Canada’s national pro-life lobby group is calling on the Conservative Party to live up to its policy declaration and oppose the Liberal government spending millions in tax dollars to fund abortion internationally.
“Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s global abortion funding agenda needs to be stopped. For five years the Official Opposition has failed to do so,” Jeff Gunnarson, Campaign Life Coalition president, told LifeSiteNews.
Gunnarson’s comment comes days after Liberal Minister of International Development Karina Gould made yet another announcement regarding the Liberals’ bankrolling of global access to abortion.
Gould said during a June 22 #SheDecidesNow Virtual Round Table that Canada is spending $93.7 million to support “sexual and reproductive health and rights” (SRHR), which she alleges are at risk in developing countries because of coronavirus pandemic restrictions.
The phrase “sexual and reproductive health and rights” is highly controversial because it implies a “right” to abortion as well as to contraception and “comprehensive sex education.” Abortion advocates have been pushing for years to include the phrase in international agreements, but it has never been agreed to by global consensus, as the Center for Family and Human Rights (C-FAM) recently reported.
According to Gould’s press secretary Guillaume Dumas, the $93.7 million is not new money but allocates some of the funds Trudeau pledged in 2017 and 2019, which increased the Liberals’ projected global funding of abortion and other “sexual and reproductive health and rights” to a staggering $7.1 billion by 2030.
In 2017, Trudeau promised that Canada would spend $650 million over three years to fund the promotion and provision of abortion as part of its international aid — including bankrolling campaigns to overturn national laws protecting the child in the womb.
In 2019, he announced at the Vancouver She Decides conference that Canada would spend $1.4 billion annually for 10 years beginning in 2023 to support “women and girls’ health around the world.” Half of this would fund “sexual and reproductive health rights,” his office stated at the time.
Moreover, Gould announced two weeks earlier that Canada was giving an additional $8.9 million to international abortion organizations, with $4.9 million going to Marie Stopes International, “a global organization that provides contraception and abortions in 37 countries,” Canadian Press reported at the time.
Marie Stopes International was expelled from Zambia in 2012 for committing illegal abortions. In 2018, Niger ordered the closure of two Marie Stopes clinics because they were committing abortions illegally.
In the face of the Liberals’ aggressive global abortion agenda, the Conservative caucus must speak out, particularly given that their party condemns the funding of abortion as part of international aid, emphasized Gunnarson.
“Abortion should be explicitly excluded from Canada’s maternal and child health program in countries where Canadian aid is delivered, since it is extremely divisive – and often illegal,” states the Conservative Party’s 2020 policy declaration on maternal health.
Conservatives “lose their minds about Trudeau’s other spending policies, which are a lot smaller in amount, and yet remain silent on the $700 million annually that Trudeau is committing towards abortion, including this latest commitment of almost $100 million,” Gunnarson told LifeSiteNews.
“The silence by the pro-life members of the opposition is deafening,” he said, but added there are notable exceptions.
Two of the four Conservative Party leadership candidates, Ontario Member of Parliament Derek Sloan and Toronto lawyer Leslyn Lewis, have promised that as leader, they will end international funding for abortion.
“Luckily we have two CPC leadership candidates who will put an end to this ideological spending of Canadian tax dollars: Sloan and Lewis,” Gunnarson.
“Defunding abortion should also be a priority for fiscal conservatives and those angered by Trudeau’s management of Canadian taxpayer dollars,” he added.
According to Gould’s press secretary, the $93.7 million the Liberals announced this week has been allocated as follows:
- Better Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights for All in Indonesia
United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA)
$8 million (2018 to 2022)
- Improving SRHR of Women in Humanitarian Contexts
Ipas (which is, according to its website, “the only international organization solely focused on expanding access to safe abortion and contraceptive care”)
$1.2 million (2020 to 2021)
- My Health, My Choice
United Kingdom Department for International Development
$50 million (2019 to 2021)
- Girls’ Reproductive Rights, Empowerment Accelerated in Tanzania
UNICEF and UNFPA (United Nations Population Fund)
$20 million (2019 to 2023)
- Empowering Women and Girls in SRHR and Gender-Based Violence
UNFPA and UNICEF
$4.5 million (2019 to 2024)
- Strengthening SRHR through Midwives in Somalia
$10 million (2020 to 2025)
In May, Trudeau Liberals issued a “Statement on Protecting Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights and Promoting Gender-Responsiveness in the COVID-19 Crisis” along with 58 other countries that called “on governments around the world to ensure full and unimpeded access to all sexual and reproductive health services for all women and girls.”
In April, they included abortion funding in their pledge of almost $160 million to combat the coronavirus pandemic in developing countries.