The Life Charity, an anti-abortion group in the UK, has received over $300,000 (USD) in grant money from a government tampon tax, the Guardian reported.
After receiving the money, the group reportedly removed language from their website that described abortion in rape cases as a “death penalty” and similarly referred to abortion in the case of a fetal abnormality as a “death sentence.”
The funds from the tampon tax went to 70 charities across the UK, and the Life Charity said it would use its funds to offer assistance to pregnant homeless women in London, according to the BBC.
However, some women’s groups and advocates stand opposed to the decision to provide any funds to the pro-life group and are outraged by the government’s decision.
“This fund was supposed to help women, not encourage those organisations who want to control them – completely unacceptable and must be stopped,” Stella Creasy, a British Labor politician wrote in a tweet.
She also tweeted to government minister Rob Wilson, asking, “can you please cut funding to pro-life orgs and help ensure no young woman goes without tampons in school instead pls?”
When questioned about the controversial language used on the Life Charity website, the group’s education director, Anne Scanlan, said she couldn’t believe the terminology was even being used. “[W]e would absolutely never use that kind of language face to face when dealing with women,” Scanlan said.
Paula Sherriff, who is the shadow Labour MP (member of parliament) called the move “bitterly ironic,” noting that individuals who menstruate are being taxed, “only for the government to hand over that money to organisations that don’t even believe we should have control over our own bodies.”
Adding to the concern, Sophie Walker, the leader of the Women’s Equality Party, said it was disappointing to see the funds go to the pro-life group, even though she appreciated their effort to help the homeless.
Commenting on the problematic language used on the group’s website, Scanlan said, “Where inappropriate language was used, we will amend it or remove it.”