Catholic Bishops Say Justin Trudeau's New Abortion Policy 'Exploits Women'


Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speaks during Question Period in the House of Commons on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.Reuters

Two Catholic bishops have condemned the Canadian government's latest overseas abortion policy, with one calling it 'a reprehensible example of Western cultural imperialism'.

Bishop Douglas Crosby, the president of the Canadian bishops' conference, made his comments in a highly critical letter to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, according to Crux.

Another letter to the Prime Minister, from Cardinal Thomas Collins of Toronto, said that public comments from Mr Trudeau 'suggest that unless a woman has access to abortion or contraception, she is not empowered or able to realize her full potential.'

Both clerics were responding to an announcement last week that the Canadian government would 'invest' $650 million (US$483 million) in providing abortion services for the developing world in the next three years. Canadian finances would thus be directed toward funding abortions, sexual health programmes, and would also support organisations working to legalise abortion in countries where it is currently illegal.

Bishop Crosby wrote: 'Such a policy is a reprehensible example of Western cultural imperialism and an attempt to impose misplaced but so-called Canadian 'values' on other nations and people.

'It exploits women when they are most in need of care and support and tragically subverts true prenatal health care. It negates our country's laudable efforts to welcome refugees and offer protection to the world's homeless, when the youngest of human lives will instead be exterminated and the most vulnerable of human beings discarded as unwanted human tissue.'

He said the Prime Minister's position was 'in conflict with the principles instinctively shared by the majority of the world's population and consistently upheld by the Catholic Church: to defend and protect human life from conception to natural death.'

Cardinal Collins said it was 'praiseworthy to offer international aid; it is arrogant for powerful, wealthy nations to dictate what priorities developing countries should embrace'.

'Money spent on promoting abortion and contraception could be spent on vaccinating millions of women and girls against malaria or other diseases,' the cardinal wrote.

The British debate

The news comes as the UK parliament is set today to debate the loosening of abortion restrictions in Britain. Diana Johnson, Labour MP for Hull North, wants to repeal a law which marks unregistered, medically unauthorised abortions illegal.

'Women buying pills on the internet to bring about a miscarriage are committing a criminal act, which is punishable by life imprisonment,' she said, according to The Times.

'Parliament should consider whether that is appropriate.'

In 2016, 375 online-bought abortion pills were confiscated by authorities across the UK, a vast increase from just five in 2013.

Christian Concern called the news about the parliament debate 'shocking', and called Christians to take a stand in defence of the unborn, according to Premier.

They said: 'This motion wouldn't change the law directly, but if passed it may be used in future to suggest that Parliament supports decriminalisation.

'It is vital that is defeated. But lobby groups are already at work trying to persuade MPs to support it. So, please act now.'