Marie Stopes International says it allowed documentary-makers to film the abortion of a four-week-old foetus at one of its clinics after learning that the pro-life lobby is hoping to use footage of a late-term termination as part of a future party political broadcast.
"Later-term abortions are not common - only 2 per cent of terminations occur after 20 weeks' gestation," said a spokesman for Marie Stopes, Tony Kerridge. "We decided to take part in the interests of striking a balance."
Charities from both sides of the abortion debate are welcoming the Channel 4 programme.
"People should know the realities of abortion," said Nuala Scarisbrick, trustee of anti-abortion charity Life.
My Foetus, which was made by Julia Black, the daughter of Marie Stopes's founder Tim Black, will be screened at 11pm on 20 April.