Planned Parenthood Defunded in Canada?

The war on women's reproductive health is not being waged solely in the US. Canadian anti-choice groups may have convinced that country's government to totally defund Planned Parenthood, despite the fact that abortion is merely a tiny fraction of the women's health services they provide. At an anti-choice rallly in Ottowa, conservative parliament member Brad Trost said that parliament would soon announce they were removing all government funds from Planned Parenthood, based partly on anti-choice petitions.  The Toronto Star:

In the speech, a recording of which was obtained by the Liberals and given to the Toronto Star and Le Devoir, Trost claims a number of parliamentary victories for the pro-life movement, including a decision to deny funding for the International Planned Parenthood Federation.

Trost said he and “many” other MPs helped spearhead efforts to round up petitions “to defund Planned Parenthood.”

“Let me just tell you, and I cannot tell you specifically how we used it, but those petitions were very, very useful and they were part of what we used to defund Planned Parenthood because it has been absolute disgrace that that organization and several others like it have been receiving one penny of Canadian taxpayers dollars,” Trost said.

The organization, which provides sexual and reproductive health programs worldwide, had applied for $18 million and had been waiting for over a year for word whether the Canadian International Development Agency would approve the grant.

It's still unannounced whether Trost was spilling the goods on an actual federal move or whether he was trying to jazz up a rally of lifers, but other conservatives immediately tried to separate themselves from his comments. 'Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s spokesman, Dimitri Soudas, referred to Trost as a “backbencher”' reports the Star, 'and said he was mistaken to say a decision had been made not to fund International Planned Parenthood for delivery of the government's child and maternal health initiative that was announced at the G8 summit last summer.' Read the full story here.

AlterNet / By Julianne Escobedo Shepherd

Posted at April 21, 2011, 4:14am

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