One of Britain’s leading abortion providers has come under fire this week for offering free terminations to its staff. Marie Stopes International offers employees, their partners and children free access to terminations as part of its employee benefits package, which also includes discounted gym membership, free annual health checks and a range of leisure deals and offers.
The company’s policy on staff access to terminations has this week caused outrage among anti-abortion groups in the UK, which have branded the benefit as ‘macabre.’ According to the Marie Stopes’ website:
‘Team members, their partners and dependents will be able to access Marie Stopes International’s core services… without charge.’
Under ‘core services,’ the company lists services such as sterilisation, testing for HIV and other sexual transmitted infections, ultrasounds, family planning and abortion.
Marie Stopes International operates on a not-for-profit basis, but is given an estimated £30 million a year from the NHS to carry out abortions – though the NHS offers free abortions (subject to strict law which states that women must obtain the consent of two doctors before being allowed the procedure), Marie Stopes carries these out on behalf of the NHS in some cases. The organisation also offers private abortions for women who prefer to pay privately to terminate as quickly as possible.
Josephine Quintavalle, of the UK’s Pro-Life Alliance, has said that:
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