OTTAWA, March 10, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) — Canada’s Catholic bishops have slammed Justin Trudeau and his Liberals for their $650 million commitment to increase global access to abortion as “a reprehensible example of Western cultural imperialism” that “exploits women.”
And they castigated the Catholic prime minister for a “policy and vision” that is in “conflict” with the Catholic Church’s teaching “to defend and protect human life from conception to natural death.”
On International Women’s Day, Trudeau announced his Liberal government will spend $650 million over three years to “address gaps in sexual and reproductive health and rights in the world’s poorest and most vulnerable communities.”
But in an open letter to Trudeau released Friday, the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB) pointed to a government media background document. It stated that “a major part of the funding will be toward removing ‘judicial and legal barriers to the fulfilment of sexual and reproductive health and rights’.”
The bishops also cited a March 17 Globe and Mail article reporting a federal official had confirmed “these barriers include the anti-abortion laws in many countries.”
“Such a policy is a reprehensible example of Western cultural imperialism and an attempt to impose misplaced but so-called Canadian ‘values’ on other nations and people,” wrote the bishops.
“It exploits women when they are most in need of care and support, and tragically subverts true prenatal health care,” read the letter signed by CCCB president Bishop John Crosby of Hamilton.
“It negates our country’s laudable efforts to welcome refugees and offer protection to the world's homeless, when the youngest of human lives will instead be exterminated and the most vulnerable of human beings discarded as unwanted human tissue,” the bishops wrote.
The bishops concluded their letter by telling Trudeau:
“Your policy and vision, contrary to the fundamental ethic of protecting the most vulnerable and assisting the weakest, are in conflict with the principles instinctively shared by the majority of the world's population and consistently upheld by the Catholic Church: to defend and protect human life from conception to natural death.”
Campaign Life Coalition vice president Jeff Gunnarson lauded the forceful statement.
“The bishops have courageously exposed Trudeau’s so-called feminism for what it really is: an exploitation of the world’s most vulnerable women,” Gunnarson said.
“They also implicitly reveal Trudeau’s arrogance by rebuking his ‘Western cultural imperialism’,” he added.
“Trudeau is convinced he knows what’s best for women around the world, and so he doesn’t even bother to ask women in developing countries what they need and want,” Gunnarson said. “He’s using Canadian tax dollars to underwrite a global culture of death.”
“I hope and pray that Trudeau, who has said in the past that his Catholic faith is important to him, will listen to his bishops,” he added.
“We urge all people of good will, especially now that it’s Lent, to pray and fast daily for the conversion of our prime minister, who seems obsessed with abortion, and for the conversion of his Liberal minions.”
According to Trudeau, women around world the world “are denied legal control over their bodies and reproductive health.”
And that is “why we will continue to place gender equality and rights, and the empowerment of women and girls, at the heart of our international development work,” he said Wednesday when announcing the fund.
The Global Affairs backgrounder details what Canada’s $650 million global “sexual and reproductive health and rights” investment will pay for:
comprehensive sexuality education;
reproductive health services;
family planning services, including contraception;
safe and legal abortion services and post-abortion care;
preventing and managing HIV/AIDS and sexually transmitted infections;
preventing and responding to sexual and gender-based violence, including the prevention of harmful practices such as child and early forced marriage and female genital mutilation/cutting, and the provision of psycho-social services for survivors;
training health care professionals in the provision of sexual and reproductive health-care services and family planning;
advocacy activities of women’s, youth, Indigenous and LGBTI civil society groups;
addressing social norms that limit women’s and adolescents’ control over their bodies and reproductive decision-making; and
removing judicial and legal barriers to the fulfilment of sexual and reproductive health and rights
The Liberal “sexual and reproductive health and rights investment will contribute to the attainment of the UN’s sustainable development goal 3.7,” it states.
That goal is to ensure “universal access to sexual and reproductive health care services, including for family planning and information and education, and the integration of reproductive health into national strategies and programs by 2030.”
The Canadian bishops’ open letter to Trudeau can be read here.
The Global Affairs Canada media background document can be read here.