Planned Parenthood is facing a Canada-wide shortage of condoms after a major donor stopped supplying them to the organization for free. Ansell Canada Inc., in a program that lasted for about 10 years, supplied 30 affiliates of the Canadian Federation for Sexual Health (the Canadian version of Planned Parenthood) with free lubricants and 500,000 Lifestyles condoms.
The St. John’s, Newfoundland, branch, which received 40,000 Lifestyle condoms per year, is one of the branches that is most affected. “Our education co-ordinator brings boxes of condoms to the schools. Unfortunately, we haven’t had the stock to do that,” Costa Kasimos, the executive director of St. John’s Planned Parenthood, told the Toronto Star. “In our roundtable discussions with youth they tell us if they’re not able to get condoms for free, they’re not going to go to the store and buy them,” he added.
He said that they were trying to use smaller programs to replace the missing condoms. On its web site, the group is asking for monthly donations: “For just $10 a month, you will help purchase over 350 condoms and packets of lubricant per year! That’s less than four coffees a month.” According to the CBC, the province refused to help out the beleaguered Planned Parenthood branch.
“We are fortunate in that Toronto Public Health does provide us with condoms,” executive director Sarah Hobbs of Planned Parenthood Toronto told the Star. But the group, which gets most of its funding from the Ontario government, will have to use money from its operating budget to buy the condoms formerly provided for free.
Diane Watts, a researcher from REAL Women of Canada, told The Interim that “it would be a good thing if Planned Parenthood stopped providing these materials to schools without consent.”
Meanwhile, other pro-family groups questioned Planned Parenthood’s motives in going public: “A condom shortage claim by (Planned Parenthood) is nothing more than a ploy to demand for more tax dollars,” Brian Rushfeldt, president of Canada Family Action Coalition, told The Interim in an e-mail. “Maybe they should use some of the $6.2 million dollar ‘foreign plan’a federal taxpayer money for condoms in Canada.”