The Canadian government is still paying maternal benefits to women who had abortions. The story was reported in The Interim in March 2008, after the Canadian Taxpayers Federation issued its January 31 communiqué, Let’s Talk Taxes, which first brought the issue to light. According to a clarification of the Canadian Labour Code by the Labour Program of Human Resources Development Canada enacted in 2002, women who have an abortion may receive 17 weeks of leave. Women whose pregnancies ended in a stillbirth or miscarriage may also receive this benefit.

Human Resources Canada did not respond to The Interim’s request for information about how many women who had abortions have requested maternity benefits.

Section 206 of the Canadian Labour Code grants pregnant women “a leave of absence from employment of up to seventeen weeks, which leave may begin not earlier than eleven weeks prior to the estimated date of her confinement and end not later than seventeen weeks following the actual date of her confinement.”

The HRDC, however, then defines “confinement” as “any termination after the 19th week of pregnancy,” as it “generally amount to the same process as childbirth at term and (the woman) thus incurs the same health-related needs.

Women who undergo abortion earlier than the 19 weeks which is covered by maternity leave are entitled to receive sick leave according to federal regulations. They may not receive parental leave, “since the employee must have actual care and custody of a newborn child.”

Nevertheless, the HRDC does acknowledge in its clarification that maternal leave “is for the woman’s health-related needs surrounding childbirth.”

Campaign Life Coalition finds extending maternity benefits to those who deny their motherhood to be offensive. “Why should you pay for somebody killing their child, and then expect to pay for benefits if the child is no longer there?” Mary Ellen Douglas, national organizer for Campaign Life Coalition, told LifeSiteNews.

In 2008, when the story first emerged, John Williamson, now a Conservative MP who was then the executive director for the Canadian Taxpayers Federation, told The Interim that this was a “perversion of the EI system,” which was meant to “provide benefits to people who, through no fault of their own, find themselves out of work.”

LifeSiteNews reported that Campagne Quebec-Vie, the Quebec division of Campaign Life Coalition, has recently noted that women are also given maternity benefits under the provincial Quebec Parental Insurance Plan. Georges Buscemi, CQV’s president, questioned the fairness of extended maternity benefits to women who have killed their children.