SPUC disappointed at Catholic bishops' approval of Comic Relief

Westminster, 7 March 2005 - The Society for the Protection of Unborn Children (SPUC) has expressed concern that the Catholic bishops of England and Wales have said that Catholics can support the forthcoming Comic Relief appeal.

John Smeaton, SPUC's national director, said: "We are very disappointed and saddened by the statement on Comic Relief made by the Catholic Communications Service on behalf the Catholic bishops of England and Wales and the Bishop of Menevia.

"Whilst Comic Relief claims that its funds are not used to support abortions, and they have even offered to hand over their books to the Catholic bishops in support of their claim, the fact is that Comic Relief allocated an enormous grant of over a quarter of million pounds to the strongly pro-abortion organisation Reproductive Health Alliance Europe in the year 2001 - 2002.

"The Rainbo website 2/2/05 (Research Action and Information Network for the Bodily Integrity of Women) describes Reproductive Health Alliance Europe as 'Established to facilitate access to and improve the quality of reproductive health care by supporting service providers, involving communities, informing policy makers and assisting program managers.'

"The Wallace Global Fund website 2/2/05 reports that it gave Reproductive Health Alliance Europe $50,000 for 'Support for An International Consortium on Medical Abortion, an effort to promote and support the use of pharmacological abortifacients (e.g. mifepristone/misprostol and misoprostol alone) in developing countries.'

"RHAE has four trustees. These include three senior figures (the president and two directors) of the US group EngenderHealth, one of America's leading pro-abortion/reproductive health organisations. The World Health Organisation defines the term 'reproductive health care' to include access to abortion on demand.

"UNICEF UK Committee were allocated a grant of £29,000 by Comic Relief."