Archive for Defund Planned Parenthood

Canadian Conservative MP Trost addresses Planned Parenthood Defunding

Posted in Canada, Defund Planned Parenthood with tags , , , , , on April 22, 2011 by saynsumthn

Canadian Conservative MP Trost addresses Planne…, posted with vodpod

From the Star Phoenix:

Conservative MP Brad Trost stands by his statements made at a Saskatchewan Pro-life Association convention, where he suggested the federal government has chosen to deny funding to the International Planned Parenthood Federation.

Trost on Thursday said prior to a candidates forum at the University of Saskatchewan in Saskatoon that he does not support planned parenthood because it supports abortion.

Speaking later at the candidates forum, Trost said he is “very proud of the work that I’ve done to help de-fund the International Planned Parenthood Federation and we’ve been able to de-fund it for the last 16 months.

“We don’t know if it’s going to get funding after the election. That’s why I said what I said to encourage people to continue to talk about it.”

Trost, the incumbent in the Saskatoon-Humboldt riding, spoke at a Saskatchewan Pro-life Association convention in Humboldt on Saturday. He told the crowd that Planned Parenthood was denied funding because of grassroots support.

“I cannot tell you specifically how we used it but those petitions were very, very useful and they were part of what we used to de-fund Planned Parenthood, because it has been absolute disgrace that this organization and several others like it have been receiving one penny of Canadian taxpayers’ dollars,” Trost said.

But the fight isn’t over because Planned Parenthood continues to seek financial help from the government, Trost added.

“Now, you should know, they’re still trying to get their snout back in the public trough,” Trost said.

Speaking on Thursday, Trost explained why he feels so strongly about the issue.

“I take this stand because I believe it’s compassionate, it’s caring and I also take this stand because these dollars could be better allocated to organizations that are more efficient and I believe more compassionate and more caring,” he said.

The federation’s funding has been up in the air over the past year, with the government neither accepting or denying the organization’s funding application for $18 million.

Paul Bell, a spokesman with the International Planned Parenthood Federation, said for the first time in some 40 years, it looked like Canada would not help fund the organization’s work.

Bell said an $18-million application for a three-year core funding grant submitted in 2009 was ignored. The group also still hasn’t heard back from the Conservative government regarding its funding request in 2010, for a $6-million grant.

That application fell within the lines of the Muskoka Initiative and did not include funding for abortion, Bell said, in an interview from London.

“What this government has made clear is that it won’t fund actual abortions, so that is what our bid was based on,” Bell told Postmedia News. “I know that last year, (Brad Trost) was pushing this hard anti-Planned Parenthood agenda and it is the kind of rhetoric that we observe all the time coming out of the U.S.

“It is the same language, it is the same tactics.”

Trost said he’s “not necessarily opposed” to testing for STI’s HIV and other health issues, “but I do understand when you give money to an organization, it can be moved back and forth with accounting, so that’s why an organization that’s involved in one aspect (abortion), I’m very loathe to give them funding for absolutely everything.”

Trost told the pro-life convention that he still has to convince Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Conservative MPs to move the pro-life movement forward.

Harper on Thursday vowed that a Conservative government will never endorse anti-abortion legislation while he is in power, but he refused to disclose his personal view on abortion.

International Co-operation Minister Bev Oda issued a statement suggesting that if the organization applied for funding and did not request cash for abortions, it would receive money.

“If Planned Parenthood submits an application that falls within the government’s parameters for the G8 Muskoka Initiative, there will be funding,” she said in the statement, referring to Harper’s maternal-health plan, touted as the centrepiece of last year’s global summit.

Harper acknowledged Thursday that there are members of the Conservative caucus who don’t support abortion. “In our party, as in any broadly based party, there are people with a range of views on this issue,” he told reporters.

But he said a Conservative government would never reopen the divisive abortion debate under his leadership.

“As long as I’m prime minister, we are not reopening the abortion debate,” he said. “The government will not bring forward any such legislation, and any such legislation that is brought forward will be defeated. This is not the priority of the Canadian people, or of this government. The priority is the economy. That’s what we’re going to focus on.”

Harper noted his government did not support a private member’s bill brought forward last year by Tory MP Rod Bruinooge. The bill would have made it a crime to “coerce,” or attempt to coerce, a woman to end her pregnancy. It was defeated in the House of Commons after the government declined to support it.

However, Harper sidestepped a question about whether he personally supports a woman’s right to choose.

“My position is I’m not opening this debate. I don’t want it opened, I have not wanted it opened, I haven’t opened it as prime minister. I’m not going to open it. The public doesn’t want to open it. It’s not the priority of the Canadian public or this government, and it will not be,” Harper said.

Trost said Thursday he doesn’t see how anything he said contradicts what Harper said on the issue.

“I know he has no interest whatsoever, as does most of the cabinet, in opening the abortion issue. I represent a constituency that has been historically represented not just by pro-life Conservatives, pro-life New Democrats, pro-life Liberals, in fact the Green Party candidate that ran in the last time was strongly pro-life,” said Trost.

“He’s been very clear about where he is on the life issue and I’m very clear on it. So I think if there’s ever a day that there’s a clear demonstration that Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Brad Trost think differently, this is it. And I respect him and he respects me. We’re both individual members of Parliament. Yeah, his views have considerably more weight than mine.”

Harper’s chief spokesman said Thursday morning that Trost’s comments don’t reflect the policy of the government or the party.

“This member of Parliament is a backbencher. The government sets out policies, and these policies are implemented based on merit,” said Dimitri Soudas. “I honestly don’t know where he got his information.”

But he wouldn’t say if the Conservatives would fund Planned Parenthood.

“Applications are submitted, reviewed. We set out clear criteria on these applications. Organizations apply. These are looked at by the department,” said Soudas.

International Co-operation Minister Bev Oda issued a statement suggesting that if the organization applied for funding and did not request cash for abortions, it would receive money.

“If Planned Parenthood submits an application that falls within the government’s parameters for the G8 Muskoka Initiative, there will be funding,” she said in the statement, referring to Harper’s maternal-health plan, touted as the centrepiece of last year’s global summit.

The Liberals on Thursday suggested Harper couldn’t be trusted to defend a woman’s right to choose.

“This is why people talk about a secret agenda . . . Nothing is clear. Nothing is transparent,” Michael Ignatieff said. “My job, my obligation to voters, is to say that if you vote Liberal, you’re voting for a party that believes a woman’s right to choose in the national and international scene.”

NDP leader Jack Layton also said Thursday that his party was pro-choice.

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