Planned Parenthood grant draws fire

  • September 28, 2011

OTTAWA - International Planned Parenthood, which promotes and provides abortions, has received a federal grant under a G8 initiative that Prime Minister Stephen Harper said would not fund Third World abortions.

Conservative MP Brad Trost calls the $6 million CIDA grant to Planned Parenthood a “slap in the face” to all social conservatives in Parliament and the Tory caucus.

“I am very, very disappointed, very unhappy,” said Trost, the pro-life MP who campaigned last spring on getting Planned Parenthood de-funded.

News of the funding broke on CBC News Sept. 22, with a report Planned Parenthood would receive $6 million over three years to do work in countries where abortion is illegal. It will participate in health care for mothers and children and sexual education programs, according to a Planned Parenthood spokeswoman. 

A spokesman for International Co-Operation Minister Bev Oda confirmed Planned Parenthood had received the grant money under the maternal health initiative announced last year when Prime Minister Harper chaired the G8 meeting in Huntsville, Ont., and the G20 in Toronto.

Oda’s press secretary Justin Broekema, in an e-mail, said the government decided to fund the portion of Planned Parenthood’s proposal that “met the government’s Muskoka Initiative in five countries of focus: Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Mali, Sudan and Tanzania.” This includes “key elements such as the treatment and prevention of diseases, basic nutrition, and safe drinking water.”

There are some positive elements, Trost said, because Planned Parenthood used to receive $18 million in funding over three years that could directly fund abortion.

“I regard it as a bit of hair splitting,” he said. “They are officially not going to be allowed to use this money on abortion directly,” but the funding will free up other monies to go directly to abortion elsewhere.

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