One of Britain’s leading abortion providers is offering its employees free abortions as part of a highly controversial benefits package.
The free abortions, which are also available to employees’ partners and children, are part of the benefits package offered by Marie Stopes International (MSI).
However, the inclusion of terminations as a perk of working for MSI has outraged critics who have branded the benefit as ‘macabre’.
Details of MSI’s benefits package, which also includes reduced gym membership fees, are available on the organisation’s website.
It states: “Team members, their partners and dependants will be able to access MSI’s core services (abortion, male/female sterilisation, and family planning) without charge.”
Josephine Quintavalle, of the Pro-Life Alliance, said it was crass to equate “free abortions with gym membership as appropriate consumer perks for employees and their families.
“We have every right to be outraged and it is time for a proper public inquiry into the practice and marketing of abortion in the UK.”
And Anthony Ozimic, from the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children, said: “Marie Stopes’ offer of free abortions for staff is sick.
“Abortion is the killing of unborn children, not a job perk.”
Tracey McNeill, MSI’s vice-president for the UK and Western Europe, defended the benefits package saying: “As with the majority of health service employers, we subsidise a full range of health services for our staff including well-men and well-women health checks, contraception, cervical cancer screening, unplanned pregnancy advice and abortion.
“As a responsible employer, Marie Stopes International promotes a full range of sexual health information and contraception to our employees.”
The abortion provider has been offering employees free abortions for a decade, but they do not keep a record of how many staff members have opted for them.
MSI employs 430 people at nine centres across the UK.
Earlier this year Marie Stopes International caused a storm of controversy when they screened the nation’s first ever televised abortion advert.
The 30-second advert, which was aired on Channel 4, was widely criticised and generated more than 1,000 complaints to the advertising watchdog.
Critics warned that it trivialised human life and exploited vulnerable women.
But last week the Advertising Standards Authority rejected complaints that the ad promoted abortion.