MONTREAL, Quebec, September 30, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) — Conservative leader Andrew Scheer indicated that he would not ban Canada’s funding of abortion overseas if elected prime minister next month, according to his remarks quoted in Montreal Sept. 26 newspaper Le Devoir.
Under former prime minister Stephen Harper, the Conservatives refused to fund abortion as part of Canada’s international maternal health aid, but Justin Trudeau’s Liberals overturned that policy with a vengeance after their landslide 2015 victory.
In March 2017, Trudeau announced a $650-million three-year commitment to promote and fund abortion as part of Canada’s international aid, and at this June’s Women Deliver Conference, he announced that the Liberals will increase funds for “international sexual, reproductive, maternal, newborn and child health” to $1.4 billion annually by 2023.
In fact, the Trudeau Liberals will spend $7.1 billion of public money by 2030 to promote and fund abortion in the developing world if re-elected this October 21, Campaign Life Coalition’s global policy and research coordinator Emily Price wrote in LifeSiteNews.
But Scheer has not said the Conservative Party will do any differently if it wins the election next month and forms the government.
To the contrary, when asked last Thursday in Montreal if he would restore the Harper policy and nix international abortion funding, Le Devoir reported, Scheer said only: “We are not going to reopen this debate at any level.”
Moreover, the Conservative Party “refused to say whether that meant it was formally committed to continuing to fund abortions abroad,” according to Le Devoir.
Neither Scheer’s office nor the Conservative Party responded to multiple requests from LifeSiteNews on whether or not a Tory government would nix international abortion funding as part of its foreign aid.
Georges Buscemi, president of Campagne Québec-Vie, says that while it is “hard to get much out of a single sentence” in the Le Devoir article, he agreed with its conclusion.
“My interpretation of Scheer’s statement would have to be along the lines of that of the Devoir: ‘We’re not going to reopen that debate at any level’ plainly means, given the context of the statement: ‘We’re not going to defund abortion overseas as Harper did’ (and as [U.S. president Donald] Trump did, with the Mexico city policy) — because that would be tantamount to ‘reopening the debate,’” Buscemi told LifeSiteNews.
“But, [Scheer] can safely pretend he didn’t say that, because he actually refused to say whether he would maintain overseas abortion funding,” he added.
When Trudeau announced his global abortion fund in March 2017, Scheer criticized the Liberals for exporting ideology at taxpayers’ expense.
Scheer reiterated that in a statement Alberta Tory M.P. Garnett Genuis read out on Scheer’s behalf at the 2017 March for Life, in which Scheer said he had “spoken clearly and decisively against” Trudeau’s “spending $650 million tax dollars to export his ideological agenda.”
The Catholic father of five who has voted pro-life in the past said in August that if he becomes prime minister in the October election, he will “oppose” any “measures or attempts” to reopen the abortion debate and other “divisive social issues” such as homosexual “marriage.”
“Canadians can have confidence that these issues will not be reopened under a future Conservative government,” Scheer told reporters.
And while M.P.s can “express themselves on matters of conscience,” Scheer said, he would “ensure” that a Conservative government would not reopen “divisive social issues.”
Buscemi commented that “one senses that Scheer is interiorly conflicted, at least about the loss of support from his pro-life base, should he state plainly that he will adopt a pro-abortion position across the board.”
“Here is a man being pulled apart by competing forces: his conscience and/or concern for his pro-life base is pulling him to one side, political expediency and the pro-abortion media-fuelled zeitgeist pulling him in the other direction,” he said.
“By trying to please both sides, he might just end up alienating both. But on the whole, given this statement, a pro-abortion fiscal conservative who is concerned about Trudeau’s fiscal recklessness but can’t stand social conservatism, would probably have no trouble voting for Scheer,” Buscemi observed.
“Because it seems clear to me that Scheer won’t do much of anything to fight cultural decay, except maybe not accelerate it as quickly as Trudeau has,” he said.