Abortion provider bpas has said that half of the women who have abortions at their clinics were using contraception – leading chief executive Ann Furedi to say that “abortion is birth control that women need when their regular method lets them down.”
It is often argued that the way to reduce abortions is to increase access to contraception. However, bpas, one of Britain’s biggest private abortion providers, has today published research saying that 51.2% of women who terminated pregnancies at their clinics in 2016 were using at least one type of contraception. One in four were using the supposedly more reliable hormonal contraception or a long acting reversible contraceptive method (LARC), such as the inter-uterine coil.
Contraception isn’t the answer
Going against decades of conventional pro-choice wisdom, Ann Furedi said: “The answer to unsafe abortion is not contraception, it is safe abortion. When you encourage women to use contraception, you give them the sense that they can control their fertility – but if you do not provide safe abortion services when that contraception fails you are doing them a great disservice. Our data shows women cannot control their fertility through contraception alone, even when they are using some of the most effective methods.” She made similar comments about the inability of contraception to stop abortion on Woman’s Hour.
However, her remarks that abortion is “just another form of birth control” have caused anger. She said: “Family planning is contraception and abortion. Abortion is birth control that women need when their regular method lets them down.”
Pushing for late term abortion
Bpas also published a report today arguing for “why later abortion services are required.” Interestingly, it says that women using hormonal contraception were “presenting significantly later for an abortion than if they had been using no contraception at all” because such methods “can cause side effects which would hinder pregnancy identification”. Hormonal contraception often mimics the symptoms of pregnancy and can cause women to skip or have irregular periods, meaning women are not noticing when they do become pregnant.
The report also claimed that women who are victims of domestic abuse or have crisis pregnancies for other reasons “need” access to later term abortion.
Commenting on the story, SPUC’s Communications Officer Alithea Williams said: “Ann Furedi thinks that a woman should be able to have an abortion for any reason (including for the baby’s sex) and up to birth, so its no wonder that she supports using abortion as birth control, no matter how repugnant the vast majority of the public find the idea. What is more surprising is to see the abortion industry admitting that contraception does not prevent abortion, something pro-lifers have known for decades. Significantly, the report from bpas today shows that they are trying to capitalise on recent political successes to push for their extreme agenda – abortion up to birth and used as contraception. The public, who, as polling shows take quite an opposite view, need to be aware that this is what is being promoted by an organisation that receives millions in taxpayer funding. Bpas claims to care about women, but the only solution it offers to women in crisis is later and later abortion.”