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Letter to Saskatchewan Government Ministers
Asking Them to Stop Funding Anti-choice Groups

Abortion Rights Coalition of Canada

April 30, 2017

Instructions for sending letter re:
Saskatchewan Provincial funding for CPCs  and other anti-choice agencies:

1. Copy and paste the following letter in the body of an email.
2. Customize if desired.
3. Copy and paste these addresses in the ‘To’ box:

kevindohertymla@sasktel.net; mla@donmorgan.ca; reginarosemont@ndpcaucus.sk.ca; christinetellmla@accesscomm.ca; admin@ReginaUniversityMLA.ca; jimreitermla@sasktel.net; minister.gr@gov.sk.ca ; inquiry@slga.gov.sk.ca   
4. If desired, you can also customize the letter for your Member of the Legislative Assembly (MLA), or add them as a cc:  http://www.legassembly.sk.ca/mlas/
5. Add Subject line:
  Please stop funding Saskatchewan’s anti-abortion organizations
6. Add your name, address, and phone at end.




To Saskatchewan government ministers and agencies:


Minister of Finance, Honourable Kevin Doherty
Deputy Premier, Minister of Education, Minister of Labour, Honourable Don Morgan, Q.C.
Leader of the Opposition, MLA Trent Wotherspoon,
Minister Responsible for Saskatchewan Gaming Corporation, Honourable Christine Tell
Minister of Social Services, Minister Responsible for the Status of Women, Honourable Tina Beaudry- Mellor
Minister of Health, Honourable Jim Reiter
Minister of Government Relations, Honourable Donna Harpauer
Saskatchewan Gaming and Liquor Authority

Dear Ministers:

On April 13, 2017, the federal government announced that they would ensure that no future Canada Summer Jobs grants will be directed to anti-choice organizations, and that “the government is looking at changing the rules on how federal summer job grants are allocated to prevent MPs from any political party from directing money under the Canada Summer Job program to anti-abortion groups”. [1]

The Saskatchewan Government must make the same commitment to the human rights of women, trans men, and non-binary people through the implementation of pro-choice policy and the immediate and permanent stop of all provincial funding and support of these anti-choice organizations, including removing them from schools.

Anti-choice organizations exist to limit the rights of women and transgender people by undermining contraceptive use and interfering with abortion access while promoting a conservative religious view of sexual and reproductive health. [2]  Many pregnancy care centres deceive their clients into believing that they are secular, medical clinics even though no medical staff are present. Their counsellors are not accountable to any professional standards or organizations. Many of these centres are also in Saskatchewan schools teaching purity culture and undermining responsible sexual health education. This can lead to dangerous medical misinformation being provided to vulnerable people.
Provincial governments across Canada have funded these anti-abortion agencies through a variety of Ministries such as Labour, Social/Human Services, Health, and Education. Provinces have also provided funding through gaming and municipal revenue sharing. This funding must be permanently stopped.

The Saskatchewan Liquor and Gaming Authority has provided amounts $7K in funding to anti-choice organizations since 2012. These agencies are not eligible under the Charitable Gaming Policy Manual May 2016:


•    Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights are undermined (6.1.3)(6.13)
•    Anti-choice do not represent the majority of Canadians (6.1.4(a)
•    These agencies are political in nature and seek influence to human rights through political presentations in schools and biased non-medical care to clients (6.1.9) (6.3.3)

Saskatchewanians expect that charities will be honest and transparent about government funding.  Canada Revenue Agency requires government funding to be identified on income tax returns, but most pregnancy care centres are NOT doing this. [3]   For example:

•    Informed Choices Pregnancy Centre Moosejaw reported $0 in provincial funding (2011-15) despite receiving $331.75 in gaming grants.
•    Real Choice for Women and Families reported $1,440 in provincial funding (2011-15) despite receiving $6,134.75 in gaming grants for the same period.

Additionally, the Abortion Rights Coalition of Canada completed a study of pregnancy care centres across Canada in May 2016 [4] and found the majority do one or both of the following on their websites:

1) Spread misleading or inaccurate information about abortion, contraception, sexually transmitted infections, sexual activity, and/or adoption; and/or
2) Present themselves deceptively, such as by not disclosing that they won’t refer for abortion, or hiding their religious stance from prospective clients.

Government funding legitimizes these unprofessional and medically dangerous pregnancy centres, enabling them to divert patients from legitimate health clinics and undermine responsible sexual health education in Saskatchewan schools. In the interest of patient safety, respect for Charter rights, and compliance with inclusive and evidence-based policy, funding and support must be stopped immediately and permanently. The failure of these groups to respect Charter rights and to report accurately to the Canada Revenue Agency should be of concern to all Members of the Legislative Assembly.

Sincerely,

[Name]
[Address]
[Phone]

[1]     “Government looking to shut down summer job grants for anti-abortion groups”, Amanda Connolly, iPolitics, April 13, 2017. http://ipolitics.ca/2017/04/13/government-shutting-down-summer-job-grants-for-anti-abortion-groups-source/
[2]    Canadian Association of Pregnancy Support Services Core Documents, 2012, https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B7twzwJxG8BeYmgzZEpOcm1rVUk/view?usp=sharing
[3]    Abortion Rights Coalition of Canada, “Anti-Abortion Agencies Get Millions in Government Funding”, January 2017. http://www.arcc-cdac.ca/press/ARCC-CDAC-release-jan-11-17-english.pdf
[4]    Abortion Rights Coalition of Canada, “Study: Review of ‘Crisis Pregnancy Centre’ Websites in Canada”, May 18, 2016. http://www.arcc-cdac.ca/CPC-study/cpc.html