Buying tampons in the UK just got political.
UK women’s groups and politicians have been left gobsmacked after discovering a portion of proceeds from the country’s tampon tax have been used to support anti-abortion group, Life.
While the government still hasn’t scrapped the five per cent tax on sanitary products, even after a lot of backlash and tampon tax protests, former chancellor George Osborne announced the money, which adds up to around £10 million each year, would be used to support and fund women’s charities.
When a list with these groups was released over the weekend, it was revealed Life had been given one of the most generous donations, of £250,000.
Life describes itself as “Pro-life advocacy and education work with nationwide services providing positive alternatives to abortion.”
Labor MP Paula Sherriff is among many politicians condemning the grant saying, “It will seem bitterly ironic to many women if we are taxed for our biology, only for the government to hand over that money to groups that don’t even believe we should have control over our own bodies, especially when so many are left without basic sanitary protection.”
Sherriff continued to explain she would rather see the money go towards the issue of period poverty in the UK, as many women struggle to buy sanitary products.
Women’s Equality Party leader Sophie Walker shares similar sentiments about the levy.
“While we appreciate the work Life does to support homeless pregnant women and care for children with life-limiting or terminal illnesses, we are very disappointed to see the allocation of such significant funds to this one charity while many others struggle, particularly those supporting black and minority ethnic women and disabled women who experience some of the highest rates of violence against them and yet are consistently at the bottom of the list for funding.”
While Life argues it offers essential services to women to “continue their pregnancies with support,” it remains questionable why women should be forced to support what is essentially an anti-abortion group every time they buy tampons.
You can sign a petition to review the government’s decision here.
Image via ubykotex.com.