-posted by Tonda MacCharles, Ottawa bureau, Sept. 30, 2011
It's interesting as the debate over abortion is now coming out into the open, whether Prime Minister Stephen Harper welcomes it or not, becuase it's clearly happening behind closed caucus doors.
Conservative MP Brad Trost was first to publicly flag his objections to a decision to fund International Planned Parenthood Federation this week, in a website posting.
Now MP Maurice Vellacott has weighed in with a news release sent to the parliamentary press gallery. (Will insert link later) It offers these quotes:
“The IPPF is trying to dupe us into believing that because Canadian taxpayer dollars are going to countries where abortion is supposedly illegal, the money won’t be spent on abortions."
“But we know in Bangladesh, for example, where Canada is funding, this nefarious organization will do early abortion which they euphemistically call ‘menstrual regulation’ by vacuum suction. If a woman hasn’t had her period in 8 weeks, they will do a ‘menstrual regulation’ – that’s an early abortion by another name."
He says: “In this way, IPPF will be using Canadian taxpayer dollars for funding abortions directly or, to use other deceptive language, they will be ‘establishing non-pregnancy in the first trimester.’"
“In addition, 6 million Canadian taxpayer dollars to IPPF frees up money from other sources to fund abortions directly.”
The IPPF's spokesman Paul Bell, reached in London late in the U.K.'s working day, said he would respond in more detail next week, but offered these comments in an email reply:
"IPPF is absolutely clear, no Canadian money will be used for any abortion related services in any of the five countries that CIDA has announced funding for, this includes advocacy for access to safe abortion services in countries where it is highly restricted."
He cited research done by Stanford University research that he says has shown that defunding international family planning programmes, including IPPF, "will only result in fewer women having access to contraception, more unwanted and unplanned pregnancies and more induced and unsafe abortions."
He said the United Nations Population Fund estimates "that 215 million women, mainly in the developing world, who want contraception do not have access to it."
"It should not be a surprise then that there are 21 million unsafe abortions every year, the vast majority in Africa and Asia. This figure has increased from 19 million in 2003."
"IPPF does advocate the liberalisation of abortion laws in countries where abortion is highly restricted. We do this because we know unsafe abortion is a major public health problem, and we know improving access and making abortion safe saves women’s lives.
"Restricting laws and access to safe abortion services does not reduce abortion rates, it just makes abortion clandestine and unsafe. This impacts the poorest women most, since, even in countries where abortion is restricted, those with money can either find someone to perform an abortion safely in their country or they can travel to another country."