British watchdog groups are being called upon to investigate why the public has been misled on the cost of abortions, each of which costs taxpayers about 680 British pounds, the Telegraph reports.
Many abortions are taxpayer funded under the British National Health Service. Upwards of 118 million British pounds were funneled into the abortion industry in 2009 and 2010, whether to independent abortion groups or the NHS, the Telegraph reports. That was about 30 million pounds more than original government estimates, according to the report.
“I have written to Lord Howe setting out a number of concerns about how Parliament came to be so very badly misled about the costs to the NHS associated with abortion,” said Lord David Alton of Liverpool, a member of the House of Commons and leader of the campaign calling for the investigation.
“The millions of pounds generated by the private abortion industry, which have never been revealed to Parliament, demonstrate why Frank Field has been absolutely right in demanding that the multi-million pound link between the referral agencies and the abortion industry should be severed,” Lord Alton continued.
Of the £118 million taxpayer pounds spent (90 million was the original estimate), about £75 million went to private abortion clinics, while £44 million went to NHS facilities, according to newly updated figures from the government. The new estimates also put the number of abortions higher than originally reported in 2010, from 136,000 to 173,000, the report states.
The Guardian reports that abortion statistics in England and Wales recently hit a five-year high as more women in their 30s and 40s were undergoing abortions. The report also states that four out of 10 women who had an abortion also previously had an abortion. In 2015, 185,824 abortions were done in England and Wales, according to government statistics.
“The last decade has seen a considerable rise in the proportion of women having terminations who are either in a relationship or married,” according to the British Pregnancy Advisory Service, an abortion group.
Some site cuts to sexual health programs in scattered parts of England as a reason for the abortion numbers climbing, the Guardian states. However, taxpayer funding for abortions also has been closely linked to rises in abortion rates.
“We are deeply saddened that there were 1,253 more abortions carried out on England and Wales residents in 2015 than in 2014. That’s 1,253 more babies who were not given the chance to live,” stated Clara Watson, Spokesperson for Life, according to the Guardian. “We are shocked that the abortion rate in this country is climbing, and that babies with disabilities are still being targeted and eliminated in particular.”
According to the Telegraph, Nadine Dorries, a Member of Parliament representing Mid-Bedfordshire, expressed a lot of concern about so much money going to private abortion clinics, which profit when women choose abortions.
“If anything proves that the link between the abortion provider and the woman facing a crisis pregnancy should be broken, this is it – too much money changes hands for anyone to argue that the private abortion provider can remain objective during the decision-making process,” Dorries said.