Wednesday, 11 August 2010

Britain's Marie Stopes International Offers Free Abortions as "Job Perk"

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As one of the agency's major abortion providers, Marie Stopes International receives about £30 million a year from Britain’s National Health Service towards its “services.” As if this business was not already horrific enough, it has come to light that MSI has been offering free abortions to its staff for ten years now, saying:  “For your dedication, passion and hard work you will be rewarded with our support and benefits — both financial and non-financial.” Its benefit package for employees, their partners and children also included inexpensive gym membership, reduced rates at theme parks, and an annual health check for £10. With the emergence that abortion is part of what MSI has to offer its staff, anti-abortion anger has flared anew from pro-life groups and individuals alike. Said one Brit responding on the Daily Mail web site:

Murder as a perk?  Sums up our so-called “modern” society, I suppose.  What next, abominable acts such as women priests, same-sex marriages and our culture and history being trampled on by foreign beliefs...... oh sorry, all of this has already happened too!  What a sorry state our country is in!

Marie Stopes herself (1880–1958) was more than just a Scottish suffragette. Based primarily in England, she was a scientist and advocate of eugenics and family planning, protesting in front of “houses of worship” as part of her strategy for a better humanity.

As the modern organization which has taken up her work and name, Marie Stopes International is also registered as a “charity” with locations in 43 countries around the world, very much offering the usual pregnancy and “women’s health services.” It operates on a not-for-profit basis. In the UK itself, MSI employs 430 people in nine locations.  

Concerning the recent focus on Marie Stopes International’s free abortion services for employees, the Daily Mail reported that, “The offer has caused outrage among anti-abortion groups, which branded the benefit ‘macabre’.” If this was not more than enough, the new MSI commercials for abortions had already caused a reaction of their own. Continued the Mail:

The furore follows controversy over the first television advertisement for abortion, which was put together by the Marie Stopes organisation and screened in May on Channel 4.

The commercial was cleared of breaching any rules last week by the Advertising Standards Authority despite more than a thousand complaints from the public, GPs, church leaders and MPs.

Commenting on these commercials, Josephine Quintavalle, of the Pro-Life Alliance, said: “Never famous for its sensitivity, Marie Stopes recently shared controversial TV advertising time with a selection of beer brands, rival supermarkets, hair products and well-known confectionary bars. So it is not surprising this crass organisation equates 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.”

Regarding its now infamous benefits package, MSI Vice-President of UK and Western Europe, Tracey McNeill, responded by saying that as a responsible employer MSI should and does indeed promote a full range of health services for staff ... including unplanned pregnancy advice and abortion.  

One of the four sins “which cry to Heaven for vengeance” is willful murder. Anthony Ozimic of the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children, cut to the chase: “Marie Stopes’ offer of free abortions for staff is sick. Abortion is the killing of unborn children, not a job perk.”

Photo: A passerby walks past the Marie Stopes House in London, June 28, 1997: AP Images