A pill with a bonus?

Cross-posted from Life Network Australia 

How would women react if they discovered that a prominent abortion provider has a sophisticated marketing strategy aimed at increasing abortion numbers?

Julia Gillard’s last act as Prime Minister was to sign off on cabinet approval to include the abortion pill (also known as mifepristone) on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS). The importer of the abortion pill is Marie Stopes Health, a subsidiary of Marie Stopes International (MSI).

Allegations have been raised that MSI pays its staff performance bonuses based on numbers of abortions performed – a practice more in line with companies selling hamburgers, washing machines or used cars.

A former administrator at an MSI abortion clinic in South London claimed that in 2005, staff at her clinic were told incentive payments would be withheld until their clinic was performing 50 abortions a week, nearly double the 20 to 30 per week being done at the time (1).

MSI conceded that it paid its staff bonuses but claimed that bonuses were not based on abortion numbers (2).

A more recent job description for a manager at an MSI clinic includes the following goals: “Increasing productivity and product margins”, “Optimise client numbers” and “Recognise those team members who… deliver on their objectives and have appropriate MSI behaviours by rewarding through bonuses…” (3).

Many women who attend abortion clinics are driven by desperate circumstances

– some experience pressure from partners or parents, feel unable to cope and/or have to make their minds up within a short time frame. Counselling provided by Marie Stopes presents a potential conflict of interest if their staff have an eye on cash bonuses based on encouraging more abortions.

The job description refers to “new business opportunities”, “profitability” and “efficiency in client flow”, suggesting a profit-driven ethos which does not have the interests of women at heart, as their clients might expect (3).

The Australian branch of MSI owns 15 abortion clinics across Australia and was recently advertising for a Marketing Co-ordinator – someone who can “identify marketing opportunities” and “manage marketing campaigns” (4). This suggests MSI is planning a major campaign to promote the abortion pill now it is included on the PBS.

Any such marketing campaign would have two aims, firstly to promote sales of mifepristone at MSI’s abortion clinics and secondly to encourage as many GPs as possible to become prescribers of the abortion pill (and as many pharmacists as possible to stock it). The latter aim avoids contact time with clients, further increasing the “efficiency” and “profitability” that MSI is unashamedly pursuing.

Given that the abortion giant has a monopoly on Australian imports of mifepristone, it is reasonable to ask the question – “Will sales of the abortion pill be driven by incentive payments for MSI staff?”

Lyn Schoof has ten years of experience working with Australian women who have suffered post abortion grief.


1.  Article contained in Mail on Sunday dated 4/9/05 at Page 4:


2.  Ibid

3.  “Job Framework, Centre manager” Marie Stopes International  found at:

http://www.mariestopes.org.uk/documents/Centre%20Manager%20Framework.pdf  or http://www.lifenetwork.org.au/_blog/Abortion_in_Australia/post/a-pill-with-a-bonus—media-release/

4.  http://mariestopes.currentjobs.com.au/page/view/no/1286099

This page has been removed, but was saved and can be viewed here: http://www.lifenetwork.org.au/_blog/Abortion_in_Australia/post/a-pill-with-a-bonus—media-release/

Please follow and like us:

Spread the word. Share this post!

Facebook IconTwitter IconFollow us on Instagram

Enjoy this blog? Please spread the word :)