Federal minister equates denying abortion with gender violence

Status of Women Minister Maryam Monsef announced the federal government was giving Planned Parenthood Ottawa $285,000 over three years to increase access to “reproductive health services” in the nation’s capital.

Monsef, who was demoted from Democratic Reform Minister in January after botching the electoral reform file, told the Canadian Press that “reproductive rights in Canada and around the world are critical to advancing gender equality,” adding, “we’re committed to making sure that women and girls have that choice, because otherwise this is a form of gender-based violence.”

Planned Parenthood Ottawa provides sexual and reproductive health counseling and referrals. Planned Parenthood in Canada does not carry out abortions. In its application, the organization said that one barrier to access to such services is pressure from partners and families to not have an abortion or use birth control, and some of the taxpayer money it will receive will be used to counter such pressure.

David Krayden wrote in the Ottawa Sun that Monsef should resign or be fired because her comments were “so utterly and absurdly atrocious.” He said, “to suggest that denying an abortion is somehow akin to violence against women is an astoundingly breathless and contemptible leap of logic, not to mention a untenable reversal of reality,” considering that “abortion is an extremely violent act in itself.”

Krayden also criticized Monsef for assuming, “that all women share her breezy acceptance of abortion as a feminist status symbol or that the promotion of abortion is somehow always a women’s issue upon which there is blanket concurrence.”

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