Thursday April 15, 2010
Tory MP Accuses Grit of Setting Him Up to Back Pro-Abort Parliamentary Group
By Patrick B. Craine
OTTAWA, Ontario, April 14, 2010 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Conservative Member of Parliament Peter Goldring (Edmonton East) is accusing pro-abortion Liberal MP Raymonde Folco (Laval—Les Îles) of deliberately misleading him in order get his weight behind an association of parliamentarians that he has now learned is bent on promoting abortion in the developing world.
Folco, who serves as chair of the Canadian Association of Parliamentarians on Population and Development (CAPPD), asked Goldring to serve as vice-chair on the executive committee of her group.
Goldring told LifeSiteNews (LSN) that Folco made it seem that CAPPD, which was founded in 1997 by pro-abortion former Liberal MP Jean Augustine, had been “asked by the Prime Minister to give them a report before the G8 summit.” He says that she told him that their focus was on promoting the United Nations’ Millenium Development Goals (MDGs).
Goldring explained that the focus seemed to fit his background; he has worked on MDG issues in the past, particularly in promoting democracy, has written two books on housing and homelessness, and served on the Parliamentary Foreign Affairs and International Development Committee. Given that he and Folco had worked well together on other issues, he welcomed the opportunity, calling the focus on the MDGs “admirable.”
But he began to be concerned when the group delayed in sending him their written documents. “I’m following through on it, and I’m wondering ‘Why aren’t I getting anything in writing? What’s going on?’” he said.
After some meetings, he noticed that the group’s discussions focused primarily on maternal issues. When he questioned Folco on this, she assured him that the group would not be getting into abortion advocacy.
“All the way through it, she’s assuring me, ‘No, no, no, no, we’re not going down the road on the abortion issue. It’s not going to go down the road on that’,” said Goldring.
Nevertheless he began researching the group, looking into some of the organizations with which they were associating, and discovered that these organizations were focused on “family planning” issues. Further discoveries, particularly the group’s connection with local Planned Parenthood centres, made it clear to him that abortion was “exactly what this is going to be [about].”
“So I said, ‘I’m getting out of here. You misled me,’” Goldring explained. “I think if the organization is going to fixate on that, then that is not what I want to do, and that is not my belief and my understanding of how things should be done.”
In a March 22nd letter of resignation to Folco, Goldring objected to the group’s Constitution, which he only received after joining. That document states that members are expected to uphold the “right to choose.”
Goldring wrote to Folco that he was concerned that the group would be “sidetracked” from the MDGs “and concentrate instead on imposing a politically motivated agenda on those who do not wish to receive it.”
He wrote that women in the developing world have a grave need for solutions like clean water, inoculations, better nutrition, and trained health workers, and emphasized that “increasing their access to abortion does not address these pressing issues.”
“It would be most unfortunate if the apparently narrowly focused agenda derails the good work that otherwise could be brought to bear on these specific issues of women’s and children’s health,” he added.
Goldring told LSN that the correctness of his decision to resign was confirmed when the Liberals later put forward a motion to demand that the government include abortion and contraception in their plan to advance maternal and child health at the G8 summit this June. While the motion, which was defeated 138-144, did not use the word ‘abortion’, its intention was made clear by its condemnation of George W. Bush’s Mexico City Policy, which forbade federal funds from going to groups promoting or providing abortions overseas.
“When the bill went in the House for debate, they blew the doors off of it,” Goldring said. “It is exactly about abortion-on-demand. Government-funded abortion-on-demand.”
“You can see how sneaky they were,” he added. “How these organizations are built – they’ll drag you in, drag you in, don’t tell you the exact truth until the very last day and by then it’s too late. You’re virtually a signature to their efforts, whether you agree or not.”
Asked why Folco would have misled him, Goldring explained, “It’s political. To have me sitting in there as vice-chair of this organization lends a certain amount of credibility to it, certainly having a Conservative member of government sitting on the organization bodes well.”
The whole affair, he said, was “very concerning,” and “a real unfortunate setup.” “We could have done some good by examining the [MDGs],” he added, noting that the MDGs “do not address abortion in any written way whatsoever at all.”
Having now worked with CAPPD, Goldring was emphatic that no pro-life person ought to be working with them. “Definitely not. They are so mindset on giving the freedom of women in these countries, under the auspices of family planning, abortion-on-demand as a form of birth control,” he explained. “And to hell with what the countries think themselves.”
Mary Ellen Douglas, national organizer for Campaign Life Coalition, praised the pro-life MP for taking “a principled position” and for exposing CAPPD for “what they truly are.”
“I think Mr. Goldring was quite correct in thinking that they wanted a pro-life MP on there to give them credibility and to continue to disguise what they were actually about,” she continued. “I don’t know how any pro-life politician can legitimately support this group.”
A representative from Raymonde Folco’s office told LSN in the early afternoon that Folco would be able to respond in the early evening, but LSN did not hear back by press time.
Michael Ignatieff, Liberal Leader
House of Commons
E-Mail: [email protected]
House of Commons
Telephone: (613) 992-2659
Fax: (613) 992-9469
E-Mail: [email protected]
See related LifeSiteNews.com coverage:
World’s Pro-Abortion Parliamentarians Gather in Canada