Claims that British aid money is being used to fund illegal abortions in Kenya must be investigated, a cross-bench peer has demanded.
Lord Alton of Liverpool has called on the Theresa May’s Government to carry out an urgent review of UK-funded abortion services in Kenya after claims British aid money is being used to fund illegal abortions.
Marie Stopes International (MSI), which receives millions of pounds of British taxpayers’ money, was recently ordered by the Kenyan government to suspend offering abortions and post-abortion care, after complaints that one of its media campaigns was promoting the termination of unwanted pregnancies. This charge has been vehemently refuted by the charity which has said the move will drive thousands of women and girls to risk their lives in backstreet clinics.
Kenyan law states that abortions are permitted only when a trained health professional judges the life or health of the mother is in danger or in cases of emergency.
Prominent pro-life campaigner Lord Alton said: “I am calling on the Government to undertake an urgent inquiry into allegations that Marie Stopes International is performing illegal abortions in Kenya.
“They need to determine as a matter of urgency whether Marie Stopes International is in fact promoting and performing abortions contrary to the law in Kenya.
“Investment in quality maternal health services in Africa should be prioritised rather than an intense imposition of abortion and population control.
“As Africans themselves have said, millions of pounds of UK funding going to abortion providers in Africa equates to a kind of continuation of Western colonisation of the African people.”
The Department for International Development (DfID) has denied it was helping to pay for unlawful terminations of unwanted pregnancies in Kenya and insisted British money was only ever used for legal emergency abortions.
A Marie Stopes Kenya spokesman said it “works hard to ensure that no woman or girl should needlessly lose her life due to an unsafe abortion
“We are proud of the life-changing, life-saving services our teams provide every single day,” they added.