Friday, December 12, 2014

IPPF: 45 million services, but no abortion?

You may recall that the $6 million funding Canada gave to IPPF through DFATD for Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Mali, Sudan and Tanzania, was not to go for abortion services.

In fact, in the ATIP document I received from DFATD, there are multiple assurances from IPPF that the money is not being used for abortion services.Yet all we really have is IPPF's word for it.

Below I have summarized all the services provided by IPPF in fiscal year 2013/2014.

As you can see, that's a lot of services, yet many are not at all well defined.

So I asked for some clarifications on some of these services.

For item 1128 (Provide other SRH medical services) which had 1,798,317 services, I asked for a further breakdown of what these services were.

DFATD response:
"Consultation - Bangladesh, Mali
Diagnostic tests - Bangladesh, Mali,Tanzania
Therapy/treatment - Bangladesh, Afghanistan
Surgery - Bangladesh, Tanzania
Other - Bangladesh, Tanzania, Sudan"
As you can see these breakdowns still don't tell us what kinds of services IPPF is providing. So I asked for an additional clarification.

DFATD response:
"IPPF does not have additional description for these services, but it should be noted that these services do not relate to HIV, STI, abortion, gynaecology, obstetrics, etc."
So IPPF has no idea what exactly, these almost 2 million services include--yet we are simply expected to take IPPF's word for it that they don't include abortion?

Then for item 1211 (Other family planning services for young people), of which there were 4,860,975 services, I asked for a description of each of these "family planning services" and their breakdown by numbers, for each different category of service.

DFATD response:
"All family planning services are provided to young people. Essentially the same methods as the other FP indicators, for clients under 25. No information about how DFATD funding relates to this."
I then asked DFATD, if IPPF is saying that they do not know how much DFATD money goes to giving FP services to young people?

DFATD's response:
"IPPF does not price consultations or staff member’s time - by either age group or service category, therefore they cannot earmark a specific amount for what was spent on youth family planning services. IPPF estimates the cash value based on salaries and clinic space as they are the two key drivers of price."
So IPPF provided almost 5 million services to young people, with no further breakdown. Again we just have to take IPPF's word for it. And what is the ages of these young people?

DFATD's response:
"Member Associations (IPPF's local partners) abide by the legal limits in the country it operates."
And what are the legal age limits in these countries? I'm waiting for an answer to that.

But there in a nutshell, is the real problem with all this. The Canadian people give their tax dollars to DFATD. DFATD then gives that money to IPPF. IPPF then gives that money to its "member associations" to provide in most cases--undefined services.

If IPPF can't break down these services any further (and they can't), then how do they know the member associations are not using the money for abortion? Do we just have to take their word for it? Apparently.

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