NDP Critic for Women and Gender Equality Leah Gazan issued the following statement:
“When Prime Minister Trudeau issued his mandate letter to the Minister of Finance in December 2021, he included the explicit commitment to “make anti-abortion organizations that provide dishonest counselling to pregnant women about their rights and options ineligible for charitable status”.
To date, we have not seen any action on this. Instead, we are seeing more crisis pregnancy centers open across the country that do not support reproductive rights and provide inaccurate information about abortion or pregnancy options. Even worse, over ninety per cent of these establishments are registered charities. This is unacceptable.
These establishments mislead women and gender diverse individuals, disguising themselves as healthcare centers. They spread disinformation and dishonest counselling to people in their desperate time of need. These crisis pregnancy centers direct people away from the reproductive health care or abortion services they have a right to access.
It is unjust that these organizations benefit from registered charity status and the legitimacy it confers, while actively undermining the Canada Health Act, which affirms reproductive health care access for women and gender diverse people. The Liberals are indirectly supporting the ability of these crisis pregnancy centers to operate by stalling on their commitment to put an end to their charitable status.
Enough is enough. The Minister of Finance must act now to remove charitable status from these establishments that spread false and harmful information about reproductive health. Furthermore, to help stop the spread of misinformation on abortion care, Health Canada should publish accurate information and options on where to get counselling or abortion services on its website for public consultation.
New Democrats urge the Liberal government to act immediately on its promise and stop the spread of misinformation on abortion care that is harming women and gender diverse individuals.”