Canada Drops Requirement That Pro-Life Groups Must Support Abortion for Funding After Huge Backlash

International   |   Micaiah Bilger   |   Dec 6, 2018   |   11:51AM   |   Ottawa, Canada

Canadian pro-abortion leaders finally are backing away from a requirement that all Canadian Summer Job grant applicants support abortion on demand.

The pro-abortion grant application drew heavy backlash when Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s administration introduced it in 2017. It required applicants to sign a statement that they support “reproductive rights,” including abortion on demand, as a “core” value.

The program provides funding for businesses and non-profits to offer temporary summer jobs to youth ages 15 to 30. It is a way the government encourages students to get hands-on training before entering the workforce full-time. The pro-abortion requirement prompted massive protests from Christians, Jews, Muslims, Hindus and other religious groups, but Trudeau refused to make any exceptions – until now.

The Canadian Press reports Liberal leaders amended the application language this month so that it no longer mentions abortion. Instead, applicants will be required to affirm that they do not work to infringe on any legal rights in Canada, according to the report.

Labour Minister Patty Hajdu, who initially defended the pro-abortion requirement, said the change will accommodate groups that felt their values and beliefs were being discriminated against.

“They felt this was about their values and beliefs and not about the jobs and the performances of the students in particular roles and we took that to heart,” Hajdu told the news outlet. “We’ve been working on making sure we do what we intended to do, which is to stand up for the rights of Canadians…but that we also work closely with faith-based groups and others so that they can see how they themselves would fit into this program.”

It is a small victory for faith-based employers, but the pro-abortion leaders also introduced new language to specifically prohibit pro-life advocacy groups from receiving the grants.

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According to the report:

Additional changes have been made to the program’s eligibility criteria to disqualify any project or summer job that tries to restrict access a woman’s ability to access sexual or reproductive health services. Other disqualifying traits include jobs that restrict the exercise of human rights or that discriminate based on sex, religion, race or ethnic origin.

“This is a program about quality jobs for kids, so we shouldn’t be asking kids in any circumstance to do work that would put them into a position to have to undermine or restrict the rights of others,” Hajdu said.

“That’s not the kind of job experience we would want young people to have, especially for, often times, their first (job).”

In the past, pro-life and pro-abortion advocacy groups both have received Summer Jobs grants to employ young people in part-time positions. However, the new language will prohibit any funding to groups whose purpose is to advocate against abortion. Pro-abortion groups that advocate for the destruction of unborn babies’ lives still will be eligible for the grants.

The move comes after Canada saw a huge drop in Summer Jobs program participants in 2018. The Trudeau administration rejected 1,500 summer job grant applications because they “either didn’t check off the [pro-abortion] attestation or included a clarification or modification of it,” the National Post reported in the spring. In comparison, it rejected 126 applications in 2017.

Many of the programs that lost funds served refugees, low-income children and minority groups. They included churches, camps and other charities. But because of the pro-abortion requirement, they were forced to close or drastically reduce their programs.

Canadian taxpayers pay about $200 million a year to support the program. The government will begin accepting applications for 2019 later this month.

Canada has some of the most radical pro-abortion laws in the world, allowing abortions for any reason up to birth. It does not have parental consent/notification requirements or informed consent requirements, and many abortions are paid for by taxpayer dollars.