Revoke Charitable Tax Status of Anti-choice Groups

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Joyce Arthur
Joyce Arthur signed this petition

The petition signers call upon the government of Canada and the Canada Revenue Agency to:

  • Revoke charitable tax status from all anti-choice groups
  • Not allow new anti-choice groups to become charities
  • Require that charities not work to oppose Charter and human rights, as per the similar requirement for the Canada Summer Jobs program [1]

The numbers: About 225 anti-abortion groups in Canada have charitable tax status – 71% of all anti-abortion groups. Of these 225 groups, 147 are “crisis pregnancy centres” that try to dissuade women from abortion, 73 are groups that advocate against abortion, and 5 are abstinence education or adoption promotion organizations. In comparison, only 3 of 26 pro-choice groups have charitable tax status. [2]

Anti-choice groups do not meet requirements for charitable tax status because:

  • They do not serve any public benefit, act to oppose human rights, and are harmful and discriminatory.
  • Abortion has been legal for over 30 years and has become a fundamental Charter right for women and transgender people [3] under Sections 7 and 15 (security of the person and equality). Yet anti-choice advocacy groups oppose these rights and ultimately want to re-criminalize abortion. Anti-human rights groups should not have charity status.
  • "Crisis pregnancy centres” (CPCs) provide medical misinformation to their clients and the public [4,5], and thereby pose a threat to Canadians’ access to necessary healthcare and their right to unbiased, accurate information. CPCs create societal harm by reinforcing abortion stigma, and fostering feelings of guilt, fear, anxiety, and confusion in clients considering abortion.
  • The use of medical misinformation and ideological propaganda by anti-choice charities cannot have any public benefit[6] since it is not based on sound research or evidence [7], and fails the requirement that charities be “truthful, accurate, and not misleading.” [8] Further, the information provided does not allow for informed decision making or the weighing of competing viewpoints, thereby not meeting the definition of “education.” [9] And contrary to the definition of “healthcare,” [10] anti-choice CPCs do not provide any direct healthcare – only biased counselling by untrained peer counsellors. Instead of “preventing or relieving a mental or physical health condition” – i.e., unwanted pregnancy – they hope to dissuade clients from using contraception and having abortions.

Petition by Abortion Rights Coalition of Canada:  www.arcc-cdac.ca  •  info@arcc-cdac.ca

Sources:

  1. Employment Standards and Development Canada, 2019. Funding: Canada Summer Jobs – Screening for eligibility
  2. Abortion Rights Coalition of Canada (ARCC), 2019. Anti-choice and Pro-choice Groups in Canada – a Comparison 
  3. ARCC, 2018. Abortion is a Charter right 
  4. ARCC, 2016. Study: Review of "Crisis Pregnancy Centre" Websites in Canada
  5. Journal of Ethics, 2018. Why Crisis Pregnancy Centers Are Legal but Unethical 
  6. Canada Revenue Agency (CRA), 2006. Guidelines for registering a charity: Meeting the public benefit test
  7. CRA, 2009. Research as a charitable activity 
  8. CRA, 2009. Public policy dialogue and development activities by charities 
  9. CRA, 2002. Advancement of Education 
  10. CRA, 2013. Promotion of health and charitable registration 

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