The Trudeau government is dismissing severe criticism from the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops over the administration’s linkage of foreign aid with abortion funding.
Trudeau’s, development minister, Marie-Claude Bibeau, called abortion a “tool to end poverty” in an interview with CTV News.
The bishops’ president, Douglas Crosby, had written to Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland on June 29, condemning the Liberal government’s equating “women’s rights with the right to abortion and ‘sexual reproductive rights'” and asked why the federal government was insisting that these “rights are at the core of Canadian foreign policy.”
Crosby continued: “Has Canada forgotten that for a considerable population (both within Canada and abroad) the unborn child is regarded as a human being created by God and worthy of life and love? This moral position can be found among Jews, Muslims, Hindus, Orthodox Christians, a number of Protestant Christians, Roman and Eastern Catholics, in addition to many other people of good will, including non-believers.”
But Trudeau minister Bibeau insists foreign aid will only be dispensed if that aid includes funding for abortion in the Third World.
“Contraception and even abortion is only a tool to end poverty,” Bibeau told CTV News, adding that she wants to give women “the control over their lives. So we shouldn’t look at contraception as the objective. This is not the objective. This is only a tool to reduce poverty and inequality and to make an impact in terms of development and peace and security in the world.”
Crosby pointed out in his letter that while Trudeau is dolling out $650 million for overseas abortions, it is spending a pittance on combatting poverty, saying that amount “contrasts sharply with his government’s response to the severe food shortages in South Sudan, Yemen, northeast Nigeria and Somalia, for which it had only pledged $119.25 million – a difference of $530.75 million.”
Gwen Landolt, vice-president of REAL Women of Canada, reiterated Crosby’s frustration with the Liberal government. She told The Daily Caller, “Trudeau and his government seem unaware of the many global injustices that presently exist, such as female infanticide, lack of women’s rights to education and genuine health care needs including maternal and infancy care. His Cabinet doesn’t seem to grasp the fact that health care includes medicine, vaccination, nourishment and clean water.”
Bibeau was speaking from the Family Planning Summit in London, where she said she is considering preparing a formal response for the Catholic bishops.
“It’s important to have the conversation with the religious leaders so we can understand each other,” Bibeau said.
The previous Conservative government stopped funding overseas abortions with foreign aid money — a move that was applauded by the pro-life members of its caucus.