FPA is deeply concerned that the anti-abortion group Life has been granted £250,000 from the Tampon Tax Fund, to provide a range of services (including counselling) to homeless pregnant women.
We’re extremely disappointed that this organisation has been awarded government funding; a 2014 Education for Choice report found their pregnancy counselling services to be biased, poor quality, inappropriate and disseminating misinformation. For example, the Life Crisis Pregnancy Centre in Oxford was found to be linking abortion to higher rates of breast cancer, despite the fact there is no medical evidence for this.
Life’s website clearly states that their vision is to make abortion ‘a thing of the past.’ Their anti-abortion stance is at odds with any claim that their services are non-judgemental or non-directive. The programme the Tampon Tax Fund is supporting will mean that vulnerable women will not get the impartial, non-directive information, advice and support that they need and deserve.
FPA’s Chief Executive Natika H Halil said:
“When looking at the list of incredible organisations that will benefit from the Tampon Tax Fund, working on important causes such as services for survivors of domestic abuse, support for refugee women and helping women into employment, I was shocked and outraged to see an openly anti-abortion organisation benefitting from one of the largest grants.
“Access to abortion is a human right and a safe, legal healthcare procedure. There are many reasons someone may need an abortion, and continued access to high-quality abortion services is essential to ensure women can make choices about their pregnancy that are right for them.
“Organisations that campaign against this right and actively champion misinformation should not be in receipt of government funding. The fact that this funding was raised through charging women for essential sanitary products adds to the insult.
“Many people will be rightly outraged by this decision. We are calling on the government to reverse this funding decision and to consider these important issues when awarding any future Tampon Tax funds.”
Read Education for Choice's full 2014 report here: Crisis Pregnancy Centres: Highlighting misinformation, bias, and poor quality practice in independent pregnancy counselling centres in the UK (PDF)
For guidance on good practice for pregnancy choices counselling, see: