stopped. It is up to the people of Northern Ireland to ensure that Stormont reconvenes in order to protect the thousands of lives that would otherwise be lost if this extreme abortion law came into effect.