• Jules Gomes


The chief executive of Britain’s abortion giant has sparked outrage in the charity sector after he pocketed an “obscene” 100% bonus as well as doubled his salary, as taxpayers increased their contributions to the abortion charity by over 5000% in the last 12 years.

Marie Stopes International paid Simon Cooke £434,500 in 2018, after Britain’s second largest taxpayer-funded abortion charity performed a record 4.8million abortions across 37 countries during the same year.

According to the latest accounts released by Companies House in August, Cooke doubled his basic salary from £173,067 to £217,250 and pocketed a whopping performance-related bonus of an additional £217,250, putting him among Britain’s five best-paid charity executives.

The abortion provider drew a record income of £296.8million, receiving over £48 million from the tax-funded Department for International Development (DfID), who remains their single largest donor.

Marie Stopes International have “set themselves a target of performing 5 million abortions in 2019.”

DfID increased its contributions to Marie Stopes International (MSI) from £905,000 in 2006 to £48,173,000 in 2018—an exponential rise of 5000percent.

Three quarters of the total was given between 2014 and 2018, making DfID the single biggest donor to MSI. In 2006, the state provided only 1.5percent of the organisation’s income for that year.

The news of exorbitant fat cat salaries paid to abortionists coincides with newly released data from the UK Office of National Statistics (ONS) showing almost one out of four pregnancies ended in abortion during this period.

There were 657,076 live births in England and Wales in 2018 according to the ONS and 205,295 abortions over the same period according to the Department of Health. In Northern Ireland, there were 1,097 abortions.

“Facts and figures are notoriously hard to come by and there is no transparency in this area at all.”

Dave Brennan, director of Brephos, the project of the Centre for Bio-Ethical Reform UK, told Church Militant: “When history looks back on our nation, the sum of £434,500 paid to the boss of a ‘charity’ will stand as towering evidence of our sheer apathy when it comes to equality and decency.”

“But more shocking still will be when they consider the actual activities of this said ‘charity.’ Under the guise of ‘healthcare’ MSI butchers millions of babies worldwide every year. It should be no surprise that they lack all sense of propriety when it comes to their finances.”

Simon Cooke was paid a bonus of £233,303 in 2016 and £251,831 in 2015.

Mark Flannagan, former chief executive of Beating Bowel Cancer, described the sums as obscene and said that the awarding of bonuses in the charity sector should be stopped.

Writing in the magazine Third Sector, Flannagan said: “No matter how important your organisation’s mission, I cannot see how anyone can justify almost doubling what is already an extremely large salary for a charity boss.”

It was not possible to obtain figures of the remuneration paid to Ann Furedi, CEO of the British Pregnancy of Advisory Service (BPAS), Britain’s largest abortion charity.

More than 98% of the women who come to BPAS have their abortion treatment funded through the 237 arrangements that the charity holds with Britain’s state-funded National Health Service.

Philippa Taylor, Head of Public Policy at Christian Medical Fellowship, explained to Church Militant how “facts and figures are notoriously hard to come by and there was no transparency in this area at all.”

In 2016, 22 MSI staff received basic salaries in six figures.

She pointed to a question in the House of Lords asking how much Britain’s taxpayer was funding abortion. The answer given by Lord Bates showed that DfID could “not provide a specific figure for the amount of funding that will be spent on comprehensive and safe abortion care.”

UK abortion charities have been hit by a number of scandals over the last decade.

In 2107, a report by the Care Quality Commission said that staff at MSI felt “encouraged” to persuade women to undergo terminations because it was “linked to their performance bonuses.”

In 2016, 22 MSI staff received basic salaries in six figures – more than double the number five years ago.

In the same year, at its Norwich clinic, doctors were found to be “bulk signing” up to 60 abortion consent forms at a time, with little indication that they were familiar with a patient’s situation.

Watchdogs described horrific scenes which left patients at risk of infection, with foetal tissue from a succession of terminations left in open waste bins, in another clinic.

MSI was forced to suspended all terminations involving general anaesthetic and sedation, and all involving under 18s. The charity was also banned from opening any new services, until the concerns were dealt with.

International Planned Parenthood Federation, another family planning outfit part based in London, was given £25.8 million in 2013 under the Programme Partnership Arrangements. It handed director Carmen Barroso £344,396 in 2015 – a rise of £54,009 in just five years.

The group’s annual accounts list at least 14 more staff paid basic salaries in excess of £100,000. It also lets its most senior officials take business-class flights and even more junior staff can use premium-plus on longer trips, according to a report in the Daily Mail.

Spokesperson for Right To Life UK Catherine Robinson noted that Marie Stopes International had “set themselves a target of performing 5 million abortions in 2019.”

“Polling has shown that 65% of the British population are opposed to taxpayer money being used to fund abortions overseas, yet every year since 2006 the British Government has given more and more money to MSI for this purpose,” she added.

(Originally published in Church Militant. To comment on this piece, click here)