Policy Objectives: support for women and families
Policy Action Items: 1) provide equal funding—dollar for dollar with money used to provide abortion services as well as given to pro-abortion advocacy groups—to pregnancy crisis centres and pro-family support groups
This proposed policy priority is about providing equality in the delivery of women’s health care services.
Put simply, if the government is funding abortion and abortion counselling services, such as Planned Parenthood, then justice and equality demand nothing less than government funding for Pregnancy Crisis Centres and support for those women who want a viable and accessible option to abortion and abortion counselling.
There is absolutely no legitimate reason why there should not be equal funding. Let’s be very clear: every dollar spent on performing an abortion or on funding pro-abortion/counselling groups, such as Planned Parenthood, should be matched with funding to pregnancy crisis centres and pro-life/family support groups/agencies.
Funding of Pregnancy Crisis Centres isn’t merely a matter of equality, it is also a matter of preventing harm.
Studies continually show that a majority of women suffer physical and/or psychological harm in the aftermath of abortions. A recent study from May 2023 (published in the journal Cureus), found that of 226 women reporting a history of abortion, only 33% identified it as “wanted”, 43% as “accepted but inconsistent with their values and preferences”, and 24% as” unwanted or coerced.” Only the “wanted abortions” were associated with positive emotions or mental health gains. All other groups attributed more negative emotions and mental health outcomes to their abortions such as feelings of sadness, guilt, and regret after the fact. Sixty percent reported they would have preferred to give birth if they had received more support from others or had more financial security.
It is beyond doubt that the State has a legitimate interest in protecting the life of the child in utero, as well as the life and health of the pregnant woman.
Time and again, polls continue to show that a vast majority of Canadians oppose late term or sex-selection abortions. If government is funding abortion services, then equality demands that it also fund the alternative provided by pro-life pregnancy crisis centres and services.
State Neutrality Myth
The idea that the state should be a “neutral” actor in society is a myth. All government policies are loaded with moral choices reflecting what policy makers and legislators “think” is in the best interests of the public, or too often, themselves or their particular supporters. Those who argue that the state has no business funding pregnancy crisis centres and services because the state must be “neutral” and not take sides with those of its citizens who are pro-life are complete hypocrites. They entirely overlook the fact that the state is anything but neutral when funding abortion and abortion counselling services.
Moreover, it is well recognized that the state has a legitimate interest in protecting the life of the unborn. More importantly, as a matter of public health and women’s health in particular, the state has a very real interest in promoting mental health and protecting women from the real harm that comes from obtaining an abortion.
Time to Treat All Women Fairly and with Respect
Funding women’s health services ought to be about providing safe and accessible alternatives. We should not be afraid to support services that respect women as potential mothers and that expressly aim to help and support women in choosing life over death, hope over despair. Part of being that alternative is found in the fact that there exist organizations that are specially known for not assisting in abortions.
Instead, pregnancy crisis centres offer medically accurate information about abortion and parenting that is supported by the experience and knowledge of perinatal nurses, family physicians, obstetricians and gynaecologists, and medical ethicists. Contrary to the smear campaigns of pro-abortionists, pregnancy crisis centres not only offer women accurate and important information, but also support at a time of stress and uncertainty. Yes, many of these organizations are “faith-based”, but that is not to their detriment, but rather is a credit to the people who operate them, people who bear witness by putting their beliefs into action—practicing what they preach!
The time has come to level the playing field. In direct opposition to Justin Trudeau and his Liberal Party’s platform promise to remove charitable status from pregnancy care centres, a Conservative government ought to celebrate, encourage and support pregnancy crisis centres. Such celebration, encouragement and support starts with proper funding equal to the need.