Scandal of £500,000 public funding for abortion activist condemned by pro-life campaign group SPUC
10 April 2017
The world’s longest established pro-life organisation has condemned the use of more than £500, 000 to fund a book on the history of abortion in the UK by an abortion campaigner.
Professor Sally Sheldon, a leading advocate of abortion on demand, is a trustee of the British Pregnancy Advisory Service, the largest provider of abortions to the NHS. BPAS has consistently called for abortion to be as freely available as contraception.
But the funding decision has drawn criticism from the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children which was formed in 1967 - the same year as the Abortion Act was passed.
SPUC has further been angered by the fact that the project will also fund teaching packs for schools and a website for schoolchildren.
Dr Tom Rogers, SPUC’s Education Outreach Manager, said:
“It’s nothing short of scandalous that public money should be frittered away on a project of this nature. As if it is not in itself abominable that taxpayers’ money is being used to fund state sponsored abortions on a daily basis, now we learn that more state funds - in excess of £500,000 - are to be showered on a pro-abortion activist to tell the state how well it is doing in spending this money killing unborn babies.
"It is truly beyond comprehension and an insult to the over eight million unborn babies who have paid with their lives since the 1967 Act was passed, as well as the countless number of women who have been scarred by the experience of abortion.
"Instead of celebrating the 50th anniversary of abortion legislation they should be using this money to help bring an end to abortion, by among other things, assisting mothers with practical support in crisis pregnancies."
Dr Rogers added:
It demonstrates a warped sense of priorities that Prof Sheldon has been given twice as much as the charity Life received to actually help pregnant homeless women – a decision which BPAS (which Sally Sheldon is a trustee of) fiercely criticised. Such hypocrisy comes as no surprise.
"And we are also told Prof Sheldon will be supplying a teaching pack for schools on the subject.
"It seems crystal clear given this decision that people would be correct to conclude that this government cannot be trusted with compulsory sex education, if this is the kind of priority they have in mind.
"The vast majority of ordinary mums and dads will be outraged and would much prefer politicians to concentrate on the fundamentally important matter of educational attainment instead of promoting the abortion industry under the guise of sex education. This smacks of social engineering at its worst by an out of touch elite living in a distant metropolitan bubble."
"In addition, it should be remembered that this professor (who openly supports abortion up-to-birth on any grounds, including gender) was one of the activists behind a private member's bill to allow abortion on demand just a few weeks ago.”
Robert Flello, Labour MP for Stoke-on-Trent South and co-chairman of the All-Party Parliamentary Pro-life Group, also condemned the funding decision, saying:
"If public money is going to be used to fund work that is not only going to be a book but is going to fund materials going into our schools in support of pro-abortion propaganda then it is an utterly outrageous use of public money. I would demand that the government department funding this put a stop to it and asked some very serious questions of how this situation could arise."
He added: “At a time when people are not being able to get access to wheelchairs, when people are having hospital appointments delayed, to have public money squandered in this way is just disgraceful.”
Mr Flello said opinion polls revealed the public wanted abortion to be more tightly regulated and that there was an appetite for a reduction in the upper time limit even to the European average of 14 weeks or less.
Further criticism has come from Maria Caulfield, Conservative MP for Lewes and a former medical researcher, who said:
"I welcome all types of medical research but my concern is that this money has been donated and will be used to fuel an argument that won't necessarily be impartial.”
The funding comes of the scheme comes from the Arts and Humanities Research Council, a body distributing taxpayer money provided by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy.
The Arts and Humanities Research Council gave £512,000 to Professor Sheldon to write a 'biographical study' of the 1967 Abortion Act.
Prof Sheldon has been campaigning for abortion on demand for more than 20 years, has backed the termination of pregnancy on the grounds of the sex of the baby, and is a key figure in the 'We Trust Women' campaign by BPAS to decriminalise abortion.
Professor Sheldon aims to present the results of her two-year taxpayer-funded study to Parliament in April 2018.
Dr Tom Rogers can be contacted on: