Catholicsput pressure on family planning. fund
by Jonathan Petre
THE WORLD'S biggest family planning organisation, the London-based International planned Parenthood Federation, has this week come under strong pressure from both sides of the Atlantic.
In Britain, a group of sixty MPs, led by Mrs Anne Winterton and a number of Catholics, have tabled an earlyday motion calling on the Government to end its funding of the Federation.
And the United States looks Iike cutting off its substantial grants to the organisation, about a quarter of its £40 million annual budget, as part of a campaign to end aid to proabortion agencies.
A senior official of the United States Agency for International Development said at the weekend that the federation, which is the umbrella organisation for 132 family planning associations worldwide, is likely to lose its entire contribution from the Reagan administration.
Although a spokesman for the Federation argued that no United States funds were spent on abortion, the new White House policy includes all groups associated with abortion.
Mrs Winterton, Conservative MP for Congleton, Cheshire, has the support from Sir John Biggs-Davison, David Atkinson and Sir Patrick Wall, among others.
Her motion draws the Government's attention to the fact that the IPPF's recently published a controversial report which advocates the prescription of contraceptives to children as young as ten years of age.
An attempt by 28 MPs to amend the motion, calling on the Government to increase its funds to IPPF was this week countered by the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children.
In a letter to those supporting the amendment, signatories to which include Gwyneth Dunwoody, shadow spokeswoman on health, Mrs Phyllis Bowman, Director of Spuc, refers to recent newspaper reports that the IPPF had been involved in compulsory sterilisation programmes in El Salvador.
The letter also points out that, despite the fact that family planning in China involved forced sterilisation and compulsory abortion, the IPPF has increased its aid to that country.
Drawing on such unlikely allies as Germaine Greer, who argued in her latest book that large numbers of Third World women were being manipulated through birth control, Mrs Bowman called on the 28 MPs to. withdraw their names from the amendment.