Do abortion services really make a ‘vast amount of money’?


3:50 pm - November 8th 2010

by Unity    


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You may well have noticed that, amongst other things, Nadine Dorries has chosen to climb back on her favourite abortion hobby horse by giving a truly risible speech to parliament during an adjournment debate.

In the very first paragraph of Dorries’ speech she says:

Abortion in this country is an industry from which a small number of organisations and individuals make vast amounts of money.

Really? Vast amounts of money? Well let’s have a look, shall we.

The British Pregnancy Advisory Service is one of the larger providers of contraception, abortion and related sexual health services in the UK and, happily for our purposes, its also a registered charity (No. 289145), all of which means that its really easy to follow the money and assess the veracity of Dorries’ statement.

The organisation operates a national telephone helpline and associated call centre which handles around 290,000 calls a year, within incoming calls charged at local rate. It counsels around 70,000 women a year on their abortion option and, based on information taken from its most recent published accounts, provides and another 39-40,000 consulatations a year to women seeking help and advice in relation to contraception, STI’s etc.

Of the 70,000 women seeking advice on abortion, 55,000 go on to take up the procedure at one of BPAS’s 22 clinics or day care centres, with 93% of patients getting their treatment paid for by the NHS.

BPAS currently has service agreements with 96 NHS Primary Care Trusts and 11 Local Health Boards and accounts for around 25-27% the abortions carried out in England and Wales each year.

Taking information from its annual accounts, we find that, for the year 2009/10, BPAS’s annual income was £25.042 million of which all but £33k was derived from fees for services.

Abortion costs
For 2009-10, the standard NHS tariff for abortions ranged from £502 for a medical abortion to £649 for a ‘D&E’ (surgical dilation and extraction). Had BPAS done nothing else that year but carry out medical abortions for the NHS at its standard tariff then, with 93% (51500) of its clients having their treatment paid for by the state, it would have generated an income of £25.85 million from the NHS.

This would be £840,000 more than its actual income for the year. Far from making ‘vast amounts of money’ it seems that BPAS actually provides the NHS with a range of cost effective services at less the NHS’s own internal tariffs.

On the expenditure side, BPAS spent £22.96 million on service provision and further £811k on education and research. As ever, the big ticket items in the expenditure column are the total staff and related costs, including agency and other fees (£14.84 million on the service side and £359k education and research) with actual salary costs for the year weighing in at £10.96 million.

Take the organisation’s top earners – seven employees who earn in excess of £60k a year – out of the equation and the average (mean) full-time salary at BPAS is around £28k a year gross, rather less than half the amount that Dorries pockets at the House of Commons.

If you’re only in it for the money, the slur that Dorries levels at abortion service providers, then there are any number of more lucrative options you could choose to pursue, whether its the traditional consulting rooms on Harley Street or, perhaps, the kind of job that allows you to stick your friends and family on expenses and send the bill to the taxpayer.

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About the author
'Unity' is a regular contributor to Liberal Conspiracy. He also blogs at Ministry of Truth.
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Reader comments


Excellent Unity.

A metaphorical sledgehammer of an article to crack a literal nut.

Turns out 70% of Dorries’ speeches to Parliament are fiction too.

“Far from making ‘vast amounts of money’ it seems that BPAS actually provides the NHS with a range of cost effective services at less the NHS’s own internal tariffs.”

How excellent!

So, which other NHS services can be providde cheaper than hte NHS themselves can provide them?

Can you say contracting out?

Perhaps she was speaking from personal experience of her time on the board of directors for a company offering abortions.

5. Brussels Dave

@Tim Worstall:

And can you say “not motivated by profit”?

Somewhere between £90 million and £100m is spent on abortions in the UK each year. It would be most surprising if someone hadn’t found a way to get rich out of that.

Liberals are a joke. hahahahaha

8. Simon Inbetweener

@Karl

Brilliant.

Thank you Beavis and Butthead…


Reactions: Twitter, blogs
  1. Liberal Conspiracy

    Do abortion services really make a ‘vast amount of money’? http://bit.ly/bHG06z

  2. Sean Bamforth

    RT @libcon: Do abortion services really make a ‘vast amount of money’? http://bit.ly/bHG06z

  3. Ian Adamson

    @nadine_mp but what about you using misleading data in the House? http://bit.ly/cZCwGB

  4. Unity

    RT @libcon: Do abortion services really make a vast amount of money? http://bit.ly/bHG06z #Dorries

  5. Craig

    RT @Unity_MoT: RT @libcon: Do abortion services really make a vast amount of money? http://bit.ly/bHG06z #Dorries

  6. Kevin Arscott

    RT @Unity_MoT RT @libcon: Do abortion services really make a vast amount of money? http://bit.ly/bHG06z #Dorries

  7. Kaylee

    RT @uponnothing: RT @Unity_MoT RT @libcon: Do abortion services really make a vast amount of money? http://bit.ly/bHG06z #Dorries

  8. Tim Ireland

    RT @uponnothing: RT @Unity_MoT RT @libcon: Do abortion services really make a vast amount of money? http://bit.ly/bHG06z #Dorries

  9. Sinead G

    RT @uponnothing: RT @Unity_MoT RT @libcon: Do abortion services really make a vast amount of money? http://bit.ly/bHG06z #Dorries

  10. sunny hundal

    Nadine Dorries MP says abortion services make "a vast amount of money". @Unity_MoT picks claim apart http://bit.ly/bHG06z

  11. Adam West

    RT @sunny_hundal: Nadine Dorries MP says abortion services make "a vast amount of money". @Unity_MoT picks claim apart http://bit.ly/bHG06z

  12. CathElliott

    RT @sunny_hundal: Nadine Dorries MP says abortion services make "a vast amount of money". @Unity_MoT picks claim apart http://bit.ly/bHG06z

  13. Tim Ireland

    RT @sunny_hundal: Nadine Dorries MP says abortion services make "a vast amount of money". @Unity_MoT picks claim apart http://bit.ly/bHG06z

  14. the credo

    RT @sunny_hundal: Nadine Dorries MP says abortion services make "a vast amount of money". @Unity_MoT picks claim apart http://bit.ly/bHG06z

  15. Andy Bean

    RT @sunny_hundal: Nadine Dorries MP says abortion services make "a vast amount of money". @Unity_MoT picks claim apart http://bit.ly/bHG06z

  16. Welshracer

    RT @sunny_hundal: "a vast amount of money". @Unity_MoT picks claim apart http://bit.ly/bHG06z #Dorries

  17. Neil Hughes

    RT @sunny_hundal: Nadine Dorries MP says abortion services make "a vast amount of money". @Unity_MoT picks claim apart http://bit.ly/bHG06z

  18. heather leith

    RT @sunny_hundal: Nadine Dorries MP says abortion services make "a vast amount of money". @Unity_MoT picks claim apart http://bit.ly/bHG06z

  19. Nick H.

    RT @sunny_hundal: Nadine Dorries MP says abortion services make "a vast amount of money". @Unity_MoT picks claim apart http://bit.ly/bHG06z

  20. Jeevan Rai

    RT @sunny_hundal: Nadine Dorries MP says abortion services make "a vast amount of money". @Unity_MoT picks claim apart http://bit.ly/bHG06z

  21. Amelia Flynn

    @Nadine_MP do you pay for a researcher? If so sack! s/hes crap! or is it an expense fiddle that got through http://bit.ly/bHG06z @Unity_MoT

  22. Sinjy

    RT @sunny_hundal: Nadine Dorries MP says abortion services make "a vast amount of money". @Unity_MoT picks claim apart http://bit.ly/bHG06z

  23. Lindsey Millen

    RT @sunny_hundal: Nadine Dorries MP says abortion services make "a vast amount of money". @Unity_MoT picks claim apart http://bit.ly/bHG06z

  24. Press Not Sorry

    RT @sunny_hundal: Nadine Dorries MP says abortion services make "a vast amount of money". @Unity_MoT picks claim apart http://bit.ly/bHG06z

  25. Paddy Eden

    RT @sunny_hundal: Nadine Dorries MP says abortion services make "a vast amount of money". @Unity_MoT picks claim apart http://bit.ly/bHG06z

  26. safefromwolves

    MP @Nadine_MP Dorries says abortion services make "vast amount of money" @Unity_MoT picks claim apart http://bit.ly/bHG06z via @sunny_hundal

  27. Dave Cross

    Another of those nasty bloggers attacks @Nadine_MP with facts. Unity on the profits of the abortion industry -http://bit.ly/arXhJJ

  28. Celyn

    RT @sunny_hundal: Nadine Dorries MP says abortion services make "a vast amount of money". @Unity_MoT picks claim apart http://bit.ly/bHG06z

  29. Sim-O

    . @Nadine_MP You claim "small No. of individuals & orgs make vast amounts of ££" from abortion. Care 2 defend that claim? http://is.gd/gQASa

  30. Nick H.

    Do abortion services really make a ‘vast amount of money’? http://t.co/bYeGhJ4 via @libcon 'Nad-sack' coughs up another furball.

  31. BMJ Group blogs: Journal of Medical Ethics blog » Blog Archive » The Anti-Abortion Appropriation of Consent

    […] UPDATE: Unity comments on some other aspects of Dorries’ speech here. […]

  32. Mili

    The "vast amounts of money" (N. Dorries) that abortion services make: http://bit.ly/abCipf

  33. links for 2010-11-10 « Embololalia

    […] Do abortion services really make a ‘vast amount of money’? | Liberal Conspiracy If you’re only in it for the money, the slur that Dorries levels at abortion service providers, then there are any number of more lucrative options you could choose to pursue, whether its the traditional consulting rooms on Harley Street or, perhaps, the kind of job that allows you to stick your friends and family on expenses and send the bill to the taxpayer. (tags: nadine.dorries abortion nhs uk) […]

  34. Education For Choice

    Dorries tried to tell MPs that abortion providers are making vast profits this blog http://bit.ly/dgd1y5 shows what tosh this is

  35. Nadine Dorries: Wrong, wrong, wrong… again | Sim-O

    […] NHS (and it’s only one service they provide) may have an income of £25 million, but it is not all profit, as Dorries implies… For 2009-10, the standard NHS tariff for abortions ranged from £502 for […]

  36. Ministry of Truth » Blog Archive » Nadine Dorries – Bullshitter Extraordinairé

    […] (BPAS, Marie Stopes International) working under an NHS contract, and we saw when I took a close look at the finances of just one of the organisations, no one gets rich by performing abortions in the UK. A woman who may be considering an abortion […]





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