The Government has announced that it will spend over £1 billion of foreign aid money on “family planning” and abortion overseas in the next five years.
This week, International Development Secretary Priti Patel announced that funding for family planning will increase from £180 million per year to £225 million per year until 2022.
Speaking at an international summit in London, Patel backed wider access to contraception and said her department would support ‘safe abortion’.
The summit involved leaders from several western nations and was held in partnership with the UN Population Fund – a controversial body which is accused of being complicit in China’s forced abortion and sterilisation programme.
Canada pledged an additional $241 million to abortion groups such as Marie Stopes International and the International Planned Parenthood Federation.
On Tuesday, Sweden’s Government also moved to promote the practice by halting funds to pro-life organisations.
Commenting on Priti Patel’s announcement, Director of Education at UK charity Life, Anne Scanlan, said: “This is absolutely shocking. A recent ComRes poll showed that 65% of the public oppose UK taxpayer money being spent on abortions overseas.
“Rather than increasing aid for sanitation, education or emergency relief, the Department for International Development is only interested in furthering the pro-abortion lobby’s agenda.
“We call on the Government not to proceed with this new support for the family planning and abortion industry and to instead pursue global initiatives to support women in pregnancy.”
Earlier this year, several countries clubbed together to help non-Government organisations (NGOs) working to carry out abortions overseas.
European nations, including Sweden, Denmark, Belgium and Norway, have pledged support alongside Canada and Australia.
They were reacting to a policy change by the US Government in the early days of the Trump presidency which stripped funding from global abortion groups.
The move was widely applauded by pro-life groups including the Susan B. Anthony List, which said it would “ensure Americans are no longer complicit in violating the dignity of women and children overseas.”
It added: “No longer will abortion be a top U.S. export”.