MP running for USask riding claims Planned Parenthood funding axed

Student reps worked to fight against Brad Trost’s anti-abortion petition in the past
Conservative MP Brad Trost, the incumbent running for the Saskatoon-Humboldt riding which encompasses the University of Saskatchewan campus, is in hot water after telling a room full of pro-life supporters that the Tories are planning to cut funding to the International Planned Parenthood Federation.

Though no plans to halt federal funding to the organization have been officially announced, Trost thanked those at the Saskatchewan ProLife Association’s annual convention last Saturday for helping with petitions and said they played a huge role in halting the group’s funding from the Conservative government, according to CBC News.

“Let me just tell you, 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 defund Planned Parenthood because it has been an absolute disgrace that that organization and several others like it have been receiving one penny of Canadian taxpayers’ dollars,” Trost told the crowd.

This isn’t the first time the MP has voiced his disapproval of the organization. Trost circulated a petition in 2009 asking the federal government to stop funding the IPPF. The petition accused the group of promoting “the establishment of abortion as an international human right, and lobbies aggressively to impose permissive abortion laws on developing nations,” according to The Sheaf.

This was countered by a petition organized by the University of Saskatchewan Students’ Union (USSU) in support of the group, after student representatives caught word of his initiative.

“The IPPF is directly affiliated with Saskatoon Sexual Health, which helps train the staff of the USSU…. The university does tons of work abroad and IPPF helps with that. These are issues that directly affect students and can have both a positive or negative impact depending on whether this goes through,” Warren Kirkland, then-USSU president, told The Sheaf.

Since Trost’s speech, the Conservative Party has tried to distance themselves from his remarks. Dimitri Soudas, spokesperson for Stephen Harper, told reporters Trost was a “backbench MP who, without question, isn’t aware of the way that our program works” at an emergency press conference Thursday morning.

However, the party has yet to confirm or deny if the IPPF will receive its federal funding. The organization has been waiting for over a year to hear whether or not the Canadian International Development Agency will approve their request for an $18 million grant.