Abortion provider Marie Stopes International (MSI) is facing criticism for using UK taxpayers’ money to fund the opening of abortion clinics in China.
Last month MSI was behind the UK’s first television abortion advert and was widely cricitised for attempting to normalise terminations.
The organisation carries out 65,000 abortions a year in Britain, most of them through NHS contracts for which it receives £30m a year, according to media reports.
Money left over from the NHS cash is used in the group’s international division.
Labour MP Kate Hoey said: “I don’t see why British taxpayers’ money via the NHS should in any way be supporting Chinese government policies.
“It’s very sad that an organisation like Marie Stopes doesn’t reflect more on the grotesque human rights abuses that take place there.”
Therese Hesketh, professor of global health at University College London, who worked as a paediatrician in China for 25 years said: “Marie Stopes’ initiative sounds like an inappropriate use of British government funds”.
The organisation has opened five clinics in China’s eastern province of Jiangsu and plans are afoot to create three more.
At the end of May the first ever abortion advert on British TV was aired, advertising Marie Stopes’ services.
The 30-second ad focused on the question ‘Are you late?’ to grab the attention of women who may have missed their period.
Critics have warned that in reality the advert, which will continue to be aired until the end of June, will exploit women who are already in a vulnerable position.
Michaela Aston, from pro-life charity Life, cautioned: “To allow abortion providers to advertise on TV, as though they were no different from car companies or detergent manufacturers, is grotesque.”
Norman Wells, Director of the Family Education Trust, said: “Every abortion involves a personal tragedy for a mother and a child which will have lasting consequences whether immediately felt or not.”
And Mike Judge, Head of Communications at The Christian Institute said: “This TV ad is not about information, it is a campaign ad by the abortion lobby to normalise what is, after all, an extremely sensitive subject.
“A TV commercial is not an appropriate medium for this”, he said.