OTTAWA, Ontario, September 28, 2011 ( – Canada’s pro-life politicians will adopt an “aggressive” stance against abortion in the wake of the government’s decision last week to award a $6 million grant to the International Planned Parenthood Federation, one of Canada’s most outspoken pro-life MPs pledged Wednesday.


Conservative MP Brad Trost says the funding of the abortion giant, which comes despite the government’s 2010 pledge to not fund abortion overseas, has taught Ottawa’s pro-life politicians that “the government only responds to Pro-Life issues and concerns when we take an aggressive stance.”

“We will apply this lesson,” he insists.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s government awarded the three-year grant to IPPF, the world’s largest abortion provider, on Thursday, with the claim that it will go towards work related to sex education and contraception in Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Mali, Sudan, and Tanzania.

IPPF had not received funding from Canada since the end of 2009 after a petition campaign spearheaded by Trost.

In a statement published to his website Wednesday, Trost accused the government of “political hairsplitting” for their claim that they have upheld their ban on overseas abortion funding by only funding IPPF in countries where abortion is illegal.

“Considering that promoting abortion internationally is central to the identity of IPPF, this sort of political hairsplitting only seems to make sense in the Ottawa bubble,” he wrote.  “This is a position I totally reject.”

Advocacy for legal abortion is central to IPPF’s mission, and the organization is open about the fact it pushes for abortion in those countries where it is currently illegal.

“We believe that a woman has the right to choose and access safe abortion services and we lobby for changes in legislation to support this,” they write on their website. “The first step is to initiate discussion to help remove stigma, as well as cultural and religious prejudices against abortion.”

News of the funding first broke in a CBC article Thursday morning, but Trost says a staff member at the Prime Minister’s office told him Thursday afternoon that they had not approved the grant when the story ran.

“Apparently, six staffers in CIDA Minister Bev Oda’s office had been working on a grant to fund IPPF — and one of them decided to leak the story to the CBC,” says Trost.  “Rather than deny the story, a decision was made to rush funding to IPPF to the tune of $6 million over three years. (I was told that the funding letter was sent out at 4 pm that afternoon.)”

Explaining his pledge to take a more “aggressive stance” Trost said that the government ignored pro-life politicians when they demanded IPPF be defunded in 2006, after the Conservatives first took office, “because we asked politely – and behind closed doors.”

But they were successful in 2009 after being “more aggressive” and taking the campaign public with a petition.  “Many, many Conservative MPs pressed the PMO to stop the funds from flowing,” he explains.  “Federal funding did stop for a time. Funds allocated to IPPF were considerably reduced.  Furthermore, federal grants for IPPF also had more strings attached.”

“This only happened because of the pressure applied. This was a real victory,” he added.

Government bureaucrats “have fought for years to keep the status quo and continue the funding of the IPPF that was established by the Liberals,” he wrote.

“The battle over the IPPF continues.”

Contact Information:

Prime Minister Stephen Harper
80 Wellington Street
Ottawa, ON
K1A 0A2
Fax: 613-941-6900
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]