An abortion activist has been handed more than £500,000 of public money to write about the history of abortion in Britain.
Professor Sally Sheldon, a trustee of the British Pregnancy Advisory Service (BPAS), has received £510,525 from the Government-funded Arts and Humanities Research Council for a two-year project.
BPAS is one of Britain’s largest abortion providers and is behind an ongoing campaign to allow abortion for any reason up to birth.
Over the next two years, Prof Sheldon will work on a “biographical study” of the 1967 Abortion Act and develop teaching materials for schools.
She has recruited three other academics to assist her with the study, two of whom have publicly defended abortions on the basis of a baby’s sex.
The law professor was involved with a failed private member’s bill, put forward by Labour MP Diana Johnson, which called for all legal restrictions on abortion to be dropped.
Robert Flello, a fellow Labour MP and co-chairman of the All Party Parliamentary Pro-Life Group, said the Government was in danger of funding “pro-abortion propaganda”.
“Given that Diana Johnson has paid tribute to this woman, it would be amazing if the project was a fair and balanced account.
“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.”
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.”
Maria Caulfield, Conservative MP for Lewes and a former medical researcher, also warned against the move, saying she is concerned the money “will be used to fuel an argument that won’t necessarily be impartial”.
Flello said opinion polls have shown that the public want abortion to be more tightly regulated, rather than further decriminalised.
Currently, Britain has one of the most liberal abortion laws in Europe at 24 weeks, compared to the European average of 14 weeks.