TORONTO, Ontario, July 5, 2011 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Famed child rights activist Craig Kielburger’s organization Free the Children has taken a direct stand in favor of abortion as part of efforts to promote “family planning” in the Third World.
Leading up to the 2010 G8 and G20 meetings, the organization produced a fact sheet for youth on “maternal health,” denouncing Canada’s Conservative government for refusing to fund abortions in its G8 maternal health initiative. Another fact sheet on “child health” says putting in place such a condition against abortion funding “shows disregard for recipient countries’ concerns.”
But the organization promptly pulled the documents from their website Tuesday afternoon after LifeSiteNews asked them how abortion plays into their work overseas.
“The organization, and its Board of Directors, does not have an official policy on the issue of abortion, or advocate on the issue,” they told LifeSiteNews in a statement.
The revelation would likely appear damaging to an organization that has clubs set up in Catholic schools across Ontario, which contribute thousands of dollars annually.
A graduate of Ontario’s Catholic schools, Kielburger has been a featured speaker at Catholic conferences and schools over many years and has been lauded as a role model for youth by Catholic schools and media since he founded Free the Children in 1995 as a 12-year-old.
Nevertheless, he has been unapologetic about his support for “reproductive rights” and International Planned Parenthood Federation, which is the world’s largest abortion provider.
Free the Children’s position on abortion and “family planning” has a clear impact on its work in the Third World, as they are now promoting “family planning” through their health clinics in places like Kenya and India.
“Family planning” includes abortion
In advance of the June 2010 G8 and G20 meetings, Free the Children released the “maternal health” and “child health” fact sheets as part of their ‘Keep the Promise’ campaign, which was designed to encourage youth to hold political leaders to account for pledges made in previous years.
According to the “maternal health” document, “There is a consensus that family planning, including abortion, is crucial to reducing maternal deaths and improving the economic status of women in the poorest parts of the world. Yet, Canada has disclosed that it will not fund abortion in its G8 child and maternal health‐care initiative for developing countries.”
In the same document, they lamented that Canada has cut funding from the International Planned Parenthood Federation – the world’s largest abortion provider – complaining that those cuts were partially responsible for decreased services by Planned Parenthood in Zambia. “This means that fewer Zambians will have access to contraceptives and maternal health care. It may result in more unsafe abortions, which are a leading cause of death,” they wrote.
“Let’s tell our leaders that young people care about maternal health, and will hold them accountable for the promises that they make at this year’s G8 and G20 summits,” they urged their youth readers.
The document on “child health” states: “Canada’s pledge not to fund abortions has been heavily criticized by those who argue that there could be no maternal and child health plan without access to safe abortions. Setting conditions for their aid shows disregard for recipient countries’ concerns.”
Health clinics pushing “family planning”
Free the Children’s website explains that “maternal and child health is central … to Free the Children’s whole mission.” As a result, they have set up health clinics in countries throughout Asia, Africa, and Latin America.
In Free the Children’s materials, they are explicit about their effort to offer “family planning”. For example, the spring 2011 report for their Baraka Health Clinic in Kenya says the clinic offers “child spacing and family planning” services. Likewise, a fact sheet by Virgin Atlantic, a Free the Children partner, notes that the organization’s initiatives in Rajasthan, India include “the provision of health workshops and family planning.”
There are also indications that “family planning” is taught in their schools. Their spring 2009 report from Pimbiniet, Kenya notes: “Basic education provides girls and women with a greater understanding of health, nutrition and family planning.”
It should be noted also that their “maternal health” fact sheet, cited above, repeats the spurious and debunked statistic that over 200 million women in the Third World have an “unmet need” for contraception. Steven Mosher, president of the Population Research Institute (PRI), has pointed out that when that figure was developed, women were deemed to have such an “unmet need” based simply on the fact that they had had a baby in the last two years and were not currently sterilized or on contraception.
Kielburger’s “fierce feminist resolve”
In recent months, Kielburger himself has come out unapologetically in support of radical feminism and homosexualism.
In a May 9th, 2011 Toronto Star column co-authored with his brother Marc, who co-founded Free the Children, the two expounded on their “fierce feminist resolve.”
In that article, they lamented the Conservative government’s apparent decision to cut funding from International Planned Parenthood. “As women in developing countries fight for reproductive rights, our now Conservative majority government is poised to cut funding to International Planned Parenthood, an organization that provides reproductive health services abroad,” they wrote. “It’s a paternalistic refusal to offer women in Africa the same rights offered to women in Canada.”
In June, Craig Kielburger and Free the Children colleague Spencer West joined the upscale $2,500 a plate White Knight gala in support of leading homosexual advocacy group Egale.