Catholic Medical Quarterly

The Journal of the Catholic Medical Association (UK)

Building knowledge. Building faith. Protecting the vulnerable.

Catholic Medical Quarterly Volume 64(1) February 2014

Woman’s Right or Body Parts Industry?

Ann Farmer


Recent political battles over abortion counselling highlighted the inherent conflict of interests in clinics advising potential customers. NHS guidance, which does not mention abortion, insists: “Patients are entitled to receive sufficient information in a way that they can understand about the proposed treatments, the possible alternatives and any substantial risks, so that they can make a balanced judgement”.[1] Without information on the well-documented physical and mental health risks of abortion [2] from clinics charging £80 for counselling,[3] how ‘balanced’ a judgement can women make? Under extreme pressure from those who should provide support – including the child’s father – how authentic is consent to abortion?

Even more disturbing, files released under the Freedom of Information Act reveal a ‘sex industry’ with the unborn child as raw material, creating income for abortion clinics and work for researchers, while fulfilling the long-term goals of population control and eugenics.

By Their Fruits: Eugenics, Population Control and the Abortion Campaign revealed how 1960s campaigners opened private clinics after the Abortion Act; abortion figures soared. Undeterred, an incestuous network of campaigns and charities advocated sex education, contraception and abortion, with clinics disposing of the outcomes.[4] Contraceptive education – a long-cherished aim of the eugenics movement, of which the abortion campaign was part [5] - fuelled promiscuity and thus conceptions.[6] The Family Planning Association claimed “the aim is to reduce conceptions”- but more under-18s “making different choices about pregnancy”(i.e. ‘choosing’ abortion’) was “another indicator of the strategy at work.”[7]

Abortion advocates have always known that contraception leads to abortion, but hoped abortion would lead to contraception - better sterilisation, since the eugenics/population control movement believed the numbers of ‘unfit’ should be curbed and that they were ‘mad’ to want children, thus requesting abortion showed mental competence. Francois Lafitte opened an abortion clinic in the 1960s,[8] becoming Chairman of BPAS (British Pregnancy Advisory Service) which supplied fetal material for research into pre-natal disability diagnosis.[9] Lafitte believed NHS “anti-fertility units” should provide contraception, abortion and sterilization;[10] that “socially immature pregnancies” should be aborted.[11] Professor of social policy at Birmingham University, he believed making family life bleaker would discourage procreation.[12] In the 1930s, promoting fertility among the ‘fit’ on the Eugenics Society’s Population Policies Committee, he advised on how to approach the Labour Party;[13] he helped develop the Welfare State with eugenicists of all political parties who saw state medicine as the perfect vehicle for delivering eugenics to the poor.[14]

Making money from abortion

The Department of Health warned privately that Lord David Alton “holds pro-life views”,[18]

In the 1970s, with most doctors and nurses invoking the Abortion Act’s ‘conscience clause’, campaigners’ calls for more NHS abortions [15] made more money for the clinics. It later emerged that human tissue, retained without consent in Medical Research Council banks since 1958, was used for experimentation, with fetal brain tissue grafted into the brains of adults with Parkinson’s disease. And yet such experiments encouraged vested interests in abortion that enmeshed science, governments and disability charities.[16] Clinic ‘rubbish’ became valuable – base metal turned into gold – creating laboratory jobs and scientific reputations.[17] Opponents were seen as inhumane obstacles to progress: the Department of Health warned privately that Lord David Alton “holds pro-life views”,[18] claiming that fetal tissue was used for “applied research” on diseases like cancer, diabetes, leprosy, and HIV/AIDs, as well as “underpinning” work on cells, “tissue culture techniques” and “normal human development”. However, HIV/AIDs antiretroviral drugs sanctioned for use on fetal brain tissue had already been approved by the US Food and Drug Administration.[19] Under the Department’s aegis, hospital ethics committees approved individual projects, but – contrary to the Polkinghorne Report (1989) – some members were involved in research and in providing abortions.[20] Moreover, the Department’s ‘search and destroy’ approach to fetal disability, predicated on saving money on disabled care,[21] dovetailed with research into early pre-natal disability diagnosis, leading to even more eugenic abortions; [22] indeed, officials feared that women changing their minds after fetal tissue was taken might sue for damages if their children were born disabled. [23] Researchers compared abortion equipment “to reduce incidence of laceration and perforation”, a product to soften the cervix before abortion, and proposed an “Operative Morbidity”review of “clinical incidents” involving “BPAS, the NHS and possibly other private clinics”. [24]

Getting the right foetuses

Researchers ‘went shopping’ for fetal tissue; one told the Department: “The tissue has to be taken from abortions not induced by prostaglandins as this would affect the appearance of the mucosa and neuronal tissue.”[25] A hospital informed BPAS that fetal liver and thymus gland “are best collected by 6-8 weeks of pregnancy. The local hospital have very few patients undergoing termination of pregnancy by this stage”;[26] however: “I am aware that most pregnancies are terminated by some form of vacuum extraction at this stage and that the products of conception are difficult to identify. Nevertheless, in special circumstances it might be possible to collect recognisable foetal fragments by other methods”; most of the city hospital’s abortions were “done towards the end of the first three months of pregnancy rather than earlier. There are waiting lists and other delays in the Health Service, as you know”.[27] While campaigners called for earlier abortions, BPAS told researchers they “routinely” saw “over 2,000 patients each year of under eight weeks gestation, which could be suitable for your purposes”.[28] While campaigners dismissed the unborn as a ‘blob of jelly’, one project required “[t]issue from ten fetuses between the ages of 8-24 weeks”, including oesophagus, stomach, small and large bowel, and ano-rectum.[29] ‘Polkinghorne’ warned against the danger of researchers influencing methods of abortion, but one Professor seeking fetal material for a student told a clinic he was “reluctant to press for mid-trimester terminations...just yet” in his NHS hospital “so we have been unable to help him. I really am very grateful to you for agreeing to help”.[30] Researchers even bought a refrigerator for a Brighton clinic “to store fetal material for up to 48 hours”.[31]

Clinics were eager to co-operate providing it did not impede ‘normal’ business; [32] researchers agreed: “[W]e would certainly not wish to inconvenience your staff in any way”; indeed: “[W]e could limit ourselves to taking only limb muscle”; it was “a very sensitive subject to be treated with proper care”– but they preferred prostaglandin abortions of 14 weeks’ gestation and over, “(especially after 16 weeks)...particularly if we can take samples within 1-4 hrs of delivery”.[33] The Department told researchers that one clinic “would probably have no objection...provided that it does not interfere in any way with the smooth running of the nursing home”; the clinic said they did not “perform medical induction terminations”, but fetal tissue from Dilation and Evacuation (a destructive method of abortion) “might still be of use to you”. Officials advised: “[I]t would be better if the whole product of any operation was a suitable container” for “selection of appropriate tissue” at the hospital; [34] the clinic promised “the specimens would be placed in a suitable box in a black plastic bag” to be taken to the hospital; “remaining material” would be “incinerated (in suitable bags), the same day... The abortuses would range from 10-22 weeks’ gestation (or up to 24 weeks if ever available)”but would be “unlikely to exceed 6 specimens per week”; this “would, in no way, prejudice the availability of material to the Royal Marsden Hospital Tissue Bank (which is normally collected on Monday, Wednesday and Friday mornings).”[35] Researchers approached abortion clinics for ‘fresh’ rather than frozen fetal material from tissue banks, a practice recognised in 1995 by the Department, which virtually coached their applications; [36] thrown into disarray by Lord Alton’s Question – there was no overall register of fetal remains - they sought advice from BPAS: “Can you say more about the tissue supplied is it complete fetuses? & if so any particular gestations. The simple description dead foetuses will have peers aghast imagining fully formed babies.”(sic) [37]

This was a trade in body parts; clinics, although charitable foundations, depended on income from private abortions [38] and increasingly NHS abortions. The Department overlooked commercial interests when Pregnancy Advisory Service “Marketing” managers sought permission for new advertisements on London Underground. Their poster, “NOT EVERY PREGNANCY IS WANTED” claimed “ABORTION ADVICE AND HELP” were available from this “non-profit making registered charity”- “We care, we counsel, we’re confidential”.[39] Marie Stopes International, seeking women’s consent for using ‘products of conception’ in scientific research, cited possible uses in molecular biology, bacteriology, transplantation, and inheritable disease.[40] This was against Polkinghorne guidelines because, as BPAS explained to the Department: “[S]ome to feel that some good comes from a distressing procedure”. [41]

Official motivations for abortion

Officials were aware of more basic motivations when ‘Population Services’ contacted them in 1984, its letterhead featuring a cartoon globe squeezed in the vice of ‘overpopulation’; sponsors included David Attenborough, population control advocate and conservationist; international advisor Donn Casey developed the vacuum aspiration abortion with help from the Abortion Law Reform Association;[42] influential medical supporter Malcolm Potts - “[a]s people turn to contraception, there will be a rise, not a fall, in the abortion rate”[43] - described the illegal abortionist as “one of the most unusual of public servants.”[44] ‘Nursing homes’ made sympathetic noises about ‘care’ and ‘advice’ to scared young women lacking emotional support networks, but authentic consent to sterilisation had never worried eugenicists, who in the 1930s proposed legalising abortion on the same basis; [45] one abortion pioneer remarked: “As serious minded people...we should stick to our main purpose, and if here and there a woman changes her mind, do let us realise that it is not very important.”[46]  

Rather than helping such women, in the 1980s officials responded to ‘reproductive’ campaigns by scrambling for 50% NHS abortions: notwithstanding the conscience clause, compliant consultants could be appointed, along with day-care abortion and ‘agency’ deals with private clinics - despite concerns about exploiting vulnerable women who would not complain, for quick profits.[47] Abortion clinics operated on NHS patients on NHS premises under ‘public/private partnerships’; [48] a Manchester clinic (365 abortions per annum, “value”£86,225) offered 130 ‘free’ abortions per year to local GPs for underage girls, as well as the poor, the homeless, benefit claimants and those in debt, students, victims of rape and abuse, women with abusive partners, and over-37s with a history of fetal abnormality, “reserv[ing] places for most disadvantaged/deprived”; if oversubscribed, a 5% discount; referrals also from the “Teen Advisory Clinic”- “minimum delay”assured. [49]

Early Department of Health papers emphasise that abortion was not ‘on demand’; one official expressed distaste at the “jolly tone”of a PAS Marketing Assistant’s letter to GPs: ‘With the arrival of the new year, as I’m sure you’ll be aware, there are a number of women concerned that they may have an unwanted pregnancy – often more than your local hospital can cope with. Should you refer your patient to PAS, London’s most established abortion charity, you can be certain that your patient will be seen by highly trained, sympathetic counselling and medical staff.”[50] Despite occasional references to ‘the mother’ and complaints of lax form filling,[51] attempts to police the unethical highlight the contradiction at the heart of abortion law: abortion was allowed only if birth posed a greater risk to life or health, but since abortion was statistically safer than childbirth, perfectly healthy women could have abortions for health reasons.[52] The monumental lie, supported by governments, medical authorities, reproductive charities, feminists, and agony aunts, was that pregnancy was a disease, with abortion the cure.

The same campaigners who created the myth of high numbers of illegal abortions, while privately admitting that most women would not break the law, exploited fears of a ‘return to the backstreets’; legal abortions soon soared to levels that reinforced the myth. [53] Campaigners had demanded legalisation for the ‘overstrained mother’ [54] but a study in Aberdeen, where committed eugenicist Dugald Baird performed abortions and sterilisations long before the Act,[55] showed that initially abortion was sought by students and professional women; by 1974 abortion, not marriage, was the answer to youthful pregnancy - although the lower social classes would increasingly choose single parenthood. Still the emphasis was on reducing delays rather than reducing abortions.[56] In the 1980s officials were aware that abortion was used as a panacea for poverty;[57] by the 1990s abortions had risen nearly eight-fold: “The effect on the population has been estimated to be at 1.2 million fewer 16-24-year-olds entering the labour market by 1995.”[58] Abortion had ‘cut’ unemployment by 1.2 million.

Governments have embraced Malthusianism since at least 1948, when Eugenics Society secretary C. P. Blacker was appointed official delegate to the Cheltenham International Population Conference, forerunner of the International Planned Parenthood Federation, founded by Blacker with Margaret Sanger.[59] In the 1960s Labour Home Secretary Roy Jenkins helped David Steel’s Abortion Bill onto the statute book;[60] he claimed abortion would never have been legalised had it been left to the “populace”.[61] In the 1970s Conservative Sir Keith Joseph remarked: “The balance of our population, our human stock, is threatened...a high and rising proportion of children are being born to mothers least fitted to bring children into the world and bring them up...mothers who were first pregnant in adolescence in socio-economic classes 4 and 5.”[62] As Health Minister he ‘blitzed’ poor areas with contraception.[63] Labour’s Tony Blair echoed his stance: “[I]n a civilized society, children should not be having children”- the “knock-on effects were a cycle of poverty and deprivation, with children born to teenage mothers more likely to become teenage parents themselves”.[64] The Conservative/LibDem Coalition now exports abortion worldwide - in progressive parlance, to ‘enhance women’s reproductive health’; the Birth Control Trust claimed that abortion would “make a major contribution to maternal and child health.”[65]


The Abortion Act was passed against a background of ‘overpopulation’ fears created by abortion advocates,[66] but hysteria about teenage pregnancy, and temporary rises resulting from immigration, disguised falling birth rates.[67] Now, with a top-heavy population, assisted suicide is promoted with pledges of strict safeguards similar to those regulating abortion. The euthanasia campaign is also rooted in eugenics and population control, [68] although, as Bishop Barnes remarked in the 1930s, while “population-control”was “the overriding problem on which to concentrate”he “was not going to be found attacking life from both ends at once.”[69]

The anti-fertility industry makes money from desperate pregnant women while jeopardising their fertility,[70] and the fertility industry, also rooted in eugenics, [71] makes money from desperate childless couples - just another facet of the growing vested interest, both commercial and ideological, which defends and extends abortion. The state has medicalised a social problem and medicine has pathologised women’s normal reactions to pregnancy, while ignoring the health risks of forcibly ending those pregnancies. In this sordid trade in body parts, millions of lives have been created only to be destroyed before birth: reassured by ‘charitable’, ‘non-profit-making’ clinics offering ‘pregnancy advice’ under the ‘strict regulation’ of governments committed to their health, women are being hustled into abortions, offering up their babies for research to help end suffering. In the population wars, post-abortive women suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder while the sole memorial to their unborn babies is to be preserved as anonymous samples of human tissue. Indeed, no euphemism could be more apt – what are tissues for, but to be used and thrown away?

Anne Farmer, has a Masters Degree in Jewish-Christian Relations from the Centre for Jewish-Christian Relations in Cambridge. She was Chair of the Labour Life Group.


  1. A Guide to Consent for Examination or Treatment (NHS, n.d. (c.1991)).
  2. Possible physical risks include effects on future fertility and premature birth; psychological problems, which may only emerge many years after the abortion, can include sadness, loneliness, shame, guilt, grief, doubt and regret; depression, post-traumatic stress, sleep disorders; self-harm including substance abuse; also serious psychiatric conditions (Pike, D. G. (Director, Southern Cross Bioethics Institute), Abortion and Women’s Health (pamphlet), London: SPUC, 2010). Feminists have been strangely silent on the lack of authentic consent to abortion, while attacking offers of help to pregnant women in case it should threaten the ‘right to choose’ (Farmer, A., By Their Fruits: Eugenics, Population Control, and the Abortion Campaign (Washington D.C.: Catholic University of America, 2008), pp. 300-305).
  3. An enquirer to the Marie Stopes helpline who asked what help was available was asked if the pregnancy was unplanned, whereupon she was told: “You can have a medical abortion or a surgical abortion. We can offer you counselling face to face or online which would cost £80. What is your postcode and I will give you the address of the nearest Marie Stopes clinic”(25 May, 2011, personal communication).
  4. In 1987 the Sex Education Forum brought together numerous campaigning groups, including the Brook Advisory Centres, the Family Planning Association, as well as the Lesbian and Gay Christian Movement and the Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays, to “set the climate for sex education through national and local policy development”; in 2001 it published Just Say No! To Abstinence Education, and its website provided “children who need an urgent answer to a sexual problem with a list of helpful organisations, including Brook, the FPA, the Lesbian and Gay Switchboard, Childline, the National AIDS helpline and Sexwise”(Williams, E. S., Lessons in Depravity: Sex Education and the Sexual Revolution (London: Belmont Publishing, 2003), p. 224). Helen Grahame, a ‘witness’ to the Abortion Witness Seminar in 2002, was involved with PAS, Population Services International, the Birth Control Trust, the ‘Co-ord’ campaign against Victoria Gillick’s legal case against the provision of contraception to under-age girls, and the Family Planning Association (noted from literature); Grahame secretly attended meetings of the pro-abortion Birth Control Campaign, where her presence was not listed and her contributions attributed to other people “so that it would have been impossible for anybody from the Department of Health to discover that the FPA...played any part in the organisation”(Abortion Act Witness Seminar 2002, p. 52, quoted in Williams, E. S., Lessons in Depravity: Sex Education and the Sexual Revolution (London: Belmont Publishing, 2003), p. 112).
  5. Kevles, D. J., In the Name of Eugenics: Genetics and the Uses of Human Heredity (Harvard University Press, 1985), p. 89; abortion pioneer Janet Chance opened her own Sex Education Centre in Kensington, London, in 1929, which she directed and financed (Wood, C., Suitters, B., The Fight for Acceptance: A History of Contraception (Aylesbury: Medical and Technical Publishing, 1970), p. 193).
  6. “Teen pregnancies increase after sex education classes: £15m scheme to give advice and free contraceptives has ‘encouraged children to have sex’ and caused a rise in pregnancies of up to 34 per cent”(Sex Education or Indoctrination? Family Education Trust, Sunday Telegraph, 14 March, 2004).
  7. Rebecca Findlay, Skills for the Job: Teenage pregnancy, Children and Young People Now, 26 July, 2011, quoted in Family Education Trust Bulletin Issue 145, Autumn 2011.
  8. Farmer, A., By Their Fruits: Eugenics, Population Control, and the Abortion Campaign (Washington D.C.: Catholic University of America, 2008), p. 218.
  9. A letter from Ian H. Jones, BPAS, Austy Manor, to Birmingham Maternity Hospital Queen Elizabeth Medical Centre, 27 July 1984, confirmed that BPAS was prepared to cooperate with the Department of Obstetrics & Gynaecology, Birmingham University in investigating biopsy and cell culture techniques of chorion villi using material from first trimester abortions from Blackdown Nursing Home near Leamington Spa, Warwickshire, subject to Department of Health approval (CPO 13,3, Vol.2 part 3).
  10. Lafitte, F., ‘Abortion in Britain Today’, New Society, 14 December, 1972.
  11. Lafitte, F., ‘Abortion in Britain Today’, New Society, 14 December, 1972.
  12. Lafitte, F., ‘This Matter of Breeding’, James Seth Memorial Lecture, 24 May, 1974, in Family Planning, October 1974.
  13. Francois Lafitte file, Eugenics Society Collection, Wellcome Institute (SA/EUG/C199).
  14. See: Addison, P., The Road to 1945: British Politics and the Second World War (London: Jonathan Cape, 1975).
  15. CPO3, 3 vol.2 pt 4.
  16. For example, the Cystic Fibrosis Research Trust gave a grant to set up long-term cultures of pancreatic duct epithelial cells using mid-trimester fetal material from the BPAS Wistons Nursing Home, Brighton (Letter, Paediatric Research Unit, Guy’s Hospital, London, to the Department of Health, 10 February, 1986 (CPO13,3 vol.2 pt 5).
  17. For example, ‘The effects of gestation on circulating progenitor cells’ (Jones, H. M., Nathrath, M., Thomas, R. M., Edelman, P., Rodeck, C. H., Linch, D. C., published by the British Journal of Haematology Vol.87, Issue 3, July 1994, pp. 637-639) was based on fetal liver experiments involving the Rosslyn Clinic, Twickenham, Middlesex (Rodeck), and University College London Medical School, Richmond, Surrey, Departments of Haematology (Jones, Nathrath, Thomas, Linch) and Obstetrics and Gynaecology (Edelman); Department of Health memorandum, ‘Fetal Material for Research Purposes – Application for Recommencing from Dr Linch’, 24 January, 1990 (CPO3,3 vol.2 pt2).
  18. CPO 13,3 vol.2 pt 6.
  19. Letter, ‘Therapeutic effects of Stavudine, Didanosine, Lamivudine and Zidovudine on HIV-1 infection of the human foetal brain aggregates’, Ethical Committee (Research) to the Institute of Psychiatry, Maudsley Hospital, King’s College London, 19 December, 2001 (CPO 13,3 vol.5). Stavudine was approved by the FDA in 1994; Didanosine in 1991; Lamivudine in1995; Zidovudine in 1987; ‘applied research’ is research conducted on behalf of a state, business, or client.
  20. BPAS surgeon Mr P. Edelman carried out abortions at the BPAS Rosslyn Clinic, Twickenham; a letter from his co-author Dr David C. Linch, Department of Haematology, Middlesex Hospital, states: “The second trimester samples that we will collect will be following destruction intra-uterine procedures [D&E] and only fragments of tissue will remain”, which would not be dissected at the Rosslyn Clinic but “brought directly by myself or my assistant to my laboratory at University College Medical School. ... I look forward to hearing from you in the near future as we are extremely eager to commence these particular experiments”(Letter to Department of Health, 16 July, 1986 (CPO 13, 3 vol.2, pt 5)) (see also note 22).
  21. Farmer, A., By Their Fruits: Eugenics, Population Control, and the Abortion Campaign (Washington D.C.: Catholic University of America, 2008), pp. 243-248.
  22. This involved Chorionic Villus Samping: “Spoke to [---] 2.2.90. He said liver sample would be collected at the home. The procedure used for T.O.P. [termination of pregnancy] did not result in whole fetus being available and as liver easily identifiable amongst fetal material resulting from T.O.P. the small sample of liver required could be easily extracted without dissection being necessary. I said I would discuss with medical colleague and get him a decision asap.”“Passed above onto [---] who said she would check procedure with Nursing Home.”“T. call from [---]. She has spoken to the Rosslyn. Only one of their surgeons, Dr Edleman (sic) is involved and he only obtains samples from D & E [dilatation and extraction – a destructive method of abortion] cases. The whole fetus is never used. Dr Edleman (sic) is entirely responsible for procedures and carries them on in the theatre. On this basis [---] content for application to be approved”(Department of Health memorandum, 2 February, 1990 (CPO13, 3 vol. 2 pt2)).
  23. Under the Congenital Disabilities (Civil Liability) Act of 1984 (CPO3,3, vol.2 pt 3).
  24. ‘Research Matters’, Letter, Ian H. Jones, BPAS, Austy Manor, to Department of Health, 20 June 1988 (CPO 13, 3 vol.2, pt 5).
  25. Letter, Department of Oral Pathology, Rayne Institute, to Department of Health, 5 November, 1985 (CPO 13,3 vol.2 pt 6).
  26. Letter, ‘Re. Transplantation of Foetal Tissue’, Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital to BPAS, Austy Manor, 3 April, 1985 (CPO 13,3 vol.2 pt 6).
  27. Letter, Dr Evans, Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital, to BPAS, 14 March, 1985 (CPO 13,3 vol.2 pt 6).
  28. Letter, Ian H. Jones, BPAS, Austy Manor, to the Consultant Haematologist, Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital, 21 March, 1985 (CPO 13,3 vol.2 pt 6).
  29. King’s College Hospital, Department of Surgery, ‘Design of Study’, ‘B116/85 Histochemical and Immunocytochemical Investigation of the fetal enteric nervous system’, 5 November, 1985 (CPO 13,3 vol.2 pt 6).
  30. Regarding the hospital’s “Clarendon Wing”(Letter, Professor [---], Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, University of Leeds, to Allerton Medicare, Leeds, 22 February, 1991 (CPO13,3, vol.4 pt 3).
  31. Letter, Paediatric Research Unit, Prince Philip Research Laboratories, Guy’s Hospital Medical School, to Department of Health, 14 April, 1986 (CPO 13, 3 vol.2, pt 5).
  32. Regarding a request for fetal material from the Royal Free Hospital School of Medicine: “As you know from previous discussions, I am most anxious to participate, in any way possible”(Letter, London Nursing Homes Ltd to Department of Health, 22 May, 1985 (CPO 13,3 vol.2 pt 6)).
  33. Ethics Committee approval had already been granted regarding a request for muscle and lymphoid tissue (Letter, Royal Free Hospital School of Medicine, to Marie Stopes House, 23 October, 1984 (CPO 13,3 vol.2 pt 6).
  34. Letter, Department of Health, to Royal Free Hospital School of Medicine, 7 December, 1984 (CPO 13,3 vol.2 pt 6)); regarding the clinic’s proposed arrangement to supply fetal material to the Royal Free Hospital, notified on 29 October, 1984, its “very limited space”made it “quite inappropriate”for selection “to be made on the premises”(Letter, Department of Health, to the Director of Clinic Services, Marie Stopes House, 108 Whitfield Street, London, 31 January, 1985 (CPO 13,3 vol.2 pt 6)).
  35. The fetal material would be taken to the Royal Free Hospital and dissected in the “restricted-entry”laboratory in the Department of Neurological Science (Professor Newson-Davis and Dr Willcox) (Letter, London Nursing Homes Ltd, to the Department of Health, 16 July, 1985 (CPO 13,3 vol.2 pt 6)).
  36. Letter, ‘Transplantation of Fetal Tissue’, Department of Health, to Consultant Haematologist, Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital, 15 April, 1985 (CPO 13,3 vol.2 pt 6); in this case, the clinic had informed the Department of the approach.
  37. Email, 5 February, 2001 (CPO 13,3 vol.5).
  38. In 1991-92 PAS charged £190 for an abortion for pregnancies of up to 12 weeks gestation (day-care) and £210 (overnight stay); abortions at 12-15 weeks gestation cost £270; from 15-18 weeks, £330; from 18-22 weeks, £440; with sterilisation (up to12 weeks gestation) £460. Post-abortion counselling cost £20, the first session free); they offered free sterilisation and counselling for women who had had an abortion with PAS in the previous six months (CPO8,5 vol. 2 pt 1).
  39. PAS, 24 May, 1991; the advertisements would not appear until the end of August 1991, but approval was also required from London Transport, and time had to be allowed for the artwork and printing of the posters (Letter, PAS, ‘Marketing Manager’, to Department of Health, 4 June 1991; annotations by the DoH indicated official concerned about pictures being included in the advertisements, however: “There will be no pictures on the new tube adverts – only the new corporate colours, peach/blue. These seem OK to me”; seemingly there was a lack of awareness of the subliminal impact of using pink and blue in the advertisements); a letter of permission was sent by the Department to PAS on 18 June, 1991, confirming an earlier telephone call (CPO8,5 vol. 2 pt 1).
  40. ‘Medical Research and Treatment: How you can Help’ (Marie Stopes, leaflet, 2002 (CPO 13,3 vol.5)).
  41. BPAS email ‘RE: URGENT – PQ [Parliamentary Question (from David Alton)] RE. FETAL TISSUE’ (in response to Department of Health email enquiry, 2 February, 2001 (CPO 13,3 vol.5)).
  42. Kerslake, D., Casey, D., ‘Abortion Induced by Means of the Uterine Aspirator’, Obstetrics & Gynaecology 30, no.1, July 1967; ALRA sent Casey £30 (Appendix II, ALRA Minutes, 15 September, 1966, ALRA Archives, Wellcome Institute). In the early 1970s the Marie Stopes Foundation was disbanded and its properties sold to Dr Tim Black, head of Population Services International, which in 1992 founded the consultancy group Options; in the 1990s PSI was renamed Marie Stopes International, although PSI ran the Marie Stopes clinic at 108 Whitfield Street, London, from 1976 (Leathard, A., The Fight for Family Planning (London: Macmillan, 1980), p. 12). MSI works in partnership with the Department for International Development providing contraception and abortion worldwide, claiming “an area of land and sea the size of Gambia will no longer be required to absorb the carbon emissions that would have been produced by additional population if MSI had not helped women to avoid unwanted pregnancies in 2010”(Marie Stopes International, Global Impact Report 2010, p. 44, available at:, quoted in Maternal Mortality and Abortion in Developing Countries: How DfID funds the International Abortion Campaign (SPUC, briefing paper, n.d.).
  43. Cambridge Evening News, 7 February, 1973 (CPO 13,3 vol.2 pt 6).
  44. Diggory, P., Potts, M., Peel, J., Abortion (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1977), p. 253; Letter, Population Services to Department of Health, 29 October, 1984 (CPO 13,3 vol.2 pt 6). Much earlier Beryl Henderson, an ALRA Executive member, recommended the “liberation”of illegal abortionists from prison, so that their “expert knowledge and experience”could be put to use (Memorandum to Birkett Enquiry, Ministry of Health papers on the Inter-Departmental Committee on Abortion (MH71-22 AC Paper 52)).
  45. Farmer, A., By Their Fruits: Eugenics, Population Control, and the Abortion Campaign (Washington D.C.: Catholic University of America, 2008), pp. 78-83.
  46. Mrs Selwyn Clarke, ALRA Conference, 1936 (ALRA Archives, Wellcome Institute (SA/EUG/D1)).
  47. ‘NHS Provision of Abortion facilities’, Department of Health (CPO3,3, vol.2 pt 3).
  48. CPO 3,3 vol.3 pt 5.
  49. South Manchester Private Clinic (PAS), Draft letter to general practitioners, 1996, (CPO 3, 3 vol.3 pt 1).
  50. Letter, PAS to Department of Health, 13 December, 1991 (CPO8,5 vol. 2 pt 1).
  51. Letter, Department of Health to Office of Population, Censuses and Surveys (OPCS), 17 April, 1989 (CPO8, 5 vol.2 pt 2).
  52. This amendment to the Abortion Bill was proposed by abortion supporter Lord Chief Justice Parker (Farmer, A., By Their Fruits: Eugenics, Population Control, and the Abortion Campaign (Washington D.C.: Catholic University of America, 2008), p. 179).
  53. Farmer, A., By Their Fruits: Eugenics, Population Control, and the Abortion Campaign (Washington D.C.: Catholic University of America, 2008), pp. 201-214.
  54. Farmer, A., By Their Fruits: Eugenics, Population Control, and the Abortion Campaign (Washington D.C.: Catholic University of America, 2008), pp. 177-178.
  55. Farmer, A., By Their Fruits: Eugenics, Population Control, and the Abortion Campaign (Washington D.C.: Catholic University of America, 2008), p. 165; pp. 197-198; Baird influenced David Steel and also advised on the wording of the Abortion Act (Ibid, p. 178).
  56. Thompson, B., ‘Problems of Abortion in Britain - Aberdeen’ (paper presented at the Conference of the British Society for Population Studies, London, 31 October, 1975 (CPO3, 3, vol.2 pt. 2)).
  57. ‘NHS Provision of Abortion facilities’, Department of Health (CPO3, 3, vol.2 pt 3).
  58. ‘Draft Text for Chapter Six: Health’, Department of Health (CPO 3,3 vol.3 pt 2); the file also includes a Labour Party Manifesto emphasising equal access to abortion throughout the country (n.d.)
  59. Suitters, B., Be Brave and Angry: Chronicles of the International Planned Parenthood Federation (London: International Planned Parenthood Federation, 1973), p. 32.
  60. Farmer, A., By Their Fruits: Eugenics, Population Control, and the Abortion Campaign (Washington D.C.: Catholic University of America, 2008), p. 181.
  61. Adams, J., Tony Benn: A Biography (London: Macmillan, 1993), p. 331.
  62. Joseph, Sir Keith, Speech, Birmingham, 19 October, 1974, quoted in Trombley, S., The Right to Reproduce: A History of Coercive Sterilization (London: Weidenfeld and Nicolson, 1988), p. 203.
  63. Farmer, A., By Their Fruits: Eugenics, Population Control, and the Abortion Campaign (Washington D.C.: Catholic University of America, 2008), pp. 332-333; p. 341.
  64. Daily Mail, 14 June, 1999.
  65. Letter, Birth Control Trust to the Department of Health, 24 May, 1991(CPO 3, 3 vol.3 pt 3).
  66. Farmer, A., By Their Fruits: Eugenics, Population Control, and the Abortion Campaign (Washington D.C.: Catholic University of America, 2008), pp. 214-218.
  67. Farmer, A., By Their Fruits: Eugenics, Population Control, and the Abortion Campaign (Washington D.C.: Catholic University of America, 2008), pp. 352-353.
  68. Farmer, A., By Their Fruits: Eugenics, Population Control, and the Abortion Campaign (Washington D.C.: Catholic University of America, 2008), pp. 254-270.
  69. Barnes, J., Ahead of His Age: Bishop Barnes of Birmingham (London: Collins, 1979), pp. 298-299.
  70. Pike, D. G. (Director, Southern Cross Bioethics Institute), Abortion and Women’s Health (pamphlet), London: SPUC, 2010.
  71. Farmer, A., By Their Fruits: Eugenics, Population Control, and the Abortion Campaign (Washington D.C.: Catholic University of America, 2008), pp. 291-298.