Tuesday, May 21, 2024
HomeNewsCaroline Farrow: There is nothing charitable about BPAS

Caroline Farrow: There is nothing charitable about BPAS


Mention the word ‘charity’ and most people will probably think of an organisation set up to provide help and raise money for those in need or for worthwhile causes, such as a hospice. Another definition might be the giving of help, typically money, though sometimes the donation can take another form, such as food or other items which can be put to good use by people in need.

What you don’t tend to think of is an organisation which levies a charge on either the taxpayer (via the NHS) or the private individual for providing abortions. The reason why you never see fundraisers out with their buckets, or chuggers trying to sign you up to a regular direct debit, for either the British Pregnancy Advisory Service (BPAS) or Marie Stopes is simply because they don’t actually require public donations to keep them afloat. Each organisation is already getting around £30 million of your money every year. They don’t need to fund-raise directly from the public, though you might wonder why a charity calling itself the British Pregnancy Advisory Service doesn’t aggressively fund-raise for cash to give women with unplanned or crisis pregnancies the choice to keep their baby.

These abortion businesses know full well that, as recent poll data demonstrates, the public – and women in particular – are squeamish when it comes to abortion. Public opinion falls short of wanting to see an outright ban, but nonetheless accepts that abortion is a terrible and ghastly business, not something which one can simply brush off as being of little consequence. Most think it ought to be reserved for the hard cases, having bought into the fallacious idea that any kind of restriction will lead us back to the days of unsanitary and dangerous procedures in backstreet clinics. Though as we have learned from the recent controversy surrounding the practices at Marie Stopes, where body parts from multiple abortions were left in open waste bins, heightening the risk of infection, and staff were inadequately trained in resuscitation techniques, legal abortion is very far from being safe.

There’s a difference between a reluctant belief that something horrible might be the least worst option in a difficult situation and actually wanting to shell out your hard-earned cash to fund the tragedy. BPAS and Marie Stopes aren’t stupid; they know what kind of reaction their representatives would get if they went out on the streets asking the public for money to abort babies, and would never expose their own employees in this way.

BPAS, however, has no such compunction when it comes to abusing and harassing staff members of other organisations – they appear to be fair game! BPAS was so incensed by the stated decision of Boots to set the price of the morning-after pill at a level which would discourage inappropriate use that it whipped up an effective media campaign, aided and abetted by the political contacts it has in its pocket, to force the retailer to make a swift backtrack, lowering the price of the drug and apologising for the phrasing of its statement. Not that Boots had done anything wrong. It had every right to determine the pricing of a product available in its stores, and was attempting to behave in a responsible fashion.

As Professor David Paton has demonstrated in numerous studies, easy accessibility to the morning-after pill does not reduce either the level of teenage pregnancy or abortions, but there is evidence to suggest that when you make it free of charge and readily available to teenagers, it significantly raises the levels of sexually transmitted infections.

The only reason that BPAS wants the morning-after pill to be made free of charge at every pharmacy is because it encourages the specious concept of consequence-free sex as a human right. BPAS Chief Executive Ann Furedi has repeatedly gone on record stating that the idea of contraception to prevent abortion is a myth, that contraception frequently fails (more than 50 per cent of women having abortions at BPAS are already using it) and therefore abortion is needed for this very reason.

So no wonder BPAS has an interest in getting women to buy into the idea of needing some kind of back-up. By making the morning-after pill as easy to get as popping to the shops for a pint of milk, it incentivises risk-taking and massively increases its potential client base. Sex is an incredibly powerful temptation and the allure of being able to nip down the chemists for a free or cheap pill the next morning, combined with alcohol, could easily affect an otherwise sensible person’s judgement. Not content with having won their victory over Boots, campaigners are now saying that the morning-after pill needs to be made available free from all pharmacists (and who do you think pays?) and that pharmacists should be forced to open on Sunday mornings, which is when most women will need to take it. Which is in itself an admission, but don’t you just love the entitlement? Forget the free market – businesses must be forced to open to suit women who have behaved recklessly under the influence the night before and who have now become hapless victims.

BPAS is afforded charitable status on account of its ‘advocacy’ work to inform and educate the public. In other words, to defend its existence and to argue for more abortion. It was entitled to mount a campaign about the morning-after pill, although I note that this charitable organisation wasn’t volunteering to open up its own facilities to dish it out free to needy women. What it was not entitled to do, however, was divulge the email addresses of five Boots employees, exposing them to abuse. You can only imagine the outrage if pro-life bloggers did something similar. If people want to contact an organisation about its policies, then the name of one senior executive is sufficient. This is a private company; it’s not like emailing your elected MP. Outing the names of staff who don’t have customer-facing roles incites harassment and could possibly constitute malicious communications.

Again, can you imagine the capital BPAS would have made had its staff received abusive emails from members of the public? It makes enough of an issue about the handful of people who stand across the road from its premises, praying the rosary to demand legislation, but can’t ever come up with any video evidence of wrongdoing. When faced with legal evidence of abusive emails sent to individuals who have the temerity to be working for a retail organisation, thanks to its campaign, all BPAS can do is deny that calling someone a ‘vile intensely peculiar sack of corporate pus’ is either abusive or distressing.

Neither does BPAS agree that saying to a woman ‘You will have to answer to God for what you have done’ is distressing, though this is precisely how it claims that those outside the clinics make people feel, despite the fact that they say no such thing. It’s obviously too much to expect consistency or scrupulousness from an organisation whose main purpose is to make money from aborting as many babies as possible.

If you appreciated this article, perhaps you might consider making a donation to The Conservative Woman. Unlike most other websites, we receive no independent funding. Our editors are unpaid and work entirely voluntarily as do the majority of our contributors but there are inevitable costs associated with running a website. We depend on our readers to help us, either with regular or one-off payments. You can donate here. Thank you.
If you have not already signed up to a daily email alert of new articles please do so. It is here and free! Thank you.

Caroline Farrow
Caroline Farrow
Columnist for the Catholic Universe

Sign up for TCW Daily

Each morning we send The ConWom Daily with links to our latest news. This is a free service and we will never share your details.