Monday, December 11, 2023
HomeUK‘Darkish cash’ funding 'retrograde' anti-abortion exercise in UK

‘Darkish cash’ funding ‘retrograde’ anti-abortion exercise in UK

“We should always all worry that they [US anti-abortion groups] appear to be turning their fireplace on the UK,” one organisation warned.


“Darkish cash” has surged into UK anti-abortion teams in recent times, Euronews has learnt, aiding controversial activism and elevating questions on abroad political affect contained in the nation.

In line with information shared with Euronews by the Good Regulation Challenge, “shadowy” funds – the place the supply is obscured and never totally disclosed – practically doubled for the UK department of the “hate group” Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) from 2020 to 2022.

Based within the US in 1993, the ADF is an influential conservative group that goals to advertise “Christian rules and ethics”. It’s behind a bunch of authorized efforts to roll again abortion rights, take away LGBT+ protections and demonise trans individuals. 

After claiming its “tireless work” helped the US Supreme Courtroom overturn Roe v Wade, which assured the correct to abortion, the ADF has supported controversial anti-abortion exercise within the UK, together with protesters exterior reproductive and sexual well being clinics.

Issues have risen amongst rights teams that the ADF is ramping up spending in an try and convey US-style abortion politics to the UK, the place abortion is broadly supported and usually accessible as much as 24 weeks of being pregnant.

Darkish cash refers to funding that’s given to political teams or politicians in an try and affect the democratic course of whose supply shouldn’t be disclosed. When politically energetic nonprofits select not the reveal the place their cash got here from, they’re thought-about darkish cash teams, in accordance to Open Secrets and techniques, a US-based monitor.

“There may be nothing “darkish” about our cash, however that doesn’t imply we are able to or will publish the names of our greater than 750,000 particular person supporters – in clear contravention of knowledge privateness regulation,” stated ADF Worldwide in a press release despatched to Euronews.

“We obtain donations from supporters in 107 nations who contribute largely small sums. This all goes towards our authorized advocacy in defence of elementary freedoms, to the good thing about everybody.”

Whereas there is not any particular regulation forbidding organisations from publishing the names of their monetary donors, British information safety legal guidelines imply they will solely accomplish that with their specific consent.

“Darkish cash” flows into ADF UK – which is a registered charity – surged from £390,000 in 2020 to £770,000 in 2022, as per figures from the Good Regulation Challenge, a British NGO. 

ADF UK has not disclosed who its funders are. Nevertheless, in its newest report, the charity stated it “has obtained monetary help within the type of unrestricted donations from Alliance Defending Freedom, a linked charity within the US.”

The worldwide wing of the ADF reportedly has a multi-million greenback funds, however once more doesn’t reveal the identification of donors.

“You could be shocked – and horrified – to be taught that the charitable standing of a darkish cash funded hate group from the US means our taxes are subsidising anti-abortion protests within the UK,” stated Jennine Walker, Authorized Supervisor at Good Regulation Challenge, in a press release despatched to Euronews.

“After their hand in overturning Roe v Wade within the US, we should always all be deeply troubled that they now appear to be turning their fireplace on the UK. We might by no means even know the true identification of who’s attempting to affect our coverage as a result of their funding is so shadowy.”

ADF UK in current months has given authorized help to protesters in Birmingham and Bournemouth arrested inside “buffer zones” – that are designed to guard girls when they’re searching for abortion care, the Good Regulation Challenge experiences.

In Liverpool, ADF UK has supported a 76-year-old grandmother who was arrested and topic to a hard and fast penalty discover for strolling, masked, silently within the neighborhood of an abortion centre.

Protests exterior sexual and reproductive well being clinics are extremely controversial as doubtlessly weak girls could be subjected to intimidation and harassment earlier than what can already be a tough and emotional process.

“Concerning “protests” exterior of abortion services: we wholeheartedly condemn harassment in opposition to girls, which is already unlawful in nations that respect regulation and order, accurately,” stated the ADF in a press release despatched to Euronews.


“On the identical time, we defend the rights to peaceable expression integral to a free society.”

The ADF stated it had greater than 1,500 open circumstances and authorized issues in additional than 100 nations. 

The US-based Southern Poverty Regulation Heart has beforehand listed the ADF as a “hate group” for allegedly supporting the “concept that being LGBTQ+ needs to be against the law within the US.”

It has handed over a whole lot of hundreds of {dollars} to fringe organisations which have sought to decrease the rights of trans college students in US faculties, the Guardian reported in June. 

The ADF advised Euronews this “hate group allegation” was “fully false”, claiming it “grossly mischaracterizes our world efforts to advance the human rights inherent to each individual.”


Opening an workplace in London in 2017,  ADF UK has engaged in wider exercise, talking at universities, giving media interviews – together with with the BBC – and internet hosting occasions on “Cancel Tradition and Freedom of Speech”.

The Good Regulation Challenge says it has expanded its lobbying at Westminister, internet hosting occasions and fascinating with All-Get together Parliamentary Teams. 

An investigation by openDemocracy discovered it was additionally linked to campaigns in opposition to assisted dying within the UK.

“Nearly all of individuals within the UK consider girls and pregnant individuals ought to have the ability to management their very own our bodies and entry abortion care, if that’s what they’ve chosen to do, free from harassment,” stated Polly Jackman, Nationwide Coordinator of Sister Supporter, in an e-mail obtained by Euronews.

“These fundamentalist teams don’t agree. They need to impose their retrograde view of ladies on the inhabitants of the UK through the use of their cash to foyer the best ranges of our authorities with none accountability. It shouldn’t be allowed. On this nation, we belief girls, not agenda-driven lobbyists.”


In accordance to pollsters YouGov, 87% of Britons say abortion needs to be allowed, in comparison with solely 6% who say it mustn’t, whereas 7% are uncertain.

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