Reduction in ‘abortion aid’ welcomed

The Archdiocesan Pro-Life Office has welcomed news that the UK Government will cut funding to the UNFPA, which provides abortions in developing countries.

The UK Government 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.

Paul Atkin, of the Archdiocesan Pro-Life Office, said: “Last year, we called on the Government to end ‘abortion aid’ and divert funds to real aid projects run by Catholic charities to save both money and lives.  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.” 

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 abortion at the expense of strengthening the delivery of quality maternal care programmes.

However, UK Government continues to fund large abortion providing organisations, such as MSI International, formerly known as Marie Stopes International.

Marie Stopes was born and educated in Edinburgh. The Pro-Life Office recently sponsored a talk which exposed the eugenic motivations of her birth control clinics.  Watch the talk on YouTube below, or here.

A spokesperson for Right To Life UK, Catherine Robinson said: “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.”

Catholics urged to contact MPs on overseas abortion funding

The UK Government is funding abortion overseas while Catholic charities that help improve the lives of millions are missing out.

Official figures released by the Department For International Development show that, even while borrowing money to fund Covid 19 programmes at home, the UK Government has used massive amounts of aid to fund abortions abroad.

In the first three months of the pandemic (March – May 2020) over £8 million was given to one abortion provider, Marie Stopes, mostly for projects in Africa.

The same figures show no record of any grants to UK Catholic aid charities such as SCIAF or Mary’s Meals.

Paul Atkin, of the Archdiocesan Pro-Life Office, said: "While the Chancellor is considering his options, Catholics should contact their MPs to stop unpopular ‘abortion aid.’

"The monies given to Marie Stopes are the tip of an iceberg of UK funding for abortion overseas. Vast amounts are being wasted on abortion which could be diverted into real aid projects run by Catholic charities to save both money and lives. "

In 2018, the last full year for which figures are available, UK Government was the largest single funder of Marie Stopes giving £48 million. But, in the same year, SCIAF was given just £1.1 million or 40 times less DFID support than the giant abortion provider.

DFID aid has continued to be given to abortion provider Marie Stopes, despite concerns from the UK’s Care Quality Commission about conditions at their UK abortion clinics and action by the Governments of Kenya, Niger and Zambia against Marie Stopes for performing illegal abortions in their countries.

Very few people realise that abortion for Africa is part of UK Government foreign aid policy. Polls show that the majority of the British public want to stop using aid on foreign abortions.

The news comes as 40 Days for Life prepare a peaceful prayer vigil at the Chalmers abortion clinic in Edinburgh where over 1,500 abortions take place each year.  You can sign up for an hour of prayer by emailing Melanie at - or just come along on the day. The vigil runs from 23 September to 01 November. Visit the website.