SASKATOON, Saskatchewan, April 26, 2011 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Funding should be denied to Planned Parenthood out of compassion, said one of Canada’s most outspoken pro-life politicians last week, who was thrust into the national spotlight last week after the media leapt on comments he had made to a pro-life convention.
The comments sparked rebukes from the Conservative party leadership, which has been accused by the opposition of having a “hidden agenda” on abortion, in the lead up to the May 2nd federal election
Speaking April 16th to a group of pro-lifers, Conservative MP Brad Trost had said the Conservative government had defunded the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF), the world’s largest abortion provider. Trost had worked for this defunding through a petition campaign in 2009.
Trost’s party went into damage control mode last Thursday following his remarks, calling a middle-of-the night press conference to distance itself from them.
But Trost nevertheless defended his stance at an all-candidates meeting later in the day. “I take this stand because I believe it’s compassionate, it’s caring and I also take this stand because these dollars could be better allocated to organizations that are more efficient and, I believe, more compassionate and more caring,” he said.
On April 16th, Trost had said it was an “absolute disgrace” that Planned Parenthood would get even “one penny of Canadian taxpayers dollars.” He warned that “they’re still trying to get their snout back in the public trough.” Though the organization was funded by Canada for four decades, it has not been funded since December 2009.
In response to those comments, Prime Minister Stephen Harper immediately reemphasized his party’s commitment to stifle debate on abortion. “The government will not bring forward any such legislation, and any such legislation that is brought forward will be defeated,” he said.
At the all-candidates’ meeting Thursday, Trost expressed his hope that the Prime Minister would change his view. “The prime minister does not share my views. This is an issue which we have differences on. I would like him to come around,” he said, according to the Saskatoon StarPhoenix. “I don’t think he will change, but I respect him and I respect what the party’s status is on it and I know he respects how I represent my individual constituents.”
He said he had raised the issue because he was unsure about the funding’s status. “That’s specifically why I was encouraging people to get involved in the democratic process and lobby and talk,” he said.
IPPF has complained that they have had to rely on ‘reserve’ funds since the federal government’s three-year grant of $18 million expired in December 2009.
Paul Bell, a spokesperson for IPPF, told Postmedia that they have specifically crafted their funding proposal to not include abortion so as to qualify under the government’s specifications. Last week, IPPF senior adviser for resource mobilization Matthew Lindley told the Ottawa Citizen that their proposal seeks funds for their work in countries where abortion is illegal. That proposal was at the ministerial review stage before the federal election was called, he said.
While giving a grant to the world’s largest abortion provider would appear at odds with the government’s pledge as part of their G8 maternal health initiative last year not to fund abortion overseas, Minister of International Cooperation Bev Oda said last week that they would consider funding IPPF.
“If Planned Parenthood submits an application that falls within the government’s parameters for the G8 Muskoka Initiative, there will be funding,” she said in a statement.
At the all-candidates meeting last week, Trost insisted that while Planned Parenthood may provide services other than abortion, funds to the organization could be used to prop up the abortion business.
“I’m pro-life; I support that life should be protected from conception to natural death. That’s my position and Planned Parenthood does not share that, that’s why I disagree with them,” he said.
Prime Minister Stephen Harper
80 Wellington Street
Ottawa, ON K1A 0A2
E-mail: [email protected]
Bev Oda, MP (Durham) and Minister of International Cooperation
House of Commons
Ottawa, ON K1A 0A6
Phone: (613) 992-2792
Fax: (613) 992-2794
Email: [email protected]
Brad Trost, MP (Saskatoon-Humboldt)
505B Nelson Road
Saskatoon, SK S7S 1P4
Phone: (306) 975-6133
Toll Free: (866) 797-6133
Fax: (306) 975-6670
E-mail: [email protected]