Canada pledges up to $20 million for international abortion fund
BRUSSELS, Belgium, March 2, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) – Canada has joined more than 50 countries in an effort to pay for abortions in developing countries that the Donald Trump-led U.S. will not not help fund.
Canada’s share could reach $20 million.
Campaign Life Coalition quickly condemned the move and called on the federal government to redirect the funds to genuine healthcare.
International Development Minister Marie-Claude Bibeau made the announcement from Brussels, where representatives of 50 countries assembled for the “She Decides” initiative.
The international effort is a response to the Trump administration’s decision to end funding to any international organizations promoting abortions. This ban, called the Mexico City Policy, has been put in place by each Republican administration going back to President Reagan. Every Democratic administration has lifted the ban. Reportedly, it could cost International Planned Parenthood $100 million over President Trump’s four-year term.
“The idea is really to give women the choice,” Bibeau told reporters in a conference call. “Having the control over our own body is, to me, the first step for women’s rights.”
However, Campaign Life Coalition quickly countered with a statement calling the move “a complete abandonment of Canada’s previous commitments to improving maternal health.
“Every dollar spent on abortion is a dollar denied to the provision of the real necessities of life and genuine health care: nutrition, clean water, medicine, and safe deliveries,” CLC’s Matthew Wojciechowski said.
He called for a return to the maternal health policies of Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s Conservative government, which “did not include abortion funding. Instead, [they] focused on meeting genuine healthcare needs.”
The result of a strong lobby from pro-life Conservatives, the Harper government’s Maternal Newborn Child Health Initiative devoted $1.1 billion in new spending over five years to support the maternal and early childhood health programs of non-profit agencies in the developing world.
None of the funding went to abortion. Campaign Life Coalition said the initiatives “were renowned worldwide for their success in saving millions of lives.”
CLC public affairs officer Johanne Brownrigg added, “The direction of our current government is diametrically opposed to long-held Canadian values.”
Instead, the money reflected Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s “obsession over abortion and his kowtowing to the world’s largest abortion providers and lobby groups.”
“From peacekeepers to abortion exporters,” she added. “Is this what Canadians want to be known as around the world?”
Mike Schouten of We Need a Law, a group campaigning for legislation to restrict or end abortion, called the announcement “incredibly hypocritical,” especially because money was being justified “in the name of women’s autonomy.”
Schouten said, “This ‘She Decides’ initiative purports to stand up for women, but the money is far more likely to be spent on programs targeting unborn children strictly because they are girls.” He added, “Gendercide is ending the life of millions of women before they are even born. They don’t get to decide.”