Boxes of mifepristone, the first pill given in a chemical abortion, are pictured in a Jan. 13, 2023, photo. OSV News photo/Evelyn Hockstein, Reuters

Abortion push abroad ‘ideological colonization’

  • April 23, 2024

The Canadian government continues to allocate billions of dollars for the promotion of sexual and reproductive health rights in the developing world, while slashing funds to other priorities like national defence.

Tucked in amongst the announcements on rising capital gains taxes and “halal mortgages,” the federal budget released April 16 included $4.2 billion over six years for the provision of modern contraception and abortion globally.  The funding was included in the section of the budget entitled “Upholding Canadian Values Around the World.”

David Mulroney, Canada’s former ambassador to China and past president of Toronto’s University of St. Michael’s College, told The Catholic Register that Canadian tax dollars are not being targeted on projects in line with the true needs and desires of the targeted countries.

“Far from deploying Canadian aid workers to African countries to listen, learn and craft policies that promote development in line with local goals and aspirations, Canada simply transfers funds to its likeminded partners in multilateral organizations, progressive foundations and the big abortion providers like Planned Parenthood,” said Mulroney.

Matthew Wojciechowski, vice-president at Campaign Life Coalition, said this translates to money “funding advocacy efforts to liberalize abortion laws where it remains illegal or highly restrictive, and push laws that aim to redefine traditional marriage.”

“Canada’s imposition of pro-abortion and anti-traditional family dogma on the rest of the world is what Pope Francis has referred to as ideological colonization.”

The pledge is a continuation of 2019 commitments made by Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland, who at the time was Canada’s Foreign Minister. Under the banner of “Canada’s Feminist International Assistance Policy,” Freeland announced that “the right to access safe and legal abortions” is at “the core of our foreign policy.” 

Shortly thereafter, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced that Canada would spend $14 billion to “support women and girls’ health around the world” with half of the funds earmarked for sexual and reproductive health rights. The funding envelope was to extend for 10 years, beginning in 2023.

Meanwhile, with millions being dispersed each year on sexual and reproductive health rights, largely funnelled through Global Affairs Canada, questions are being asked about more pressing concerns to Canadians. One area is Canada’s military spending. Canada signed a communique that pledged allies to committing two per cent of GDP to defence. Consistently at the bottom tier of NATO allies when it comes to the defence budget, Canada estimated that 1.38 per cent of GDP was allocated to defence last year. One of the priorities Canadians are beginning to recognize in times of increased geopolitical turmoil is military underfunding over the years. 

The 2024 budget promises 1.76 per cent of GDP to defence, but some analysts question the numbers. A CBC article quotes Dave Perry, president of the Canadian Global Affairs Institute: “It’s really unclear how we actually get to 1.76 per cent of GDP, if you take the figures that are presented.” 

Experts say that though the budget looks to increase on paper, internal cost-cutting imposed earlier this year means that the military can expect $635 million less this year than before cutbacks were announced. That $635-million shortfall is just $65 million shy of the $700 million the government will disperse to non-governmental agencies like International Planned Parenthood and Marie Stopes (MSI Reproductive Choices) working in developing countries in support of sexual and reproductive health.

An additional concern is the new money earmarked for work at the United Nations. 

“Canada is particularly influential at the UN, where our diplomats zealously advance policies designed to undermine the traditional family and subvert fundamental truths about the nature of the human person,” said Mulroney.

It has become a pillar of Canadian international diplomacy that “sexual and reproductive health rights” are a Canadian value that must be shared by the entire world. In just one example, one of the stated objectives of a $9.97 million Global Affairs Canada grant to MSI Reproductive Choices is the support of “local advocacy efforts” for sexual and reproductive health and rights services in Ghana.” 

The 2019 Feminist International Assistance Policy document states “Canadians are safer and more prosperous when more of the world shares our values.”

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