LONDON, April 30, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) – After months of complaining that the British pro-life movement is importing U.S.-based advisors, abortion industry leaders, the British Pregnancy Advisory Service (BPAS) has recruited the assistance of an American organization, Medical Students for Choice (MSFC), to promote abortion training for future doctors.
The group’s slogan is “Creating tomorrow’s abortion providers and pro-choice physicians.” Their website says the organisation, which claims 10,000 medical students in “North America and abroad” as members, “stands up in the face of violent opposition, working to destigmatize abortion provision among medical students and residents, and to persuade medical schools and residency programs to include abortion as a part of the reproductive health services curriculum.”
They sent a letter to medical students in Britain, saying, “The choice to say yes or no is one we make on a daily basis and yet for a woman with an unplanned pregnancy it is a choice in jeopardy … the discourse is shifting and your help is needed.”
The Guardian newspaper, a leading voice of the British abortion lobby, reported that MSFC will be providing grants for up to 15 British and Irish medical students to train as abortionists in two-week long placements with BPAS.
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During the recently-concluded 40 Days for Life campaign, which culminated in a large demonstration outside one of their London abortion facilities, BPAS, with the help of the Guardian, repeatedly blasted the pro-life movement for bringing in advisors and support from the U.S. Several times, BPAS officials were quoted insinuating that pro-life activists were violent, calling the campaign an “attack” on abortion-minded women, and complaining that the activists were attempting to influence the decisions of such women.
Neil Addison, a barrister and expert in religious discrimination law, commented to LifeSiteNews.com, “The message was clear that American pro-lifers were a bunch of obsessive nutters, but obviously different rules apply in the Guardian when the Americans are pro-abortion.”
Anthony Ozimic, the communications manager for the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children (SPUC,) told the Guardian that the plan “reflects the desperation of the abortion industry to recruit enough interest among medical students.”
“It’s been the case for many years that there have been fewer and fewer students and doctors willing to be involved. That’s partly due to an increased awareness of the unethical nature of abortion.”
Recent studies have alarmed abortionists at the growing number of doctors and medical students who refuse to have anything to do with abortion. A report published last year in the Journal of Medical Ethics, showed that an overwhelming majority of medical students support the rights of conscientious objection of medical practitioners who object to abortion on moral or religious grounds.
Paul Smeaton, a young pro-life activist based in London who attended the 40 Days demonstration, pointed out that the complaints of American involvement in the British pro-life movement are surprising coming from BPAS, who regularly bring in American assistance.
Smeaton wrote, “The bastions and luminaries of the abortion lobby in the UK never tire of warning us about the dangers of ‘American tactics,’ ‘American money,’ ‘the Americanisation of the abortion debate in the UK,’ and ‘links to American anti-choice groups’.” The difficulty BPAS and the Guardian have with imported pro-lifers, Smeaton writes, is only that they are the wrong kind of Americans.
He points out that BPAS’s own medical director, Dr. Patricia Lohr is an American, recruited by CEO Ann Furedi in 2007, who said at the time that the organisation needed someone “who would bring a fresh, new approach” to the organization’s “clinical processes.”
In 2009, Lohr conducted a survey about disposal of aborted “fetal tissue” that was funded by the Society for Family Planning, an American organization. According to the BPAS website, the Society for Family Planning gave Lohr $12,896 US for the survey
In February this year, BPAS brought in American professor Carol Sanger to give a lecture titled “Abortion in the US: popularity, Politics, and Practice.” In the next year, BPAS plans two more lecturers with guests from the US, Beverley Winikoff and James Trussell.
Smeaton commented, “Was there an uproar? Did any abortion activists hold a protest? No, because it’s the right sort of American saying the right sort of thing, so it’s smiles all ‘round.”