CANADA – Why anti-abortion groups should not be charities

If you support the right to abortion, like most Canadians, you may be surprised to learn that the majority of groups that oppose abortion enjoy charitable tax status. How did they earn this privilege and why do they still have it?

The Abortion Rights Coalition of Canada (ARCC) tracks anti-choice groups and currently counts 316 of them. About half are advocacy groups and half are so-called crisis pregnancy centres (CPCs). About 71% (222) of all anti-choice groups enjoy charitable tax status, including an astounding 93.5% of CPCs. These organisations claim to be unbiased counselling centres for pregnant people.

But a new study by ARCC and the British Columbia Humanist Association found that a large majority of CPCs spread misleading information about abortion and contraception on their websites, and often present themselves deceptively — such as hiding their religious, anti-abortion stance from clients. For example, 39% of websites did not have disclaimers that they do not arrange or assist with abortion care. Six percent claimed a link between abortion and breast cancer, which has been scientifically rejected, while 19% cited other physical risks of abortion that were not scientifically supported, such as infertility or subsequent miscarriage. Over 75% of CPC websites highlighted negative psychological effects such as “post-abortion distress”, which is not medically recognised. (Few people regret their abortions, with 97% feeling relieved.)

Charitable status bestows legitimacy. Anti-choice charities with unethical and biased practices and false claims do not deserve such legitimacy. We call for … [all deceptive and unethical] anti-choice groups to have their charity status reviewed and revoked.

SOURCE: Health Insight, by Joyce Arthur, Abortion Rights Coalition of Canada, 23 March 2023