The federal Liberals' decision to fund and advocate for abortion overseas is tragic, writes editorial CNS photo/Paul Jeffrey

Editorial: Ottawa's decision to fund and advocate abortion overseas is tragic

By 
  • March 16, 2017

It was bad enough when the federal Liberals reversed Conservative policy and began using taxpayer money to fund overseas abortions. But a much bolder edict that will now see Canada help bankroll efforts by some foreign groups to overturn anti-abortion laws in Africa and other developing nations is a step way too far.

The government made no secret of its new vision when it announced a stunning $650-million fund for what it calls sexual and reproduction health programs in developing nations. Spread over three years, the mega-millions are being earmarked not only for abortion, contraception, sexual education and reproduction health, but Canadian tax dollars will now go to advocacy organizations to support campaigns to legalize abortion in the estimated 125 nations worldwide that currently ban or restrict the practice.

We have written in the past about Obianuju Ekeocha, a Nigerian scientist and president of an organization called Culture of Life Africa. She bristles that African aid often comes with strings attached, and she is increasingly fearful that one of those strings soon will be — if it isn’t already — genuflecting before the West’s abortion culture. She understandably resents the arrogance of nations that seem ideologically determined to impose their abortion doctrine on cultures that historically have respected life in the womb. She views this as 21st-century colonialism that reeks of cultural imperialism. And she is right.

Canada, of all nations, should know better. The Truth and Reconciliation Commission chronicled in chilling detail the consequences of government policies that imposed European culture on Canada’s First Nations. Now the government is harrumphing that it knows better than poorer nations it views as socially unprogressive. It is signalling a low regard for cultures, traditions and religions that value the sanctity of pre-born life. Just as past governments spent millions on residential schools, the current regime will spend more than half a billion dollars in Africa and other poor nations in a crusade for social and cultural reform.

This is tragic. Canadian foreign aid should be supporting women and their families in so many positive ways — food, schools, clean water, health care, safe housing. The list goes on. If the objective is to achieve the honourable goal of women’s equality, then help females build a better life.

As Cardinal Thomas Collins said in a letter to the Prime Minister, international aid is praiseworthy but it is arrogant to dictate priorities to developing countries. Empowerment of women and girls is noble, but spend the money on vaccinations, or to build schools and universities to develop female leaders, or in so many other positive ways.

Instead, Canadian tax money will go to foreign organizations so they can advance Ottawa’s abortion agenda. It is shameful.

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