A British group has claimed that the legalization of gay marriage will increase the nation's abortion rate.

The Society for the Protection of Unborn Children makes the claim both on its website and in leaflets it has been distributing.

“We must protect real marriage because it protects children in the womb,” the leaflet states. “Statistics show that unborn babies are four to five times more likely to be aborted outside of real marriage.”

The Vice.com's Jamie Lee Curtis Taete gave the group a call.

“Now, the issue there is that marriage as the ideal set up for conceiving, bearing, raising children, has been undermined in a number of ways in recent years,” a representative explained to Taete. “Things like withdrawing fiscal benefits from married couples, creating virtual equivalents for cohabiting relationships, introducing no fault divorce proceedings, and so on; all these kind of changes have tended to say that marriage, in the conventional sense, is less important to us. You are not entitled to a privileged status by law and in society.”

The representative clarified that he/she was talking about civil partnerships, available in Britain to only gay and lesbian couples.

“I think there's a strong argument to say that civil partnerships also contributed to weakening real marriage.”

The British government announced earlier this year that it would legalize gay nuptials by 2015.

When Taete pointed out that the abortion rate had risen in only one of the five countries where such unions have been legal for five or more years, the representative answered: “Right.”

“Right. Well … I don't think anybody would expect any difference after five years. That's no time at all to make a judgment.”

“Well, it's been legal since 2001 in the Netherlands, so that's quite a long time,” Taete offered.

“Eleven years is not a huge amount of time to expect a big rise in the abortion rate. … When people do get married, the whole legal structure built around the child-rearing nature of marriage is removed. That may have consequences for the unborn, because the unborn, when it comes to the weakening of the definition of marriage, suffer most.”

“You change things in a radical way, and where it's most harmful is the womb,” the representative asserted.