Religious supporters of a campaign to end EU funding for programmes supporting abortion lack compassion towards women, the head of the International Planned Parenthood Federation has said.
The One of Us campaign has the support of the Catholic Church and its petition asking that the EU "end the financing of activities which presuppose the destruction of human embryos" surpassed the million signatures required to have the proposal considered by the European Commission.
The petition demand would include banning all abortions and stem cell research that destroys embryos as part of the method.
It has the backing of Pope Francis, who recently described abortion and infanticide as "unspeakable crimes".
International Planned Parenthood's Tewodros Melesse was quoted in the Guardian as saying the campaign did not take the reasons for having an abortion into consideration.
"They don't care about the life of a woman. Because who takes care of that unwanted baby? Who will give her [the woman] support – mental and physical support?" said Melesse.
"If they care about life, is a woman's life not important? All religions tell us to be compassionate, merciful, but when it comes to women, it is rejection, judgement and a 'know it all' attitude. Where is the compassion for women's lives?"
CARE and Christian Concern are among the organisations that support the One of Us initiative in Britain.
The European Commission has said it will give the initiative "all due attention" and present its response to the One of Us campaign by 28 May.