Originally published July 1, 2020.
While COVID-19 kills thousands of Canadians and has left countless others struggling due to the concurrent global recession, one must question the decision by Prime Minister Trudeau to allocate $8.9 million to the worldwide abortion regime.
International Development Minister Karina Gould said in June that contraceptives, abortion services and reproductive healthcare have become more challenging to procure for women in many parts of the world since the onset of the COVID epidemic—and that Canada must “step up” in aiding them. “We feel particularly right now that it’s important to make this funding announcement to demonstrate that we are still committed to sexual and reproductive health and rights even in a pandemic and highlighting the fact that these needs exist and are exacerbated by the current pandemic,” noted Gould in an interview.
Of the $8.9 million announced Tuesday, $4.9 million will go to Marie Stopes International, a global organization that provides contraception and abortions in 37 countries. In comparison, $2 million will go to Ipas, another international organization that advocates for legal abortion and contraceptive availability.
It should be noted that this funding often flies in the face of recipient countries’ national sovereignty. The government of Niger shut down two Marie Stopes facilities in 2018 after they were found committing abortions, although abortion is illegal in Niger.
Whether one is morally opposed to the act of abortion or not, this is an egregiously thoughtless use of taxpayer money amid the present pandemic. While Canada has undertaken a tremendous debt in response to the global crisis (some economists such as Michael Campbell estimate the real cost of debt for this year to be an unprecedented $3.2 trillion), our government continues to spend with reckless abandon to terminate pregnancies in the Third World. Campbell's estimates suggest that Canadians born in 2020 will have to shoulder the cost of this year’s debt for the rest of their lives.
Of course, diverting taxpayer money to pay for abortion in other countries is old news for the Trudeau government. Shortly after President Trump announced that the United States would cease funding abortion-related services overseas last year, the Prime Minister made “not-too-subtle” jabs at the President by conversely pledging to increase international aid for women’s health from $1.1 billion to $1.4 billion annually by 2023. Roughly half of these funds will be allocated to “sexual and reproductive health,” including abortions.
Opposition has emerged in response to the Trudeau government’s decision. CitizenGo, an international conservative advocacy group defending Christian causes, has launched a petition in opposition to continued overseas abortion funding from the Trudeau government. It remains to be seen whether this will translate into active opposition from the Conservative Party.