Quebec’s Health Minister was forced to apologize and re-pledge his full commitment to the “right to choose” April 12 after the opposition slammed him for giving a grant to a pro-life pregnancy centre.
“The position that’s very clear in Quebec is that it’s the woman who decides if, yes or no, she should continue her pregnancy. And we go further than that. We offer (abortion) free,” said Health Minister Yves Bolduc.
Bolduc’s office gave $1,000 last year to ‘Centre naître ou ne pas naître’, a pro-life pregnancy centre in Quebec City; the grant was revealed by Parti Quebecois member Agnès Maltais Tuesday. The funds came from a discretionary budget given to the province’s legislators to distribute to non-profit groups in their community.
Bolduc said he thought the group supported pregnant women but wasn’t aware they took a pro-life position. He insisted the centre will never again receive a cent of government funds.
Maltais accused Bolduc of a lack of vigilance in distributing the funds. Despite his avowed pro-abortion stance, the events have even caused some to suggest that Bolduc is a closet pro-lifer – which would be seen as anathema in a province where legislators unanimously backed a motion last year declaring “the right … to free and accessible abortion services.”
In 2009, Bolduc created a firestorm by trying to tighten up health standards at abortion facilities.
Georges Buscemi, president of Campagne Quebec-Vie, told LifeSiteNews that the fierce reaction from politicians and media to the grant was surely “engineered” as part of a campaign in the province to clamp down on pro-life pregnancy centres.
The incident comes amidst calls in the province for special restrictions on the pregnancy counseling centres akin to those put forward in New York and Baltimore, where they are required to put signs out front stating that they do not refer for abortions.
Indeed, Maltais has already used the incident to demand a system of certification for the centres. Clamping down on the pregnancy centres is “the ultimate reason why this is getting any kind of traction and exposure whatsoever,” said Buscemi.
Buscemi said it’s simply expected in Quebec that pro-life groups would be ineligible for funding. “They see abortion as being a sine qua non assurance of women’s rights, of women’s equality in society,” he explained, while pro-lifers are considered “regressive, reactionary, counter-quiet-revolutionary.”
As a pro-lifer, Buscemi said, “you’re disqualified from being a serious person in society… you’re not worthy of receiving government money because you’re anti-society, you’re anti-governmental, you’re anti-progress.”
A version of this article originally appeared April 13 at LifeSiteNews and is reprinted with permission.