Britain’s Top Abortion Business Names New CEO, Puts Women at Risk

International   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Jan 24, 2007   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Britain’s Top Abortion Business Names New CEO, Puts Women at Risk Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt Editor
January 24
, 2007

London, England ( — The leading abortion business in England has named a new chief executive after it’s former director retired in December to become a member of the company’s board. Dana Hovig takes over as CEO of Marie Stopes International from former Chief Executive and founder Tim Black.

“Dana Hovig is a global leader and innovator in applying private sector solutions to solve public health problems,” Black said in a statement about the change.

Black said Hovig’s ideas have prevented "tens of millions of" unwanted pregnancies and "unsafe abortions."

In addition to performing more abortions in England than any other abortion business, MSI also maintains 4,000 staff and 40 country offices in Africa, Asia, Latin America, Europe and Australia.

Hovig is the former director of Population Services International in Pakistan. He joined MSI as Deputy Chief Executive in January 2005.

“It is an honor and a privilege to follow in the footsteps of Dr. Black, who is a visionary, hero and icon in the family planning sector,” Hovig said. “Tim and MSI have directly touched and improved the lives of hundreds of millions of women and couples over the years."

MSI says it saw nearly five million people in 2006 with some getting abortions and others getting family planning help and other reproductive health services.

However, Marie Stopes International has come under fire for several practices that put the health of women in jeopardy.

In December, it announced plans to misuse a cancer drug on women in Australia as an abortion pill because the country hasn’t approved a license for a company to sell the abortion drug nationwide.

MSI tested the drugs in a pilot program involving 100 women in Sydney in August and claimed none of them suffered severe complications even though 13 women have died worldwide from the abortion drug and more than 1,100 have experienced medical complications in the United States alone.

Australian Medical Association president Mukesh Haikerwal said in July he is concerned about the off-label use of the drug.

"A drug that’s being used for a purpose that it’s not registered, it would certainly cause significant concern," he said. "Because obviously there is a license for which the drug is there to be used for, and if it’s used for other things it then becomes problematic."

"You’ve got to have a scientific basis for using it and need to make sure processes are properly adhered to because then that gives patients some degree of security about what’s going on and it gives some protection for the doctor who’s using that medication," he explained

Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists president Ken Clark said methotrexate is an "experimental option" and needs to be approved before its used.

Also, Monash University chairman of obstetrics and gynecology David Healy told The Age that methotrexate was "best left as a cancer medicine."

Even the pro-abortion group Women on Waves, which floated abortion boats outside Poland and Portugal, admitted that using misoprostol as an abortion drug is dangerous for women.

"Abortions with misoprostol are less safe and less reliable than a normal abortion by a doctor," the group said on its web site, in September 2004.

WOW admitted that the makeshift abortion drug could fail as much as 10 percent of the time, leaving women in dangerous medical situations.

"There is a risk of heavy bleeding for which a woman will have to be treated by a doctor," WOW said on its web site. "Also Misoprostol can cause very strong cramps, nausea and vomiting."

The group even said using the anti-cancer pill for abortions "should never be used in a country where abortion is legal."

MSI has also come under fire from the Population Research Institute, a group that monitors abortions around the world. It says the British abortion business has performed manual vacuum abortions illegally in Kenya.

PRI cited an unnamed Marie Stopes official who "admitted that manual vacuum aspirations (MVAs), hand-held suction devices, were being used to perform abortions up to — and even past — 16 week’s gestation, and that the abortions were being labeled ‘post-abortion care’ or ‘menstrual regulation.’"