Catholic Medical Quarterly Volume 74(1) February 2024


SPUC highlights coerced abortion in China at event for MPs in Westminster,
exposing UK complicity through taxpayer aid Abortion and the Uyghur people

Photo at Complicit Event

17 March 2023
SPUC’s report COMPLICIT: Is UK money contributing to coerced abortion in China? was launched at an event for MPs in Westminster yesterday, 16 March 2023. Speakers included Jacob Rees-Mogg MP, author Fiorella Nash and SPUC’s Alithea Williams. The event was stimu- lating and at times revelatory.

On 16 March, MPs heard how the UK Government is complicit in coerced abortion in China, indirectly funded by UK taxpayers, as detailed in a revelatory SPUC report exposing the human rights abuses against the Uyghur population in China.

MPs also saw the findings of a new poll, commissioned by SPUC, which found that 60 percent of the British public say the “UK should cut funding to countries such as China where there is concern that women are routinely forced or coerced into having an abortion”.

Speaking at the event, Jacob Rees-Mogg MP thanked SPUC for its report and for exposing the funding being sent to China. “Letting people know about it is tremendously important”, he said. “How could a penny of our money be going to a regime that does this?

“That British taxpayers’ money should be used to support one of the most evil, totalitarian regimes in the world, that forces women who want to have children to abort their babies, if you don’t think that is a scandal, then what human rights abuse would you think is a scandal?”

Millions sent to China by UK

The authors of SPUC’s report, published yesterday, acknowledge that while the Government has committed to ending international aid to China, it nevertheless gave £82 million directly to the world’s second-largest economy in 2019-20, and a further £80 million to the International Planned Parenthood Federation and the United Nations Family Planning Association (UNFPA), which both support abortion provision in China.

The report is highly critical of China’s “one child” policy, which has resulted in as many as 400 million abortions since 1979 but is especially scathing about the treatment of minority commu- nities in China, most notably the Uyghurs, citing evidence of the forced sterilisations of Uyghur women and coerced abortions on an industrial scale.

SPUC’s recommendations include calling for full transparency regarding the true extent of UK aid being sent to China, as well as cutting off aid to countries where abortion coercion by the state is suspected.

Tim Loughton MP, Chairman of the Conservative Party Human Rights Commission and a member of the Inter Parliamentary Alliance on China, provided a foreword for the report.

“Hugely successful” and “revelatory” event

SPUC’s Michael Robinson, Executive Director (Public Affairs and Legal Services), said: “Yesterday’s hugely successful event was revelatory, exposing the shocking extent of coerced abortion in China and showing how opposed the British public is to sending aid to such nations where abuses are rampant and, quite inexplicably, funded by the taxpayer.

“Our report lays bare this appalling scandal. We call on the Government to move quickly and meaningfully to end the use of taxpayer money by abortion services where women are being coerced into abortion. The UK Government must not be complicit in such abuses in any way, directly or indirectly.

“SPUC extends its thanks to all the speakers who spoke so movingly on the issue of abortion coercion, as well as the truth-seeking MPs who attended the event in search of the facts. By bringing such issues to light, we hope that Government will act as a force for good and call out injustice around the world rather than abet it.”

For more information on SPUC’s report and how UK money contributes to coerced abortion in China, visit our dedicated web page, Complicit, by visiting

We are grateful to SPUC for permission to reproduce this article.