Six organizations support Harper's anti-choice initiative, chastise choice activists

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Michelle
Six organizations support Harper's anti-choice initiative, chastise choice activists

This is unbelievable.

Quote:

Time to Measure Success in Lives Saved, Not Political Points Scored: Development Leaders Say

TORONTO, April 27, 2010 - Every year nine million women around the world watch as their children die from painful, preventable illnesses that often cost dimes, not dollars, to treat. Hundreds of thousands more women die in childbirth because they lack access to dependable health care close to home.

For groups like ours, who are working to make a difference in the lives of these millions of women and children, the upcoming G8 in Canada provides an historic opportunity to chart a course out of this desperate terrain.

And yet, instead of pushing forward in support of an initiative that could benefit millions, we're allowing the potential for hope and opportunity to be swallowed up by a political debate about abortion that is stifling the potential for progress.

We know from recent polls that abortion is a sensitive issue for Canadians and debating abortion in the context of this initiative will not resolve the domestic debate. Rather, it will stall or table an initiative that has enormous potential to save the lives of millions of mothers and children from some of the major causes of death.

With an investment at the community level, where women and children are best able to access health care, the G8 initiative can prevent the deaths and improve the health of millions of children and women. Providing families with access to proven low cost health interventions can ensure healthier pregnancies and prevent illness and death from such diseases as malaria, diarrhoea and pneumonia. Additionally, providing education and access to family planning, including contraception, will reduce the number of unwanted pregnancies.

One thing is certain, if lack of agreement on one issue forces the G8 to delay a decision on this maternal and child health initiative, another 8.8 million children and over 300,000 mothers will die waiting. We cannot allow these lives to slip away while we take up a debate on abortion here in Canada.

It's time to focus on the hope and opportunity that this G8 Initiative on Maternal, Newborn and Child Health presents and end the suffering of millions of families around the world. It's time to commit significant and new investments to meet this need. It's time to measure success in lives saved, not political points scored.

- CEOs of CARE Canada, Plan Canada, RESULTS Canada, Save the Children Canada, UNICEF Canada, World Vision Canada.

Life, the unive...

Well I know who is coming off of my donation list

Michelle

I think that anyone who cares about choice and who cares about comprehensive maternal health which includes reproductive health should consider cancelling any donations they're currently giving to these organizations:

  • Plan Canada
  • CARE Canada
  • RESULTS Canada
  • Save the Children Canada
  • UNICEF Canada
  • World Vision Canada

They are accusing Canadians speaking out against Harper's anti-choice stance of being responsible for the deaths of women and children if Harper causes a delay in funding due to his ideological objection to full reproductive health care.

These organizations are selling out not only pro-choice activists, but also millions of women in developing nations who need abortions due to rape during war, difficult access to contraception, and not enough power within their relationships to successfully insist on contraception during sex.

Plan Canada, for instance, had a widely publicized campaign, "Because I Am A Girl".  Oh yeah?  Hmm, let's think up some new slogans: "Because I am a girl, I don't need reproductive freedom."  "Because I am a girl, Stephen Harper can tell me what to do with my body."  "Because I am a girl, I am being sold out to anti-choice zealots."

The fact is, Harper is out of step with all other G8 nations in insisting that funding not go to initiatives that include abortion in maternal health.  If this deal falls through or has to be delayed, it will be Harper's fault, not pro-choice activists. 

Please don't give these people any more money than you may already have.  There are so many better organizations to support.  Like ones who have spoken out against Harper's initiative instead of cowering in fear of losing government funding.

Support Oxfam.  Support Doctors Without Borders.  Support the pro-choice Stephen Lewis Foundation, who funds the group Grandmothers to Grandmothers.

And perhaps let the other six organizations know you're doing it, and why:

secretary@unicef.ca, info@plancanada.ca, info@care.ca, office@results-resultats.ca, sccan@savethechildren.ca, info@worldvision.ca

 

Michelle

Great, life.  Please tell them WHY, too.

Michelle

My letter to these organizations:

Quote:

I just read your joint statement on maternal health.

You have GOT to be kidding me.  Seriously?  You think pro-choice activists are getting in the way of maternal health?  Canada's government first tried to refuse to fund birth control initiatives and now they're refusing to fund any maternal health initiative that includes abortion - two essential aspects of ensuring maternal reproductive health - and feminist women who oppose misogynist policy like this are the ones you are labelling the problem?  You will blame us for the initiative falling through when it is the Harper government that will pull the plug if it includes abortion?

What kind of twilight zone are your organizations operating from, where Conservatives pandering to their misogynist base are the good guys who want to help women and children, and pro-choice Canadians who insist on full reproductive health and freedom for women at home and abroad are the bad guys who are responsible for the deaths of women, girls, and babies?

I will do everything in my power to ensure that every woman I know hears about this.  I know three women who have already cancelled their financial support for your organizations, and I applaud them for doing so.  My partner and I will direct our money to organizations that believe in women's reproductive rights and respect pro-choice activism, like Oxfam, Doctors Without Borders, and Grandmothers to Grandmothers.

Michelle

Facebook group: Canadians who want foreign aid spent on women's reproductive help

I first heard about this on Facebook from a number of friends, including writer.

writer writer's picture

I am so furious about this. So furious. This morning, I canceled my monthly donation to UNICEF, explaining why over the phone. After I calm down, I'll write to the betrayers, as well as the supporters of choice.

I fight for women's freedom. Not for pretty chains.

As Joyce Arthur points out, "Let's be clear that in developing countries, over half of all women will have at least one abortion in their lives, and that these same women are usually already mothers. Women have both abortions and babies, so this means ALL women are being abandoned and deemed less worthy of saving, simply because they sometimes must resort to abortion to save their lives and their families."

Michelle

Me too, writer. 

I've heard that these six organizations stand to gain financially if this anti-choice initiative of Harper's goes through.  Is this true?  And if so, then how dare they accuse pro-choice women of being more concerned with scoring political points than with the health of women and children in developing countries? Seems to me that they care more about the money they'll get than they do about the reproductive health of women and girls.  What a disgusting sell out.

remind remind's picture

Thank you for the heads up Michelle, and the addresses, have actioned them directly and forwarded info on.

 

There is no clearer indication than this needed to affirm how women's rights, and women are directly under attack, moreso than we have been for decades.

Michelle

Someone I know "sponsors a child" through World Vision.  They have an interesting thing going.  First of all, it's one of these Christian missionary-type organizations, which is a good reason not to support them to begin with.  They claim that they don't proselytize, but they discriminate against non-Christians when hiring people from the communities they support on the ground, and they say that they only talk to people about Jesus when people ask why they're doing all this nice stuff for them.

Anyhow, that person told me today that if he doesn't donate to World Vision, "his sponsored child" will not be able to go to school, etc.  Well, this is a common misconception due to World Vision's marketing ploy of implying that when you "sponsor a child" that your sponsorship money goes directly to your child.  Check out their sponsorship page here:

https://www.worldvision.ca/Sponsor-a-Child/Pages/HowitWorks.aspx

Of course, when you read the fine print, you realize that actually, your money doesn't go directly to the child, but rather to the community as a whole (which actually is better anyhow).  But it's still deceptive - it gives people the impression they have a direct relationship with one child, and that their monthly donation is a life and death matter for that one child - so once you start giving, if you stop, your "foster child" suffers.  It's emotional blackmail, and it works - after you start giving, the organization can do pretty much anything and you will feel guilty for pulling your funding if you think that "your child" will suddenly have everything taken away from them as a result.

Furthermore, if all they're doing is putting money in a big pot for the whole community, then why are they making some select kids sing for everyone's supper by writing letters and sending photographs to the charity's donors? 

It just seems really exploitative to me, both of the children in the community, and of the people here who donate.

remind remind's picture

Perhaps those with Facebook access should go to Jann Arden's page and discuss with her, if she will still continue to be a World Vision spokesperson. Or tweet her about it.

 

Personally, have written to her asking her position, through her website contact link.

 

http://www.jannarden.com/contact/

Michelle

pogge weighs in.

Quote:

As far as I can tell, the Canadian government is the only one in the G8 that wants to make a point of omitting access to abortion from women's reproductive health programs we're funding as part of our foreign aid, even in jurisdictions where abortion is safe and legal. I would argue that this represents a change in policy for Canada. And when it's a change that's being introduced by a government with the support of less than 40% of the population, one with a conservative base to pander to, and one that has hedged and mumbled and stonewalled for weeks before finally announcing that, in fact, that is the new policy, I believe it's more than a little disingenuous to argue that it's the people who are questioning the change and objecting to it who are politicizing the issue.

But apparently the CEOs of six high profile Canadian charities disagree with me. There's a press release posted at the website of UNICEF Canada on behalf of all six of them urging those who disagree with the government's policy to suck it up and keep our opinions to ourselves.

...

Here we have the CEOs of charities trying to shame their fellow citizens into shutting up about the policies of our government and the way that government intends to spend our money. As far as I'm concerned any believer in democracy who has ever supported these organizations has been betrayed. We have a government that has repeatedly shown a willingness to allow partisan politics to unduly influence its policies and these CEOs are insisting that the rest of us should just keep our heads down and allow it to continue. They should be ashamed of themselves. Either they're political opportunists themselves or they're just spineless.

Michelle

Please do not sponsor this child.

An interesting article about three of the organizations who are signatories to this letter: Plan Canada (used to be "Foster Parents Plan"), World Vision, and Save the Children.

It's very dated since it's almost 30 years old, and organizations have updated some practices (like direct sponsorship of individual children), but many of the points are still valid.

Quote:

Using outside aid to promote self-reliance is something of a contradiction, but one which many of the Western donor agencies manage to live with by keeping a low profile. The recipients can be so bound up with their own lives and the work of the project that they may not even be aware that there is much outside funding, let alone where it is coming from. Placing the weight of sponsorship on any project is bound to restrain the enthusiasm: there's nothing like writing a regular thank-you letter to keep you in your place.

Many sponsored programmes have now broadened to include the child's family as well.  So Manuel's parents and his older brother must also be lined up for the photograph to be sent to their benefactor.  If the child is very young, the father will have to write the thank-you letter.

Quote:

There is, however, a more significant consequence of building up a supervisory system. The agency becomes a local 'institution'. In sensitive situations - and that means almost everywhere in the Third World - this is no small disadvantage.

In fact, one of the greatest advantages that voluntary aid usually has over government aid is that it is lighter on its feet. Small groups can be funded here and there as the opportunities crop up. But the sponsorship agencies in many ways forego this advantage. They are rooted in one place and need to be on good terms with the local authorities if their system is to work. And this restricts the kinds of project that can be funded.

El Salvador is an extreme example. Most organisations feel that they can no longer carry out effective development work there - indeed many of the people involved in their projects have now been slaughtered by the military. Foster Parents Plan, however, has had no such problems and is proud of the fact that its programme is still running.

But if you need to be inoffensive to the powers-that-be, the chances of promoting constructive change are not high. And for any donor worried about getting value for money that should be a matter of some concern.

We quote the case of Chimbote in Peru later in this magazine. The families sponsored were often workers in the local fish canning factories and the exploitation there was a significant contribution to their children's poverty. More relevant than the welfare programmes that the sponsored families were getting might have been legal support to press for better working conditions. But that would have made them unpopular in certain quarters. Alleviating the problems of the poor is one thing. But solving them involves much more difficult choices.

skdadl

Michelle @ 11:

 

I got a good boss, eh? He's a guy, too, y'know? Amazing, but true.  Wink

Michelle

Yeah, I realized that in my letter I mentioned that I would share this with all the women I know, but the truth is, there are lots of guys in my life who would be just as disgusted.  And rr has been critical of orgs like World Vision and Plan way longer than I have, for other reasons.  This latest crap just reinforces his resolve.

Tommy_Paine

 

Turning the debate around so that pro choice advocates are under attack for endangering the lives of women is a classic example of Swift Boating, and I hope those women with a more public voice call them on it, and link these organizations to right wing extreemist political tactics of the foulest, Karl Rovian kind.

 

I've been very busy the last while, so please bear with me because I've been sort of half hearing things and filling them away in my brain in a hap hazard fashion..... but it seems to me that earlier this week or late last week, there was a report on CBC radio about how charities are run in Canada, and how some are not exactly as charitable as they may profess to be; and some are outright frauds. 

Maybe this will jog better memories than mine, and someone might remember the name of the woman who researches charities.  There is a website with info.  

It would be interesting, perhaps to see how the above listed organizations charitable activities stack up against the public perception of them.  Odds are at least one is more into paying their CEO's exhorbitant salaries than they are interested in helping people.

They want to play hard ball; pitch em one high and inside and see how they like it.

remind remind's picture

Frankly, this can only be seen as the result of an act of  intimidation. as look what is up for grabs, the KAIROS money, as opposed to their becoming KAIROS the second, third, etc...

writer writer's picture

My money's going to Grandmothers to Grandmothers and Doctors Without Borders, unless I learn of better. I canceled my monthly UNICEF Canada donation today. Then I heard from a friend who has worked with that organization that this is just more of the same from them, organizationally.

Frauds.

... First they came for the desperate woman in another country ...

N.Beltov N.Beltov's picture

Wow. The only good conservative is a d**d conservative.

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

There's a lot of shitty ripoff charities ut there, and I've never supported any of them - as I'm hearing handicapped, the one charity I've supported most of my life has been the Canadian Hearing Society - but I stopped when I moved to Quebec, because they're strictly an Ontario organization, despite the "Canadian" in their name. They helped me with getting hearing aids and speech therapy when I was Ontario based, though. I can't afford to support charity on my retirement income, though. Maybe if I gave up the Muthaship I could afford a bit of generosity, but I've done my share.

Jay McC

I don't think they were talking about pro-choice activists. I seems to me they are talking about politicians playing games (read Susan Delacourt and you will see how both the Tories and the Libs are using this issue for scoring political points). My partner works for an aid organization and until she started there I had no idea the magnitude of the problem. I knew lots of kids were dying but not 9 million a year and I had no idea that those deaths were pretty much preventable. I want the G8 initiative to cover reproductive health services but the reality is abortion services if not funded by Canada will be funded by other G8 countries. Right now I get why the organizations are concerned about whether this government will step up on funding. They froze CIDAs budget so how will they pay for any credible plan? I want the opposition to ask questions about that too. 

I will take to the streets to fight for abortion rights in Canada and around the world, I just don't think that these organizations deserve attack for doing really good work and for pushing pols to focus the discussion on the funding. I will keep my ire directed at the Cons.

Unionist

When these organizations tell us (Canadians) to just keep sending the money no matter what strings are attached, and to shut up about abortion rights, they cross a rather distinct line. What next? Our aid money will go to whites only, while other countries pick up the slack? Sort of just an innocent division of labour?

Perhaps these organizations are confused. Perhaps they just want the money. Perhaps they don't think access to abortion is as big a deal as... who knows what. Regardless, until they straighten out their heads and/or their pitch, they must not get one dime from people who support women's rights.

That would seem rather obvious, no?

Jay McC

I am a donor to one of the organizations and I will keep giving to them. Again I don't think the release is directed at Canadians but at politicians and from the media reports I have heard/read I haven't seen anything to suggest that these organizations are doing anything more than trying to encourage a substantive discussion on how the initiative will be funded. In my mind, it is part of their job to advocate for funding for those they help as much as it is to provide services on the ground. I just was listening to a good analysis of the issue on CBC Radio 1's The House. Not sure when  they will post the podcast of today's show but really worth listening to and really does address the kind of games playing that the libs and cons were engaged in over the issue (which is what I think was causing concerns for aid organizations):  http://www.cbc.ca/programguide/program/the_house

remind remind's picture

Unionist wrote:
until they straighten out their heads and/or their pitch, they must not get one dime from people who support women's rights.

 

Exactly correct Unionist, and people who do not get this, really are not getting they do not have a right to shunt aside women's right's in order to play politics, while apparently now trying to accuse others of playing politics, as opposed to realizing these are WOMEN"s rights to be human and equal we are speaking of.

 

 

 

 

 

writer wrote:
... First they came for the desperate woman in another country ...

 

 

Yes, you are correct writer.

 

And if some want to try and smarmily state we should ignore this attack upon women, as it will save lives, then they are really failing to reale a woman dies every 8 minutes from a illegal abortion, and that number will grow, so what lives are being saved?

 

Stating that "other countries" will take up the slack is absolute bull shit appeasement to keep on grubbing for money at the expense of human rights.

pogge

Jay McC wrote:

I don't think they were talking about pro-choice activists. I seems to me they are talking about politicians playing games ...

Review this paragraph from the press release about the good that would be done:

Quote:
With an investment at the community level, where women and children are best able to access health care, the G8 initiative can prevent the deaths and improve the health of millions of children and women. Providing families with access to proven low cost health interventions can ensure healthier pregnancies and prevent illness and death from such diseases as malaria, diarrhoea and pneumonia. Additionally, providing education and access to family planning, including contraception, will reduce the number of unwanted pregnancies.

That's exactly the government's position -- that they would fund contraception but not abortion. It seems clear to me that these organizations are encouraging everyone to simply accept what the government wants to do and stop "debating" it. Since those who side with the government would get what they want that way, it seems clear to me that it's only those on one side of the debate who are being told to shut up. I have a problem with that.

Edited to correct mangled English. Have I mentioned lately that I really detest this editor?

Jay McC

From the press coverage I have read, the government took the recommendations of not only maternal newborn and child advocates in Canada but of an international consensus including expressly pro-choice organizations like the Partnership for Maternal Newborn and Child Health and the Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada. All of whom are calling for more funding for midwives, community health workers, etc. The government has included in their proposed initiative to G8 countries most of what NGOs and advocates are calling for but they have rejected one important element - abortion services.

I think it is despicable that they have rejected funding for abortion services but that doesn't mean I am not pleased that they are funding all the rest. It is not an either or question for me. The majority of women dying overseas are dying not because of botched abortions but because of infection and complications during labour and I don't think I need to ignore the needs of these women while I am also working/fighting for the rights of women to access safe and legal abortions.

writer writer's picture

According to Joyce Arthur:

Let's be clear that in developing countries, over half of all women will have at least one abortion in their lives, and that these same women are usually already mothers. Women have both abortions and babies, so this means ALL women are being abandoned and deemed less worthy of saving, simply because they sometimes must resort to abortion to save their lives and their families.

Canada is abandoning its UN global commitments to provide "safe abortion where legal", and related measures where it's not legal, including managing complications of unsafe abortion and not punishing women for having illegal abortions. Canada is ending its longstanding policy to support the full range of reproductive health necessities. (It has also funded Marie Stopes and IPAS in the past, as well as IPPF for the past 25 years.)

Canada is dividing the international community and turning abortion into a political football by saying that countries can pick and choose what elements to support. But the package of reproductive health strategies cannot be separated without undermining the whole program, and hurting/killing women. This separation and isolation of abortion funding will reduce or endanger safe abortion-related care across the board. It's all purely political and totally appalling.

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

writer wrote:

According to Joyce Arthur:

 This separation and isolation of abortion funding will reduce or endanger safe abortion-related care across the board. It's all purely political and totally appalling.

Exactly. And this is what the Conservatives either don't get or are ignoring. I hope Canada is strongly condemned for taking this stance.

writer writer's picture

ActionAid CEO slams Ottawa over women's rights

Why do you think there hasn’t been more public objection to the cuts in funding?

People don’t know about it because it’s so hard for NGOs to speak out, because they get their funding cut. That’s what’s been going on. If your mandate is to help people around the world, you’re not going to rock the boat. It’s a very, very unusual time in Ottawa, the kind of censorship that is happening. At our event, for example, the people who are speaking out are not representing organizations that get Canadian funding. I’m an independent, so I can say what I want.

What do you think of the issue of abortion being raised in the lead-up to the summit?

If we are going to tackle maternal health, then we have to tackle reproductive rights. There’s a rumour going around Ottawa that the senior politicians didn’t know the difference between contraceptives and abortion.

Do you really think Stephen Harper didn’t anticipate the abortion issue?

I think Harper’s people were probably advised that this was a children’s issue. But you can’t take care of children’s health without taking care of women’s health, and you can’t take care of women’s health without taking care of reproductive rights. It’s that last piece that I don’t think they were aware they were getting themselves into.

remind remind's picture

Yep, as I stated, Harper made an example of KAIROS to shut everyone else up and force them to comply.

...this is part of the agenda of which we all spoke of in respect to the HarperCons. And then of course there is the inducement of the former KAIROS money being shared out....

And quite frankly, I have absolutely no use for those who support Harper and the CONS in anyway shape or form, including these "charities" who would trade human rights for their own wages, err careers, errr greed. They are traitors to human rights as a matter of fact and deserve  to have their funding avenues boycotted and shunned. As are those who are or were in the inner workings of the CONS and who support them knowing exactly how  evil they are.

swallow swallow's picture

Michelle wrote:

Facebook group: Canadians who want foreign aid spent on women's reproductive help

I first heard about this on Facebook from a number of friends, including writer.

Close to 2,500 members already - that's a lot, right? 

I never donated to these organizations anyway, but it seems to me their talk about "the G8 initiative" and urging people to shut up and fall into line is profoundly anti-democratic, especially for groups based on civil society .... who want to undermine any idea of a strong civil society challenging bad government decisions. I don't think it's about the KAIROS money, which was a lot to KAIROS but is peanuts to donation-scavengers like World Vision. But it sure does seem to be about NGOs running scared about saying a word that is anything other than slavish towards Bev Oda and Stephen Harper. 

remind remind's picture

Don't think close to 40 million is peanuts at all, nor would they.

 

swallow swallow's picture

KAIROS had a total annual budget of about $4-m, of which CIDA in 2008 contributed $1.57-m. The cancelled CIDA grant proposal would have seen CIDA grant KAIROS a little over $7-m over the next four year, less than $2-m per year. I think this is about a lot more than just those funds.

M. Spector M. Spector's picture

Why did the word "demonize" in the thread title get changed to "chastise"?

Who's going to own up to it, and what's their political agenda?

Catchfire Catchfire's picture

lol. It was probably Michelle. I don't know what she has up her sleeve. Good to be suspicious, though. Lord knows I've never trusted her.

Michelle

I did it, M. Spector.

And I'll admit my agenda - I'm anti-choice!  Boo hoo hoo, I got caught out!  Oh lord, what will rabble do with me now?? 

Waaaaaaah!

Er...

Actually, my agenda was that I thought that "chastise" was more objective, and "demonize" was more subjective, and I felt like leaving the subjective stuff for the posts within the thread, including my own.

writer writer's picture

I'd like to thank World Vision for clarifying a few things for a friend of mine:

Quote:

Dear ...,

Thank you for your message.

While World Vision opposes abortion, it was dismayed by the timing of this debate at a critical moment leading into the G8 summit, putting at risk other measures that would save hundreds of thousands of women from death each year and improve the health of their babies. The international abortion debate won’t be resolved in the next eight weeks before G8 leaders meet, but it could derail a plan that has so much potential to save millions of children and mothers.

World Vision is pleased that the G8 development ministers this week opted to agree on common ground in supporting a basket of other low-cost, high-impact proven interventions required to save the lives of many of the 500,000 mothers and 8.8 million children who die each year of preventable causes. This paves the way for the G8 heads of state meeting in Canada in June to make progress towards global health goals and promises made at the Gleneagles summit.

World Vision does not provide, recommend or support abortion. World Vision promotes the healthy timing and spacing of pregnancies, and encourages the use of family planning methods that are proven not to be abortive in nature.

World Vision recognizes that there are other issues taking the lives of many more babies, children and mothers around the world each day, and that while health advocates may continue to disagree on abortion, people of good will who aim to protect the lives of children and women can find common ground to work in coalition to save lives without compromising their principles.

Through its development and health work in many communities, World Vision is actively encouraging family planning practices that would reduce demand for abortion and promote healthy alternatives for vulnerable mothers, respecting life at all its stages. The maternal and child health initiative that World Vision has successfully lobbied for leading into the G8 does not involve support for abortion in any way. This is a long-standing policy set by World Vision’s board of directors.

I hope this information helps!

If we can be of any further assistance, please don't hesitate to contact us at 1-800-268-4888.

Jessica Hano
Customer Service Representative
World Vision Canada

Michelle

It's not surprising - they're an evangelical missionary organization, basically.

I'd be interested in learning about what, if any, religious affiliations or origins the other signatories have.

Unionist

World Vision wrote:
World Vision promotes the healthy timing and spacing of pregnancies,

Ah, time and space - it's almost Einsteinian in its metaphorical simplicity! Where did I put my chequebook...

 

writer writer's picture

Not surprising, Michelle, but nice to see it so clearly stated. The real question: Why is our secular government funding religious-based interference in other countries? And why is UNICEF Canada associating itself with this explicit agenda?

Unionist

UNICEF are an ambiguous bunch. There is a huge campaign led by anti-choice, Catholic, evangelical, and other groups accusing UNICEF of being "pro-abortion". But when you read what UNICEF itself says, it sounds very much like World Vicious - almost word for word - only if you read carefully, they don't say they oppose abortion (which WV does), rather, they don't support it as a method of family planning (which is probably unobjectionable from a "planning" standpoint):

Quote:

As a matter of policy, approved by its Executive Board, UNICEF does not advocate any particular method of family planning, believing this to be a matter best decided by people themselves in accordance with their needs, values and preferences. As a matter of practice, UNICEF does not provide contraceptive supplies. UNICEF has never provided support for abortion and it continues to be the long-standing UNICEF policy not to support abortion as a method of family planning.

However, as part of its mandate for improving the well-being of children and women, UNICEF is actively involved in advocacy and practical action for the reduction of under-five mortality and maternal mortality, for the support of breastfeeding, for the education of girls and raising the age of marriage, and for supporting women in their multiple roles. All of these make a major and direct contribution towards the integrated approach to family planning and population issues.

In particular, UNICEF continues to advocate the well-informed timing and spacing of births, and to draw attention to the well-documented disadvantages for both mother and child of births that are `too close or too many' and to mothers who are `too young or too old'.

[url=http://www.unicef.org/pon95/fami0010.html]Source - note it's from 1995![/url]

Michelle

Aid groups advised to "shut the fuck up" on abortion by Nancy Ruth

Quote:

Aid experts alarmed by Canada’s new anti-abortion stand in foreign policy have been advised to “shut the f--- up” or risk Prime Minister Stephen Harper taking even more harsh measures – abroad, or maybe even at home if abortion becomes an election issue.

“We’ve got five weeks or whatever left until G-8 starts. Shut the f--- up on this issue,” Conservative Senator Nancy Ruth told a group of international-development advocates who gathered on Parliament Hill on Monday to sound the alarm about Canada’s hard-right stand against abortion in foreign aid.

“If you push it, there will be more backlash,” Ruth said. “This is now a political football. This is not about women’s health in this country.”

Ruth’s remarks, intended more as friendly advice than a warning, were met with gasps of disbelief and even anger among the approximately 80 aid representatives who converged on Parliament Hill to condemn what they see as a gathering storm against women’s rights in Canadian aid policy.

Nancy Ruth is about as pro-choice as you can be.  She's an amazing woman.  And I see the place she's coming from offering this advice.  And she's probably accurate when it comes to what kind of reaction Harper could have.

But to me, it feels like navigating around an abuser.  Shut up, or he might get more angry and hit you harder next time.

I don't agree with her advice - women should fight this tooth and nail - but I agree with her on what Harper's reaction will probably be.

Summer

 

NR has done a lot for feminism and women's rights in Canada.  But she's a Conservative (capital C) Senator.  Her advice not to rock the boat and make things worse benefits the Conservatives and their anti-choice views.  She might be right about the Cons' reaction but it's too late, the genie is out of the bottle and people have to fight this thing.  Don't listen to her advice on this one. 

N.Beltov N.Beltov's picture

It's not just "advice". The Senator is basically threatening NGOs with cuts to their funding if they don't tow the troglodite Conservative line on women's health issues. Work needs to be done to publicly expose and denounce Senator Ruth from the rooftops.

writer writer's picture

Can the Liberals be more stupid?

[url=http://us1.campaign-archive.com/?u=b71b47a81da6e7d67dc2f2074&id=7cadb28f...Harper and Senator must apologize for profane threats to foreign aid groups[/url]

I don't agree with Nancy Ruth. The threat may be real, but she reinforced it rather than challenging it. And I can't support the position that, because the withdrawal of choice for women in other countries doesn't affect our access, we should hush up and let things slide. But the notion that she was "sent in" to do Harper's "dirty work" - beyond idiotic.

Haven't the Liberals cacked up this file enough already? Could they grab a clue, stop grandstanding and actually *do* something? Something effective?

We need to organize, friends.

pookie

N.Beltov wrote:

It's not just "advice". The Senator is basically threatening NGOs with cuts to their funding if they don't tow the troglodite Conservative line on women's health issues. Work needs to be done to publicly expose and denounce Senator Ruth from the rooftops.

 

Anyone who knows NancyRuth knows that this is simply untrue.  I don't agree with her strategy, but there is no way that she is a pro-life Conservative.

remind remind's picture

My response to the response I got from UNICEF's Cathy Memah was:

 

 

 "No, I do not accept your reasoning and your willingness to cave to the Harper government's bullying.

 

  Your willingness  to cave, and not state who is doing what wrongly, will impact the lives of Canadian women as well as women around the world, and doing this in order to keep your funding levels in place, is even more unacceptable. 

  This is NOT a debate either, it is women's human rights and lives we are speaking of. That you trivialize it to a talking point of "divisive debate" is pretty much disgusting. You should have counted on public support, if you had stood against Harper policies, and done the righteous and correct thing, instead of trying to; first lay the blame on Canadian women, and now to try and state that it is the opposition  of whom you were speaking and not pro-choice Canadian women. As such, it is you professional charities who are now doubley in error. The only ones who should have been called on their actions were the Harper government.

  So in ill thought out action, you all have now compounded the travesty of Harper's actions.

 

  But thank you for your token response offering, and please note that I will continue to work towards an absolute charitable boycott of your, and your partner organizations, until public apology is made to Canadian women and a public announcement calling the Harper government on it's actions is undertaken."

remind remind's picture

From Antonia Zerbisias' Facebook page:

 

These groups have been defunded by HarperCons (CIDA and SOW) in past 2 weeks:

1. Canadian Research Institute for the Advancement of Women (CRIAW)
2. CERA (Centre for Equality Rights in Accommodation);
3. Conseil d'intervention pour l'accès des femmes au travail (around for 25 years)... Voir la suite
4. New Brunswick Pay Equity Coalition,
5. le Réseau des Tables régionales de groupes de femmes du Québec,
6. Alberta Network of Immigrant Women,
7. Centre de documentation sur l'éducation des adultes et la condition feminine,
8. Association féminine d'éducation et d'action sociale (AFEAS),
9. Ontario Association of Interval and Transition Houses (OAITH) (a 75-member coalition primarily of first stage emergency shelters for abused women.)

 

And the other "charitable" organizations are looking to cave so it won't be them too, as opposed to standing with all to oppose Harper.

Freedom 55

I just received a fundraising letter from PLAN. Now I have a postage-paid envelope to tell them what I think of their caving-in to the anti-choicers.

Unionist

pookie wrote:

N.Beltov wrote:

It's not just "advice". The Senator is basically threatening NGOs with cuts to their funding if they don't tow the troglodite Conservative line on women's health issues. Work needs to be done to publicly expose and denounce Senator Ruth from the rooftops.

 

Anyone who knows NancyRuth knows that this is simply untrue.  I don't agree with her strategy, but there is no way that she is a pro-life Conservative.

Who said she was "pro-life" (a rather distasteful term if you ask me)? I think she's being accused of being pro-Harper and anti-women's health in countries which need Canadian aid. Her quoted comments, if contextual and accurate, condemn her on both counts.

By the way - well said, remind, in your letter. Let's hope someone over there still hears the voice of women louder than the jingle of loonies.

 

pookie

Unionist wrote:

pookie wrote:

N.Beltov wrote:

It's not just "advice". The Senator is basically threatening NGOs with cuts to their funding if they don't tow the troglodite Conservative line on women's health issues. Work needs to be done to publicly expose and denounce Senator Ruth from the rooftops.

 

Anyone who knows NancyRuth knows that this is simply untrue.  I don't agree with her strategy, but there is no way that she is a pro-life Conservative.

Who said she was "pro-life" (a rather distasteful term if you ask me)? I think she's being accused of being pro-Harper and anti-women's health in countries which need Canadian aid. Her quoted comments, if contextual and accurate, condemn her on both counts.

By the way - well said, remind, in your letter. Let's hope someone over there still hears the voice of women louder than the jingle of loonies.

 

Um, I believe the original post to which I was responding described her as "basically theatening NGOs with cuts to their funding".  I don't agree with that characterization.

 

 

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