MP challenges funding for abortion provider Marie Stopes

Fiona Bruce MP has launched a parliamentary motion asking the Government to cut funding to abortion provider Marie Stopes International. 

The Early Day Motion recently tabled by Bruce, Conservative MP for Congleton, says that the organisation received more than £48 million from the Government in 2018.

It goes on to question why the Government has increased its funding for access to abortion "at the expense of strengthening the delivery of quality maternal care programmes".

"The organisation Marie Stopes International (MSI), which performed almost five million abortions in 2018, has had its funding from Her Majesty's Government increased by over 5,000 per cent in the last 12 years to over £48 million in 2018 making the UK taxpayer the largest donor to that organisation," the motion reads. 

The salary of Marie Stopes chief executive Simon Cooke was also challenged. 

A report in August by Third Sector magazine said that in 2018, Mr Cooke had received a combined salary and bonus of £434,500, putting him in the top-10 highest earners in the charity sector, according to the magazine's own study. 

The figures were published in MSI's annual report and prompted the Charity Commission to question why he was paid the sum, according to a Times report. 

The Early Day Motion ends with a call to "the Government to cut international development funding provided to Marie Stopes International". 

It has the backing of Sir Edward Leigh and DUP MP Paul Girvan. 

Welcoming the motion, Catherine Robinson, spokesperson for the Right for Life UK campaign group said: "It is appalling that 'international development' now consists of funding overseas abortions at an ever-increasing rate along with funding lobby teams to introduce extreme abortion laws in developing countries."