Gov. provides another £42 million to overseas abortion providers steeped in scandal
Shortly before her appointment as Minister of State for Defence, Penny Mordaunt MP, in her role as International Development Secretary, announced that the Department for International Development (DfID) would be giving £42 million to promote abortion overseas.
This is in addition to the £1.1 billion that DfID has already pledged over a five year period (starting in 2017) for ‘family planning’ including “safe abortions”.
This use of taxpayer’s money comes off the back of a recent report from the Independent Commission for Aid Impact (ICAI) which rated DfID’s family planning programs as “Unsatisfactory… “in most areas. Specifically, the report found
- that DfID had over-estimated the number of women’s lives which have been saved as a result of its maternal health programmes by 23,000.
- “the recent emphasis on family planning produced short-term results, but at the expense of a more balanced approach to building up health systems”
The report stated that although there is an important role for family planning “there are recognised limits to the contribution it can make to reducing maternal mortality”. In other words, it seems as though increasing the availability of abortion is not a good (let alone moral) way of reducing maternal mortality.
The report is clear that:
“The majority of maternal deaths result from intentional pregnancies, rather than unintended ones, and are therefore not prevented by access to contraception.
Presumably, if the majority of maternal death were from intentional pregnancies, then presumably, if a woman faces complications in pregnancy, she does not want an abortion. If abortion is the only form of “healthcare” on offer, they these women are being failed by Western organisations.
Furthermore that report found that “the wider maternal health portfolio without a balanced approach across the different interventions that are needed to achieve significant reductions in maternal mortality over the medium- to longterm.”
Evidently DfID has paid insufficient attention to the need to support the long-term and sustainable development of quality maternal health services. There has been an overemphasis on the provision of family planning and abortion services in DFID’s programmes to the detriment of other initiatives, particularly the training of health workers in emergency obstetric and neo-natal care, which would be more effective at reducing maternal mortality.
Serious questions need to be asked about the value for money provided by DFID’s family planning programmes and the prioritisation given to this aspect of its approach to improving maternal health. This is especially pertinent since DFID has invested such a vast sums of money (over £1bn since 2012) in family planning and abortion services.
Finally, it is worth noting that the £42 million DfID is spending of promoting Sexual Reproductive Health Rights will be used, at least in part, by their partners, Marie Stopes International (MSI) and the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF). MSl were banned in Kenya last year after allegations that they were illegally promoting abortion, and IPPF are still being funded despite ongoing investigations and serious allegations of sexual misconduct at a regional and overseas office.
As Right to Life spokesperson Clare McCarthy said: “After the scandal with Oxfam, the public were strongly assured that UK aid money would not go to any organisation that did not meet the ‘high standards’ of safeguarding and protection required. However, it seems an exception has been made for this giant abortion provider, allowing UK aid money to be pumped into funding abortions, whatever the cost.
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