Canada should be providing the developing world with the same standard of pre-natal, birth and post-natal care women obtain here, said Dr. Robert Walley, founder and executive director of MaterCare International, a worldwide organization of Catholic obstetricians and gynecologists.
Walley said world leaders such as Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and wealthy philanthropists like the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation “don’t realize that mothers are women, too.”
“So they are discriminating against an enormous number of women who are dying in pregnancy,” he said. Instead of addressing needs for clean water and basic obstetrical care, they say, “If you don’t want to die in pregnancy, the best thing to do is kill your baby.”
Walley was responding to a March 8 announcement that the federal government will spend $650 million over three years on what it calls “sexual and reproductive health programs.” In addition to increased support for abortion and related services, in a new twist money will now go to NGOs which engage in advocacy to have abortion legalized in nations that currently ban the practice.
The government announcement prompted Cardinal Thomas Collins of Toronto and Bishop Douglas Crosby of Hamilton, the president of the Canadian bishops’ conference, to send letters of protest to the Prime Minister. It also brought angry responses from Canadian pro-life groups.
“Rather than forcing a pro-abortion ideology on the underdeveloped areas of the world, Canadian tax dollars should be used with the intention of achieving the best results for the money we spend,” said Mike Schouten, director of WeNeedaLaw.ca.
Calling the announcement “appalling” and “deeply concerning,” he wondered why Canada is “committing millions of taxpayer dollars that we don’t even have so that organizations such as International Planned Parenthood can continue to masquerade abortion as ‘women’s health care’ in third-world countries?”
“Women in third-world countries are in desperate need of medicine, clean water and maternal care so that they can care for themselves and their newborn children. These essentials, which we take for granted, are needed so they can give their families the best possible future.”
Johanne Brownrigg, public affairs officer for Campaign Life Coalition, said her group was “horrified” by the decision to spend “more than half a billion dollars on spreading abortion across the world.”
“Our nation, under Trudeau, has now become one of the world’s top exporters of abortion and sterilization,” she said.
Walley called the $650-million commitment “an outrage.”
“It’s an abomination and we should be ashamed,” he said.
A spokesman for International Development Minister Marie-Claude Bibeau said the $650 million is not new money, but will come from “unallocated funds in Global Affairs Canada’s existing aid budget.”
“Addressing the gaps in sexual and reproductive health and rights is a clearly articulated priority for the Government of Canada,” the spokesman said.
The commitment is in addition to the $3.5 billion over five years committed by Prime Minister Stephen Harper in 2014 when he renewed his 2010 Maternal and Child Health Initiative. Harper’s initiative did not permit spending on abortion or related services.
On March 2, Bibeau pledged $20 million for what the government called sexual and reproductive health that was to be divided among the biggest abortion providers in the world: Planned Parenthood, Marie Stopes International, Population Services International, Ipas and the United Nations Population Fund’s UNFP Supplies.