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Defending life from the moment of conception

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SPUC condemns government on overseas aid priorities

6 December 2002

SPUC condemns government on overseas aid priorities London, 6 December 2002--The Society for the Protection of Unborn Children (SPUC) has condemned the British government for giving more bilateral overseas aid for abortion and population control than for clean drinking water. In a newly-published report1, the Department for International Development (DFID)'s 2001/02 bilateral funding commitments are £260 million for "reproductive health services", whilst in stark contrast "safe drinking water and adequate sanitation" is given only £78.8 million. "Reproductive health" is term commonly used to include abortion, sterilisation and contraception. SPUC political spokesman Anthony Ozimic asked: "How can the government justify spending almost three-and-a-half times more taxpayers' money on preventing the poor from being born than on saving their lives by giving them clean water?" Mr. Ozimic continued: "World Bank statistics show that millions of women in China and Vietnam have had an IUD fitted or are visited by Pill vendors but still do not have decent drinking water2. World Bank figures also estimate that providing safe water&sanitation may cost as little as £13 per person. This would mean that the £260 million the government is spending on population control could instead be used to give 20 million people safe drinking water and adequate sanitation. "The government's other bilateral funding commitments also appear meagre next to its abortion/population control budget. Many countries need help with sustainable agriculture, but this need only gets £62.5 million. Likewise, aid to combat desertification, land degradation and drought only gets a paltry £6 million". said Mr. Ozimic. "Water and food production are basic human needs, but the British government prefers to promote its fixed ideology of population control at the expense of the developing world", concluded Mr. Ozimic. * Statistics on International Development 1997/98 - 2001/02, November 2002, pp. 164-177. * The 2002 World Bank Atlas states that 25% of the Chinese population lack access to a source of safe fresh water, whereas 83% of women of childbearing age have access to contraception. In Vietnam, 44% of people do not have access to a source of safe fresh water, whereas 75% of women of childbearing age have access to contraception.

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