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Report: Marie Stopes ‘paid staff bonuses for encouraging women to have abortions’

A consultation room at a Marie Stopes clinic in Belfast (AP)

One of Britain’s largest abortion providers has been accused of paying bonuses to staff who encourage women to have terminations.

Staff at Marie Stopes International felt “encouraged” to persuade women to undergo terminations because it was “linked to their performance bonuses”, according to a report by the Care Quality Commission.

The Daily Mail reports that inspectors found evidence that staff at Britain’s 70 Marie Stopes clinics were told to contact women who had decided against having an abortion and offer them a new appointment.

They also found minutes of a meeting that mentioned a “company-wide focus” on women who did not go ahead with abortions. They were referred to as “did not proceed”.

“Staff were concerned that ‘Did Not Proceed’, the term used when women decided not to proceed with treatment, was measured as a KPI (key performance indicator) and linked to their performance bonus,” the report said. “They felt that this encouraged staff to ensure that patients underwent procedures.”

The revelations prompted Conservative MP Fiona Bruce called for an investigation into the industry.

“It is shocking to hear that, at what is often such a difficult and stressful moment, abortion clinics are taking advantage of pregnant women by seeking to do as many abortions as they can, rather than seeking to give genuine, non-directional counselling and advice.

“This completely undermines the legitimacy of these publicly funded organisations, and must be investigated.”

Clara Campbell from charity Life said: “This exposes the true income-seeking nature of the abortion industry.

“A conveyer-belt culture has pervaded the industry for many years and Marie Stopes International is a good example of this.

“The abortion industry likes to parrot a narrative of looking after the interests of women but when it ends up placing their health and safety at risk in the pursuit of money, it becomes incumbent on the Government to act to protect women.”

Marie Stopes has denied the allegations. The group said in a statement: “The number of our clients who choose not to go ahead with treatment is not a KPI (key performance indicator) for our staff, and never has been. It is categorically untrue that any member of our staff receives a performance-related bonus for the number of clients they treat.

“We follow a stringent consent process for all of our clients, and we will not proceed with a procedure if we have any doubt at all that a woman is unsure of her decision. We do not contact clients who have chosen not to proceed with treatment.

“Friends and family are absolutely welcome to accompany clients at their appointment for additional support.”