Iggy's abortion challenge - Macleans.ca

Iggy’s abortion challenge

Liberal leader wants Harper to focus on preventing deaths caused by “botched procedures”


If Ottawa is truly serious about helping women around the world, the Conservative government should establish programs aimed at providing safe abortions, says Liberal leader Michael Ignatieff. “We don’t want to have women dying because of botched procedures,” Ignatieff said Tuesday. “We don’t want to have women dying in misery.” Ignatieff’s challenge to the federal government follows last week’s announcement by Prime Minister Stephen Harper that women and children would be the focus of his government’s attention at an upcoming G8 summit this summer. Predictably, Conservatives were not impressed by the Liberal leader’s request, which would be a tough sell to the party’s rank-and-file members. Though he wouldn’t say whether or not safe abortions would be included in Ottawa’s maternal health program, Dimitri Soudas, a spokesman for Harper, said it was “sad” and “pathetic” that the Liberals were using women’s health as a “political football.”

Toronto Star

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Iggy’s abortion challenge

  1. Dimitri should know; their new 10%'er they about to release tries to use soliders as a political football for them. People in glass houses and all of that.

    • Look at the Red Herring, its a beautiful sight in its natural environment.

  2. God forbid we use actual political issues as "political footballs"

  3. I personally think the government is looking, to use Soudas words, sad and pathetic.
    The government takes a few months off to recalibrate on the economy and sice they have been doing everything except that – we get policy annoucements about helping the third world and regulating the G20, 10 percenters going out about how if we don't support the government, we don't support the troops.
    This government is reudderless and needs to be put out of it's misery.

  4. This is rather a stupid subject for Iffy to be trying to promote.Abortions in Canada are up to ones Doctor. I know of no government police force that stands outside clinics.Didn't Morganteller win the Order of Canada.The teaching should be on contraceptives and safe sex.I do not know where Iffy spent his youth but I know 60 years ago there was as many pregnancies per capita as there is now and most of that time we had a Liberal government..From Proroguing to Pregnating all in one week.this guy could replace Conan O'Brien

  5. This is an interesting play by Mr Ignatieff. Certainly safe abortions, in addition to contraceptives and sexual education, in the third world (and in the first world, for that matter) is something most Canadians can get behind.

    Mr. Harper is trying to make women's health the central part of the G8 meetings to direct focus away from deeper banking regulation (which is the topic everyone else wants to talk about). He's using women's health as a "political football". That Mr. Soudas is protesting exactly what Mr. Harper is doing is somewhat strange.

    Just accept that the Liberal leader got you this time and move on.

    • Wow-does the left have so little to cheer about it thinks Iggy did something grand here? Abortions are a prickly subject at best in our western, secular society. RunningGag how about we drop you into Nigeria ahead of Iggy's abortion team to announce free abortions for all! I'm sure we'll be able to fedex most of the pieces of you back to Canada.

      • I didn't see anyone advocating that people should get abortions, just that they be safe if people want them. That you would suggest that I should be physically harmed because I congratulated Mr. Ignatieff for outfoxing Mr. Harper (for once), is somewhat disturbing and makes me uncomfortable.

        Frankly, I just made an observation. There was nothing partisan in it; there was no ideology. For the record, I am pro-freedom, whatever you think that means from an ideological perspective (the label is libertarian). I don't believe that it has anything to do with left or right. Is the right so scared that they've reduced themselves ranting and finger pointing?

  6. Ignatieff said that Harper's aid should also include contraception. So… what about contraception? What about condoms as one method of STD prevention? Would those be a tough sell to Harper's rank and file too? Does Harper plan to funnel this foreign aid mainly through evangelical and other religious groups or through groups which promote access to contraception?

    Enough with the political football talk, Soudas — how about some answers?

    • LOL You people who continue to compare Harper to Bush need to start reading something other that the TO Star. Yes Catherine, Harper has a hidden agenda against condom distribution-what tipped you off? Catherine do you think Harper consults Jesus on decisions, like Trudeau consulted Castro?

      • What tipped me off is Harper's actions re Planned Parenthood in Canada and the groups who are lauding it. Pay attention.

  7. Ignatieff is treading on dangerous grounds here. If he pursues this issue it willlow up in his face. He risks alienating a large sector of his own Liberal constituency.

    This guy is his own worst enemy.

  8. This subject is coming up with respect to aid to developing countries, not within Canada, and Ignatieff also raised the issue of contraception. In Canada, the Conservatives substantially cut funding to Planned Parenthood (which goes under a new name). Under Bush, US foreign aid for women's health was largely targeted to evangelical groups working overseas which did not believe in access to contraception or abortion.

    I think it is reasonable to ask Harper to inform Canadians as to whether his funding will have an ideological bent. A simple question: When Harper talks of providing aid to help with women and childbirth in developing countries, will this also include access to contraception and safe abortions? No one (except maybe Harper) knows the answer to this.

    • Agreed Catherine. I'd also like to see Harper try to explain why our Status of Women's funding has been cut by about 40%. They're all related.

  9. Yes, if we're going to tear the limbs off an unborn baby while she tries to swim away from the forceps, let's make sure we do it safely and with full government support.

    Way to alienate a good chunk of your own party and a number of your own MP's, Ignatieff.

    • So Gaunilon, you would rather millions of women who choose abortion die with UNSAFE practices? Ignatieff is talking about women's safety.

      • I think you're overlooking option (c), in which millions of women are supported through pregnancy and motherhood (or adoption), choose not to have their child killed, and so neither the child nor the mother dies an untimely death.

        It's much better than saying "if you choose to kill someone, we'll help you do it safely".

  10. I'm sure Iggy isnt too concerned what a Conservative concern troll thinks.

    • At least Conservative supporters have the ability to think. Even a zombie should be able to tell that this issue will blow up in Ignatieff's face. What a doofus!

  11. Unlike, say, Harper's pledge to help women…

  12. I think that the crux of this news story has been lost in translation. Here we have Maclean’s ‘reporting’ that Iggy said Harper’s conservatives ‘should *establish* programs’ for safe abortion. The Star reported only that Iggy said Harper should not exclude pro-choice NGOs. The Globe reports that Iggy want’s Harper to ‘go to bat’ for abortion. Who knows what he actually said. The point of Iggy’s lobbying and posturing in this area has to do with the exclusion of selected NGOs by Harper’s gov’t. The Libs have their favourites, the Conservatives have theirs. So let’s not get too worked up about the wrong point. This is not primarily about abortion.


    • Yup. About as far from abortion as you can get. The factory is steaming away at manufacturing an issue. Most played card in the Liberal party deck….next we will see something like Stephen Harper wants to put soldiers in the street.

      Iggy, you were actually starting to look like you knew what you were doing.

  13. Iggy is all about trying to score some polilitical points. Does he really care about abortion issues in third world countries? Somehow I do not think so. On this one I have to agree with the Conservatives that it is not wise to make women's health into a political football.

    • So seby, I`m sure you`ll agree then if you find Iggy`s stance so `political`. then you`ll also call on the Conservatives to stop trying to use Canadian soldiers as apolitical football for them, right?

      • Nah Iggy's grasping at air because the Cons have done such a great job with Haiti so far. The Count must have scored some serious stuff on his university tours to come up with this boneheaded idea. While were at it let's spend millions on global vasectomy programs. I guess feeding, clothing and sheltering the worlds poor isn't enough. Then again these people are victims of their totalitarian thug leaders who are good friends of the Libs and the NDP so why not.

        • and that "great job" has done nothing to stop falling polls with Canadians who are ticked off at Harper's prorogation.

          Nice attempt to avoid my direct question though; Dimitri is living in a glass house and throwing stones here.

        • If the conservatives have been doing such a great job with Haiti then what about the homeless in Vancouver on the downtown east side?

          • Of course the Cons are responsible for people getting addicted to drugs and spending all their stolen money on getting high instead of shelter. The downtown east side was a Utopian paradise until the Cons won the 2006 election. I lived in Van for 5 years and had to move because the cost of housing is insane there, and was insane before the Cons took power. I lived there long enough to know that each and every twitchy on east hastings has no one to blame but themselves. You people are hilarious keep it up!

  14. I thought this was rather a strange comment from Iggy. Harper promises money for women and childrens' health working with the G7 as a group. The money will be sent to several NGO's who will disperse it to their "partners". Once the cheque is cut I'm d*amned sure nobody follows the money to ensure it goes equally to food, medicine, education or abortion. For Iggy to pop up and demand that this money go towards abortions if necessary seemed a little non-sequitur. Perhaps the Count has spent too long in the US and thinks this is a wedge issue? He will soon find out that the Liberals are divided on the subject as well.

  15. didn't macleans have a poll lately about issues like abortion…i should have picked up the magazene …i believe more people are against abortion now …and more people are for capital punishment

    • It was fewer people against abortion and euthanasia, more people for capital punishment. The crux of the article was that there was more interest in the health and wellbeing of animals than there was for humans.

      It was an interesting article.

  16. Anyone else notice a correlation between money spent on social programs and lower abortionteen pregnancy rates and perhaps a secondary correlation between Haitian voodoo rhetoric and a high abortionteen pregnancy rate?

    Seems like everyone is against abortion until the solution comes off their paycheque

    • Actually what I thought was interesting is that the teen birth rate seems to correlate with the abortion rate….teen pregnancies/births go up as abortion rate goes up. Do you have a link? I'd like to check that out.

      • I don't think that correlation is there. The abortion rate in the US is much higher than most countries, and they have the highest rate of teen pregnancy. I think that, instead, the reverse is true, that higher rates of teen pregnancy are more likely to cause higher abortion rates.

        Really, its a call to encourage sexual education (preferably not abstinence only, as we can see how well that works in the US) and contraceptive use.

        Funny (or, not so, depending on where you are on the issue) quote from the Wiki Teen_Pregnancy page:

        "Some schools provide "abstinence-only" education and virginity pledges are increasingly popular. A 2004 study by Yale and Columbia Universities found that fully 88 percent of those who pledge abstinence have premarital sex anyway."

  17. High rates of Teen pregnancy correlate with high rates of STD’s and abortion, but when 80% of teen pregnancies are aborted that statistical significance is blurred.

  18. What does Ignatieff plan to do about regimes such as the deposed Taliban in Afghanistan who will use force to prevent the establishment of any kind of clinic for women and use force to prevent women from even getting health information? Will we be overthrowing all these regimes? Will we be asking the Amercians for help in doing this?