Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Canada not funding abortions in developing countries

Canadian Conservative government recently announced that they will not be funding abortions in developing nations. In 2009, they announced a plan to help with maternal and child health, but failed to mention that abortions are not included in maternal health and family planning.

This is contrary to the established goals of the G8 summit, and opposes Obama's policy to fund maternal health, including access to abortion.

Harper said
We want to make sure our funds are used to save the lives of women and children and are used on the many, many things that are available to us that frankly do not divide the Canadian population.
Abortions do save the lives of women and children, and we have to be careful not to put the possibility of the fetus' life ahead of the health of the pregnant woman/girl, or the quality of life implications that may go along with the pregnancy.

I'm not sure I understand what he means by the "many many things that are available to us" because abortions are available to us, and therfore should be one piece of those many many things (wow, that sentence does not make a lot of sense, but frankly, neither does his).

To my knowledge, abortions are not that controversial of a topic in Canada (although, I'm sure there are always people who support them and people who don't). I don't remember access to abortion ever being a hot politicial issue in as long as I have followed Canadian politics, other than a brief mention here and there of a referendum that was never met with much support. I really hope this isn't going to renew the abortion debate within Canada, as has been happening in the United States recently.

I do not see how a few elite white male politicians in Canada have the right to decide what counts as maternal health in countries that they have probably never so much as visited. Maybe it should be the women in these countries (or at very least, medical workers who have spent a lot of time in these countries and understand their needs) who decide which types of maternal health and family planning services they need.


  1. The Conservatives are trying really hard to make abortion a divisive topic in Canadian politics, but polls are pretty clear - the majority of Canadians support access to abortion.

    Every time they try and run around that, it ends up being defeated, again.

  2. I think a lot of the people who opposed just didn't want their taxes going to help women overseas at all. At least that's what I understood from some comments on articles. Or people were wondering if abortion is illegal in certain countries and thinking abortion shouldn't be done if it's illegal.

  3. Anna, I also believe that some of the conservatives are trying to start up the debate, but, if that is the case, I hope it stays defeated. Coming from a part of Canada where abortions can be difficult to access, and often require an overnight trip to a city 4 hours away, I've seen how and why they are necessary. We need to provide more access to abortions, not less, and I'm pretty sure that goes for not just my hometown, but is even true for underdeveloped countries.

  4. Lyndsay, I haven't seen any comments like that in local papers, I'm going to check out some of the bigger papers soon, but I do not doubt that a lot of people want their tax dollars staying close by, especially since the recession and talks of protectionist policies and "buy local" incentives have started up.