Anti-Abortion Life Charity To Profit From UK Tampon Tax And Women's Organisations Are Furious

In March, the Government announced that 70 organisations would share £12m from the tampon tax fund, intended to improve the lives of disadvantaged women and girls.

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An anti-abortion group will receive £250,000 from the levy on women's sanitary products, despite anger from women's groups and MPs.

Earlier this year, the Observer found that a quarter of a million pounds of 'tampon tax' - one of the largest grants available - will be going to Life, a charity that campaigns against abortion and opposes plans for the expansion of sex education in primary schools.

Despite petitions opposing the grant receiving over half a million signatures, the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) to a Freedom of Information request has revealed that Life will receive the money but will be 'prohibited' from spending it on publicity or on controversial pregnancy counselling and education services.

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Diana Johnson, a Labour MPs who urged the government to review the grant decision, reportedly said: 'This decision is not in keeping with the spirit of the tampon tax fund, which was intended to improve the lives of disadvantaged women and girls.

'This money would be much better spent on women's organisations which truly reflect the values of this fund to empower and support women to make decisions about their lives, rather than an organisation that actively promotes restricting women's choices.

In response, the British Pregnancy Advisory Service (BPAS) stated: 'It is not fitting for what is ultimately a tax on women's bodies to be spent in this way when there are so many other projects supporting women and their choices which have not benefited .'

In March, the Government announced that 70 organisations would share £12m from the tampon tax fund, which it said would improve the lives of disadvantaged women and girls.

With plans to remove VAT from sanitary products entirely next year, the government has made progress in reducing the tax rate from 20 per cent to 5 per cent, but says its progress to scrap it completely has been halted as a result of EU competition rules.

Amid the backlash, Life has said: 'There is no need for 'prohibition' on how the grant is used. We have been very clear with the government in actually specifying that the grant will not be used for counselling or education.

'As we have stated before, all funds received from the government will be used to support vulnerable women in crisis.'

The DCMS said the organisation will receive the grant for 'housing, practical help, counselling, emotional support and life skills training for young pregnant women who are homeless'.

Life describes itself as a 'unique' charity which aims to combine 'pro-life advocacy and education work with nationwide services providing positive alternatives to abortion'.

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