Globe and Mail: "Birth control won't be in G8 plan to protect mothers, Tories say"
Fucking hell fuck hell fuck.
My head has spun off my body and is twitching on the floor.
There are no words.
Birth control won't be in G8 plan to protect mothers, Tories say
The Conservative government has offered an explanation for why it will exclude contraception from its initiative to improve the health of mothers in poor countries: Birth control doesn't fit with saving lives.
In no uncertain terms, Foreign Minister Lawrence Cannon yesterday ruled out any kind of family-planning programs being included in Canada's "signature" initiative at June's G8 summit - a strategy to improve the health of mothers and young children in poor countries.
"It does not deal in any way, shape or form with family planning. Indeed, the purpose of this is to be able to save lives," Mr. Cannon told the Foreign Affairs committee.
Though Stephen Harper's government has suggested before that its maternal-health initiative would leave out family planning, Mr. Cannon's statements distressed those who had hoped for some flexibility.
Maternal-health advocates worry that the government's desire to steer clear of the abortion issue - and therefore not upset part of its political base - is also pushing it to rule out all other family-planning programs, like distributing contraceptives.
"This is really playing to the base in tractor-loads rather than with shovels," said Katherine McDonald, executive director of Action Canada for Population and Development.
"I'm very concerned that they're equating family planning with abortion."
She argues that no maternal-health policy can be effective without providing ways for women to space out pregnancies, because many childbirth deaths are caused by complications from having too many pregnancies too quickly or from unsafe abortions.
But it was Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff who first made abortion part of the issue, asking whether Mr. Harper's government would include access to abortions as part of the strategy. He suggested the Conservatives might copy the "global gag law" of former U.S. President George W. Bush, which cut off funding to international aid organizations that provided abortion services.