You pay your money, you take your choice

Ever keen to push a bit of PR for her company that has the tax status of a charity, Clare Murphy, director of Press and Public Policy, from BPAS has written an article in today’s Independent claiming that those who are using the language of business and commerce for abortion clinics are insulting women who choose to have an abortion.

She starts off by the customary dig at Nadine Dorries for her use of the word “industry” and goes on to state that this is not an original term, it has been borrowed from the US abortion lobby. It’s important that pro-abortionists mention the US at all times, because since 1973, 8 members of abortion staff have been killed. Never mind that equates to two-tenths of an abortionist a year, that regardless of the small number the vast majority of pro-lifers abhor and condemn such mindless acts of violence for which there is no justification and that all of the perpetrators have been caught and brought to justice, the general public need to be taught to fear pro-lifers and view them in a suspicious light. If you support the right of the unborn child to live, then you must be an unreasonable extremist who will resort to tactics of violence and intimidation. Let’s put to one side the notion that it is precisely the act of violence of killing an unborn child and elderly or sick people, to which pro-lifers object. It’s also important to ignore the very different political climate in the US, with its distinctly Christian demographic and relaxed gun laws.

But this is not an industry, and the people who provide this care are not tycoons.

Right – this is not industry, despite BPAS describing themselves as “the UK’s leading abortion specialist” as the leading strap line on their website? Presumably if they are the leading specialist, then other specialists must exist, ones that aren’t quite as good as BPAS? That indicates that several abortion providers exist, there are several to choose from, but BPAS is the “leading” operator. Why would one wish to describe oneself as that, if one did not want to attract several clients? If a woman requires an abortion, surely she will attend the abortions service to which her local GP may direct her? So long as the clinic operates according to strict medical guidelines, what does it matter if one is the leading clinic? Do they not all operate to equally high standards? That’s certainly what the abortion providers have been at pains to repeatedly point out of late, claiming harassment by Andrew Lansley and the Care Quality Commission who have had the audacity to inspect them to ensure that they are adhering to standards laid down by the law and following best practice.

But no, it’s not an industry, because an industry may be defined as “A particular form or branch of economic or commercial activity”. Providing abortion in exchange for money, be that from the NHS or private individuals, may not be described as commercial activity, according to Clare Murphy. It is an act of selfless generosity, from which the abortion providers do not “profit” because they do not pay out a dividend, not having any commercial shareholders. Let’s ignore the fact that for the past 2 financial years BPAS have made a profit surplus of £1million. In their accounts they state that they have managed to reduce costs by slashing the staff pension scheme that was proving too expensive. But, no, absolutely not a business. Nor an industry, the fact that different specialist abortion providers exist is a mere coincidence. And my name is Bernard.

Here’s two of their aims for the forthcoming year, as submitted to the Charity Commission.

Goal 2: Increase the proportion of abortions in the UK that bpas provides.

Goal3: Ensure performance is in line with agreed budgets.

But no, not a business, absolutely not.

Here’s how they met some of their targets:

Increase in Market Share

We acheived this by Further development of internet and multi media,Opening of 4 new Daycare units, Development of specialist resources for referers, and obtaining new NHS contracts

Performance in line with agreed budgets

We acheived this by putting an Investment and refurbishment programme in place, significantly reducing our borrowing and obtaining a satisfactory discharge of our commitment to a closed final salary scheme

Build upon our position as “thought leaders”

We acheived this by Increasing our media impact, promotion of local services, and acheiving clarification of the law in relation to Early Medical Abortion

But, not a business, dear me no. Obtaining new NHS contracts, increasing market share, bowing out of a final salary scheme and increasing media impact are all acts of charity. As are the forthcoming TV adverts. Employing marketing managers and business development officers is not a commercial activity and neither is attempting to increase market share. And my old man’s a mushroom.

On the subject of tycoons, whilst no-one would deny the right of those to be paid a fair day’s wage for the work that they do, no matter how unsavoury, BPAS’ annual accounts state that Ann Furedi earns between £110-£125,000. My guess would be that the figure falls somewhere into the higher end of that bracket, because if we look at what her peer, Tim Black from Marie Stopes earns, it is £125,000. As BPAS are the “leading” UK abortion provider, then one would expect Ann’s salary to match that at least. Last year Mr Black earnt £111, 000 but this year had a 12.7% pay rise to £125,000. The identical bracket to Mrs Furedi.These figures would not include other benefits such as pensions, expense accounts or company cars for example, which would considerably add to the value of the overall package. But no, Ann and Tim are definitely not “tycoons”, but they are definitely wealthy , as opposed to oligarchs. Whether millionaires or not, both run multi-million pound companies. Marie Stopes may well contest whether or not BPAS are the leading provider of abortion services in any rate, as last year, Marie Stopes UK had an income of £39 million, as opposed to BPAS’ meagre £25 million.

Interesting to note also that in BPAS’ accounts, termination of pregnancy services generated an income of £23.8 million, but cost £21.6 million. Their vasectomy provision is a loss-leader, losing £44K and their contraceptive provision makes a relatively small profit, sorry surplus of £100,000. Overall their contraception and vasectomy services constitute a tiny proportion of their main business, perhaps that is why they feel justified in describing themselves as “specialists”?

Anyone spot the irony, that Mrs Furedi and Mr Black earn more than the heads of Save the Children, Bernandos, Help the Aged and so on? Much better to end the lives before they start rather than alleviating the symptoms of poverty and disease and/or looking for a cure. One thing that I find it hard to get my head around is how well-paid the executives of these “charities” are in comparison to their peers. Tim Black ranks at number 3 in the top 10 of charity Chief Executives’ salaries, earning considerably more than say, the head of Marie Curie Cancer care, who has over double the income and yet earns £30,000 less. Even if Mrs Furedi does earn the bottom figure of £110, 000 that still puts her at number 9 in the top 10 of charity earners.

According to Clare Murphy, Nadine Dorries is quite in the wrong to use this language as it is obviously encouraging and inciting others to see beyond the abortion providers’ rhetoric of being charities simply in it to help vulnerable women. Though the similarities between them and a business are striking, the Department of Health must be lobbied in order to stop this dangerous terminology being used. We can’t possibly point out the information that is publicly available as a result of their choosing to apply for a certain tax exempt status.

Truth hurts. It’s more than obvious who is being insulted and exploited.

8 thoughts on “You pay your money, you take your choice

  1. And here we have the crux of the matter. At the top we have people making millions and doing harm in the process, encourgaing impressionable fools to take up the “cause” (and there are any number of people willing to fight for any cause as long as it enables them to shout abuse and further their own political status).

    The only people who are actually offering an alternative to taking the life of the defenseless, is the pro-life groups who are abused for their stance.

    If nothing else, surely a half-decent government would be opposed to entities making money from something that does so much damage to society and the people who use this service?

    Clare Murphy may not like it, but abortion is a business and she is doing quite nicely from it. Be interesting to see how much of that income she donates to women who need it and who DONT take the abortion route…

    Great article.

  2. Side-tracking here, but I just wanted to say how much I appreciate your efforts and reading your blogs, Caroline.
    Keep up your work,
    Mark

  3. I imagine you won’t post this comment, but as a mother of three who attended this event on the pro choice side, I have to say that having read your blog I wish you could use your clearly profound insight and intellectual empathy to see that standing outside a clinic holding a vigil harasses the users of a health service who have made their own decision about which you have no say. Just as I have no say on how you make decisions about your faith or fertility. I defend to death the right for you to hold your views and write your interesting blog ( which I disagree with), but I attended the event last night because I believe that each woman has a right to choice, and to exercise that choice unmolested by a (largely male) group of pro
    Lifers who appear to have been inspired by USA groups who have been responsible for murdering Drs and harassing women.

    1. Hello Catherine

      I do publish contradictory comments but draw the line at abuse, so you are more than welcome to contribute.

      From what I have witnessed at 40 days for life in Brighton, women are most definitely not harassed. Passers-by are asked if they would like a leaflet. There was only one sign stating “We are Here to Help”.

      I agree with you that harassing women is completely unacceptable and I can assure you that I would not be involved in such an activity, nor would those women I know who are involved.

      As for the violence that you imply, the UK pro-life efforts have no record or history of violence. As I said in a previous comment, since 1973 8 abortion clinic have been killed by lone individuals, all of whom have been caught. That is 8 too many and is totally unjustifiable but I think the figure needs to be put in perspective. Besides US demographics are very different as are gun laws.

      One of the accounts of last night that I shall shortly post a link to was very poignant and moving. The person who attended the vigil said how very sad it was – they were there simply to pray and were drowned out and mocked by people intent on stopping them from praying. People who wanted to shout about their right to kill their unborn child.

      I do respect a genuine pro-choice view but too often the agenda is hijacked. Those outside the clinics are there trying to reach out in a spirit of love & compassion, to offer an alternative & practical help and another choice, not to harass. Abortion is supposed to be a compassionate solution to a horrific situation, not an automatic “right”. Very often women helped are those who are being coerced into abortion against their gut instincts. That is where outreach can help.

      Please feel free to comment, I often publish strongly held counter-opinions but I draw the line at inventive, abuse and personal comments. It is important for all sides to be heard.

  4. I’ll never understand how someone who is a mother of 3 can be pro-choice, after all they must have seen those 2 pink lines and their hearts must have jumped a little ‘Wow, I have a little life growing in me!’…A life…and that means, ending that life is a death…not just the death of a tiny human, but the death of all the hopes and dreams you might ever have in that one moment when you find out…”i’m pregnant!’.

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