Your morning five: Harper won’t fund global abortion

Also: Ukrainian rebels are divided

Prime Minister Stephen Harper announces an additional $3.5 billion over five years towards the prime minister's maternal, newborn and child health initiative at Davisville Pulbic School in Toronto on Thursday, May 29, 2014. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette

Nathan Denette/CP

We tell you five things you need to know this morning.

1. Stephen Harper says abortion is divisive. The Prime Minister has taken heat for not funding safe abortions as part of his global child and maternal health initiative. Harper told CBC that he’s “trying to rally a broad public consensus,” and abortion is simply too controversial, both domestically and internationally. Harper and philanthropist Melinda Gates both pointed to contraceptives as an important tool that can prevent the need for abortions. NDP MP Hélène Laverdière insists that unsafe abortions kill 47,00 women around the world every year, and Canada should fund safe procedures.

2. Indian rapes infuriate villagers. Two teenage girls were raped and hanged earlier this month in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh, and villagers close to the victims claim police failed to act because the victims and their families are from a lower caste (or class). Police say they’ve arrested three men, including a police officer, in connection with the girls’ killings. The mother of one of the victims filed a complaint with police and was subsequently beaten up for making the complaint—an attack that left her in critical condition. Police have arrested three of the mother’s five alleged attackers.

3. Ukrainian rebels are divided. Al Jazeera reports that an armed group known as the Vostok Battalion has taken control of an administrative building in the eastern city of Donetsk, and is fortifying its perimeter in advance of an expected attack by Ukrainian troops. The battalion reportedly kicked out separatist administrators who acted improperly during a recent skirmish with Kyiv’s force. “While we were fighting at the airport, these guys were looting the Metro supermarket nearby,” said one soldier, named Sergey. “This is not what the Donetsk People’s Republic is about. This is a bad joke.”

4. Total steps back from a megaproject. The French energy giant will put its $11-billion Joslyn mine in Alberta’s oilsands on hold because the project is no longer economically viable. Rising labour costs make Joslyn’s development more expensive, and limited export options out of the mine—namely, few new pipelines—drives down the price of oil extracted from the ground. The math spells the end, for now, of the Joslyn project. Total holds the largest stake in the mine (38.25 per cent), but Suncor owns another 36.75 per cent. Sneh Seetal, a Suncor spokesperson, said the consortium could eventually revive the project.

5. Steve Ballmer could spend $2 billion on the Clippers. The former Microsoft CEO wants to buy the Los Angeles basketball team, and is willing to pay more than anyone would have guessed—even Oprah Winfrey, who led another bid to buy the team. The Clippers, owned by the Sterling Family trust, were unofficially put on the market after racism-laced private conversations involving 80-year-old Donald Sterling went public and he was banned from the NBA for the rest of his life. Sterling’s lawyers insist any sale of the team requires his approval, but his wife, Shelly Sterling, says she has the power to go it alone.


Your morning five: Harper won’t fund global abortion

  1. This is what constitutes “de-politicizing” coverage of maternal health?


    • It sounds very nice using euphemism like “maternal health”, “women’s rights”, etc.
      If the child is affecting the mother’s health; then that IS maternal health, but as long as the child can be brought into the world; there is no reason why he or she cannot be given a chance at life. Talk about women’s rights when the child is a woman too…

      Just because a child is born in the third world into a poor family; who are any of us to condemn that child? Abortion gives nobody a chance. Education on the other hand can get the mother and the child out of poverty.

      • Pregnant gang-raped 8 year olds will be impressed, I’m sure.

        • Emily; an 8 year old girl is very likely not going to get pregnant.
          Regardless; a situation like that is horrific.
          But, posing an extreme situation like the one above only polarizes the issue.
          A pregnancy at that age would definitely put the life of the girl on the line. In a situation like that an induced abortion to prevent complications and save the girl’s life is only LOGICAL.

          • Too bad harper won’t go to bat for that woman because it would be too divisive, then.

          • Raped pregnant 8 year olds are relatively common…..the internal damage is also horrendous. Abortion is required.

            PS: the youngest pregnant girl in the world was 5.

            PPS: You may consider it ‘logical’. The church still considers it immoral.

          • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_youngest_birth_mothers

            Pregnant 8 year olds and five year olds ARE NOT common. In fact, this precocious puberty happens so uncommonly that Wikipedia, which is some people’s favorite source was able to point out all of the times it has happened. When the five year old was pregnant, doctors thought it was a tumor so no abortion was offered.

        • This issue is about the ability to designate funding toward particular programs. Designating funding toward supporting newborns isn’t a terrible thing to do. Funding is needed in that area. Those who want to make vaccination mandatory might ask themselves how that will happen…this funding will help pay for vaccines in the third world.

          • Actually it’s very common….but I guess you’re unaware of the mass rapes going on in Africa.

            Blinders. Canadian suburban white-bread blinders.

          • Pregnancy occurring in an 8 year old is not very common even if rape of an 8 year old is. Given that you are also a “Canadian suburban white bread”, and that you are proposing abortion as a solution for gang-rape of a young child, it is easy to see that your blinders are securely in place.

          • If you and Bram are going to exchange questions, and work shift here….. I’d appreciate it if you’d exchange answers as well. It would save me typing.

            No dear, I’m not Canadian white-bread …and yes dear, rape of 8 year olds is very common in the world. So is pregnancy. From war, from gang rape, from dear ole daddums hisself. Always results in injury…..often results in a pregnancy.

            See, you don’t have an abortion if you’re not pregnant….you DO have major surgery….but then you’re not bright enough to figure that difference out apparently.

          • Emily

            The Church does not condemn the death of a child indirectly caused by saving the life of the mother. It is considered immoral if the death (through an abortion) is intentional.

            It’s very simple to understand the Church’s position if you consider an unborn baby as a human.

            If a human is killed intentionally, this is immoral. (I think we can all agree on this)
            If a human dies unintentionally, this is NOT immoral.

            In my previous comment, I made a mistake by mislabelling this example as an ‘induced abortion’.

    • I don’t think Paul Wells gets to choose what Charlie Gillis chooses to write about.

  2. Abortion overseas isn’t divisive in the national population…it’s his base he’s worried about upsetting. Politics.

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