Canadian Pre-Hague Meeting Dominated by Planned Parenthood (2/99)

* A two-day session this week in Hull, Canada, highlighted how the "Cairo+5" process is being stage-managed in many nations by pro-abortion lobbyists. The purpose of the meeting was to draft Canadian positions for next week's Hague Forum and next month's Commission on Population and Development in New York. Those meetings are the final preparatory conferences for this summer's UN General Assembly Special Session to review implementation of the 1994 Cairo International Conference on Population and Development.

* Canada's Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade (DFAIT) hosted the February1-2 meeting in Hull. DFAIT and four other government agencies earlier gave CDN$60,0000 to the obscure Action Canada for Population and Development (ACPD) which operates from the office of Planned Parenthood Federation of Canada (PPFC), and the government also designated ACPD as Canada's "civil society focal point" for the Cairo+5 consultations. PPFC is the Canadian affiliate of International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF), the world's largest and richest abortion provider.

* Pro-life and pro-family lobbyists who participated charge that the meeting was completely one-sided because population-control NGOs comprised the vast majority of the groups invited by the Canadian government. Only a handful of pro-life and pro-family groups were allowed in. The pro-life Knights of Columbus, which has 225,000 Canadian members, was rejected on the grounds there was insufficient space. Other attendees reported afterward that there was ample room available.

* The handpicked "civil society" spokesmen recommended that ACPD executive director Katherine McDonald, a past president of PPFC and a former IPPF board member, be attached to Canada's Cairo+5 delegation. At the Hull meeting, McDonald aggressively promoted Canada's alleged "commitment " to quadruple spending on population programs, to CDN$200 million a year. IPPF is a leading beneficiary of that spending, receiving from CDN$8 to CDN$11 million annually in aid funds over the last five years.

* McDonald also called for the worldwide promotion of abortion. "At the various Cairo+5 meetings upcoming, Canada should boast that [we] are the only country without an abortion law and we can be held up as a proud example to other nations," she said.

* Theresa Bell, executive director of Human Life International Canada, called the Hull consultation "a total sham." Bell said, "In effect, government officials have financed a pro-abortion special interest group, which is already receiving millions of Canadian taxpayers' dollars to lobby the same Canadian officials for tens of millions of dollars in additional funds. This is an appalling conflict of interest."

* Pro-life/family activists stress that the Canadian process is not unique. At The Hague Forum, pro-abortion NGOs will serve as "civil society focal points" for many countries, and are expected to lobby in concert for vast increases in population-control spending.

From: Austin Ruse -- CAFHRI

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