That’s a no (II)

Bev Oda states the government’s case.

Oda said the internationally accepted definition of family planning includes contraception but not abortion. “We’re not debating abortion, we’re clarifying family planning,” she said over her shoulder as she left a press conference in Halifax. The hastily-convened media availability happened minutes before she was due to arrive at a private dinner for the heads of delegation at Government House, the home of Nova Scotia’s lieutenant governor.

After the jump, the statement released by Ms. Oda’s office.

At the upcoming G-8 Leaders’ Summit, Canada will champion an initiative to increase the number of healthy pregnancies, healthy mothers and healthy children. We will be looking at a wide range of interventions across the continuum of care, that I will be discussing with my G8 colleagues, including pre-pregnancy, safe births, and family planning, as well as training and support for frontline health workers; better nutrition and provision of micronutrients; treatment and prevention of diseases such as pneumonia, diarrhea, malaria and sepsis; screening and treatment for sexually transmitted diseases, including HIV/AIDS; proper medication; family planning; immunization; clean water and sanitation.

The Government of Canada agrees with the internationally-accepted definition of family planning, as agreed to by the World Health Organization, UN and G8 development agencies.   This includes a woman’s ability to space and limit her pregnancies, which has a direct impact on her health and well-being, as well as on the outcome of each pregnancy.

Within the scope of this G-8 initiative, countries will be able to identify their own priorities. Canada’s contribution to maternal and child health may involve various interventions, including family planning, which includes the use of contraceptive methods. The details remain to be determined. However, Canada’s contribution will not include funding abortion. Our work ahead for this G8 development meeting is:

∙ to reach a consensus on a G8 initiative to save the lives of

millions of mothers and children under the age of five;

∙ to continue our work to meet the challenge of food security; and

∙ to do so effectively, sustainably and accountably

Thank you.




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That’s a no (II)

  1. So the Harper minority government is willing to allow women to die for lack of safe, legal abortions. Watch out, women of Canada. Will they take away our choice too?

    • Kind of a rude guest!

    • Yeah well, it's a foreign, poor country after all. Look at what they allow with arrestees in Afghanistan – guilty or not; what, torture? It's being tough on crime or something.

  2. So they hid, run and obfuscate their own stance because they didn't think the optics of stating this outright would be good?
    If this was their initial rationale, why didn't they just come out and say it? Like holly i don't like this decision but its wholly understandable. However, it appears they had to be penned, quartered and damned into saying it, which only makes it appear they had something to hide. Keep it up, CONs…

    • When someone asks you a question and you know they're not going to like the answer, do you skate around the question, or do you couch your response with "you're not going to like this, but…"

      Rule #1 of brokerage politics is appealing to the broadest base possible – you can't do that if you tell folks right off the bat you're about to cheese them with a response.

      • No balls required if all your 'tough answers' come 3 months after the fact and are couched in such recessive language as to hide the true answer… 'May' fund contraceptives sounds like no clarification of what our Canadian $ is going to do, or tell our partners overseas exactly what we are willing to target.
        Harper – not a leader, and not someone interested in truth-telling.

  3. Clever argument

  4. Pot-kettle, mr. guest. If you are trying to say that this argument is off-base or completely without empirical evidence, please see CONs attack on the Green Shift, ie. "Tax on Everything." It's not like we don't have anyone in the CON caucus who wouldn't support denying all women this option, no?

  5. This is a perfect "signature initiative" for Harper.

    It is regressive, paternalistic, divisive and does not reflect the values of a majority of Canadians.

    How Harperian is that?

  6. Where is this said international definition, and why isn't my government moving post haste to have it include access to abortion YESTERDAY?

  7. I love that line. "We're clarifying family planning".

    This government has gone out of its way to avoid clarification on any issue since January 2006 and particularly this issue for the last 3 months.

    Canadians are not babies or idiots, Mr. Harper. Show us some modicum of respect. Tell us what you are planning, in detail, so we can have the policy discussion. None of this sneaky policy by backdoor where the light is not usually shone.

    • You know, I have to laugh at use of the term "family planning" in reference to abortion. Like so many things that come from its supporters, the logic is truly bizarre.

      Question: If you have to get an abortion, how in the world did you "plan" your parenthood?

      Abortion is obviously the ultimate example of NOT planning for parenthood. My goodness.

      Abortion supporters seem to take all their terminology straight out of Orwell's handbook.

  8. " we're clarifying family planning" is code for Oda is waiting to hear back from PMO to see if the rhythm method is still okay.

    • Lovely to see how mature some of you are on this issue. Next.

    • Is that when you do it with Nine Inch Nails playing in the background?

    • I'm pretty sure we've all seen the link to your blog by now, especially since your chosen name here links to it. Maybe its time to let that go?

    • I agree. The cuteness has really worn off.
      Should anyone wish to visit your blog, they know where to look.

  9. Cue the next chapter of Iggy vs. Liberals for Life in 3, 2, 1…

  10. I'll believe the Harpies can pull this off when I see it. My suspicion is that they will have to cave faced with the searing embarrassment of playing domestic politics with foreign policy, particularly on this issue, when funding abortion *is* domestic policy. Something the rest of us will point with great relish, I'll add.

  11. Never ceases to amaze me how some people are so desperate to have unborn children killed. Again, what this has to do with maternal and CHILDREN'S health is beyond normal logic. But, hey, it's got you leftists going, hasn't it.

    • What's so desperate and illogical about wanting to give women more control over their own bodies? About telling a woman who is raped that she has other options than a coathanger or a glass shard? And, since I'm replying to your post, why are you spitting "leftist" like it's a dirty word?

      Life is precious, and I hope we agree on that, Dennis. I just choose to value the life of the mother first.

      • Another thing that never ceases to amaze me is the bizarre terminology that you leftists use in defending this heinous act of abortion. Who in the world is taking control of a woman's body away from her? We're talking about the body of the unborn child, and how IT'S being forced to die, right?

        Another thing you leftists do is always resort to is talking about rape. Well, for one thing, how about life as an option, since you say you value it so much? But what about when it's not rape, which is most of the time? Are you saying you're against killing life then? Of course not.

        I value the life of the mother, and the unborn child. You're the one who feels that one is to be valued over the other, or that either has to be at risk.

        And you're the one who interprets "leftist" as a swear word. lol. For some reason, you leftists never like to show pride in your leftists political views, even though you value them like they're a religion. Like abortion is a religion.

        And if you're for life, why are you for killing it? Again, completely bizarre logic.

        But at least you tried debate. I appreciate that. Much of the time, your leftists friends on here resort to childish arguments, or can only muster a "thumbs down" on my posts, even though they swear by abortion as a precious right of some kind.

        • Ladies and gentlemen…….. Pure proof of Nietzsche's Eternal Recurrence.

          • Ladies and gentleman, yet more proof that the people who hold abortion as some kind of precious right have very little defense of it once challenged. Thank you.

        • Dennis, please read my reply to Gary, below, as I don't feel like repeating myself and it does address some of your writings.

          My personal view on abortion is that, as often as possible, it should be avoided. I'm not comfortable with the long-term health impacts of multiple abortions on women, nor am I comfortable with ending a life because a bubble burst or someone got the timing wrong. But I'm not about to judge someone whose threshold is different than mine, because I believe abortion – like all health matters – is an intensely personal decision, and not open to debate from you, me, or anyone else.

          When I say I value life, I value quality of life, too: where a woman's mental health is seriously jeopardized by carrying to term a child of rape, where her physical health is at risk by childbirth, where the child is likely to die by preventable illness before its first birthday…those are situations where I have to wonder if, though it's a terrible position to be in, "life" would best be served by aborting the fetus.

    • Never ceases to amaze me how some people are so desperate to have unborn children killed.

      What causes you to characterize those people as desperate?

      • I read this blog post and the comments on it. lol. Next.

        • Sorry. Poorly constructed question on my part. Let me try again.

          What causes you to characterize those people as desperate to have unborn children killed?

          • I just gave you an answer, for crying out loud. Is this all you anti-life people have?

          • The abortion troll thrives off of attention. Just leave it be in its own smugness and sense of superiority. It's the compassionate thing to do.

  12. Dennis, the epistemic closure post, written by Jamie Weinman, is several posts down.

  13. What is it with some of you not being able to muster even a decent post in reply? Is abortion that indefensible? Am I that formidable of an interlocutor?

  14. Or maybe it could just be that I don't really have a position on abortion, and I'm simply sick and tired of your redundantly arrogant hot air. Indeed – none of the kids want to play with you because you are smarter than them. Just keep telling yourself that…

  15. Yes, because engaging with you on the topic is going to be so fruitful and enlightening when you would throw a woman in jail for life for terminating the growth of cells just a few hours old. I'd get more interactive and intelligent debate banging my head on the wall.

  16. We really are not worthy of your Great Intelligence, Dennis. We are hopeless. You should do yourself a service and find a more intelligent audience which might better appreciate and learn from your Vast Superiority, and just leave us to our wasteland.

    Please.

  17. Dennis asks: Am I that formidable of an interlocutor?

    Yeah, that's it Dennis… it's because you're so "formidable."

  18. Thanks Sam.

    The optimist in me hoped I could engage Dennis in a reasonable discussion, and the realist in me isn't surprised with the actual outcome.

  19. In his own way, Dennis is extremely formidable.

  20. I think anyone who sees some master plan behind this is overthinking. It strikes me that Harper pulled out the maternal health initiative prematurely before anyone had really sorted through the political ramifications. My guess (and hope) is that the other G8 have pushed the Conservatives towards a rational compromise in which the infrastructure & expertise needed for maternal health will be supported based on merit. The additional costs for some procedures such as abortions will not be covered by Canadian contributions. I can certainly live with this, if the doctors and hospitals are in place then the necessary funds can be found elsewhere.

    The danger Ignatieff saw coming (and articulated remarkably poorly) was that the Harper government would use this funding to change the policies of NGO's and foreign clinics and hospitals by refusing any funding to an organization associated with providing safe access to abortions. The Americans have done similar things and given the R&D situation, this government is not philosophically opposed to thinking about foreign policy/ aid in such terms.

  21. A little ditty by the Sex Pistols for all those abortion fans out there!

    "Dragged on a table in factory
    Illegitimate place to be
    In a packet in a lavatory
    Die little baby screaming
    Body screaming f***ing bloody mess
    Not an animal
    It's an abortion

    Body! I'm not animal
    Mummy! I'm not an abortion

    Throbbing squirm,
    gurgling bloody mess
    I'm not a discharge
    I'm not a loss in protein
    I'm not a throbbing squirm

    F**k this and f**k that
    F**k it all and f**k a f**king brat
    She don't wanna baby that looks like that
    I don't wanna baby that looks like that
    Body, I'm not an animal
    Body, an abortion

    Johnny Rotten had you "animals" pegged right!

  22. I'm sorry, but I also have to laugh somewhat at how many leftist admirers Mr. Wherry has. He posts these knee-jerk blog entries about topics like abortion, and you all pat yourselves on the back with rather inane comments and a bunch of "thumbs up" clicks. It's rather quite amusing, except that it's also all in support of the horrific act of abortion, which you all think is some kind of amazing societal accomplishment, and should be exported to mothers living in poverty — on the taxpayer dime, of course. Just wonderful. Yeah, I know. Thumbs down. Congratulations. lol

  23. Did he REALLY say that?
    Ted you should be made available for retroactive abortion as well!

  24. Well he must be because all I see from you "people" is to attack the messanger and no rebuttal to any points he has made in relation to the death industry called abortion that all you folks are so energetic to export to far reaching places around the world that we really have no say in. If you are all in with this initiative, I would appreciate that all you "people" buck up and PAY for this service in the cases where it is NOT required. For the slow ones out there, that would be in about, say 99.98% of cases. If not, STFU.

  25. Absolutely he did.

    He repeatedly calls abortion murder. He has said categorically that a termination at conception is no different then a moment before birth.

    In Canada, there is only one category of criminal charge applicable for first degree murder and there is only one sentence with a mandatory minimum of life in jail.

    So absolutely, he is asking Canadians to throw women in jail for life for termination a pregnancy that is a few hours old.

  26. Except we wouldn't even be talking about this if it were not for Ignatieff.

    He is the one who raised the question and as a direct result he got Harper to reverse his position on family planning and contraception.

    I don't know if Harper had a specifically planned out master plan or not. My guess is that he just sort of assumed no one would pay attention to the details and he would be able to continue to do what he wanted in international efforts like he has so far with cutting all funding to Planned Parenthood and spearheading an ideological rejigging of Rights and Democracy. His record shows that, whether there was specific plan or not, he was definitely going to pull this initiative far to the right.

  27. We're talking about going into countries and funding abortion where women do not – constitutionally or socially – have the right to consent or not consent to sex. Where women are not often granted the right to an education, or the opportunities (economic and otherwise) afforded to men.

    In other words, women have no ability to choose their own path in life.

    What does this have to do with abortion? For a woman who is impregnated by rape, for a woman whose life is put at risk by her pregnancy, a great deal. For these women, it's not a death industry, it's the ability to make their own choices as to the path they want to lead in life, without fear of being stoned to death for it. For women who, by circumstance, cannot afford to raise the children they bear or whose children will be born with chronic or terminal illnesses (and have no access to adoption programs or care) it's the ability to say "I am not strong enough to be the parent to this child".

  28. We simply cannot compete with an intellect as vast as yours. Please nurture us once more with your great wisdom. And remember – No means Yes! Man – why do I keep feeding you?

  29. And depending on the REASON for the abortion, he may be right! Is it another form of birth control, because Jack and Jill can't keep their pants on? Is it because the child is "not quite right" and must be traded in for a newer model with better options? And the crack about "a few hours old", I'm sure you have data that backs up your claim that ALL abortions are done after ONLY a few hours? See how this game is played by misrepresenting WHAT people say?

  30. "We're talking about going into countries and funding abortion where women do not – constitutionally or socially – have the right to consent or not consent to sex. Where women are not often granted the right to an education, or the opportunities (economic and otherwise) afforded to men."

    So, after listing all the ails of a country in general, you people decide that abortion is the best place to start down the path of joining us in the 21st century? Are you for real?

    "For a woman who is impregnated by rape, for a woman whose life is put at risk by her pregnancy, a great deal."

    Once again with the statistically irrelevant cases!

    "For women who, by circumstance, cannot afford to raise the children they bear or whose children will be born with chronic or terminal illnesses"

    These are NOT reasons to terminate a pregnancy! If you can't do the time, DON'T do the crime! GOD another candidate for retroactive abortion!!

  31. You leftists repeat the same arguments over and over again. The status of the human life in the womb does not change from conception to birth. So, what about when it's not just a few cells, but a few minutes from birth? OK to still kill it then, according to you, right?

  32. Actually, I never said that. You leftists here have to do this. You can't defend the horrific act of abortion otherwise. Look at you on here. Little wee old me, and you go nuts.

  33. I respond to your vitriol with an argument, and you imply that I should be killed? That's classy. I'm reporting you.

    • Go ahead, report away!
      Remember YOU are the one who sees nothing wrong with killing the unwanted and useless, I was just thinking you would be a good candidate for the criteria you listed above!

    • Go ahead, report away!
      Remember YOU are the one who sees nothing wrong with killing the unwanted and useless, I was just thinking you would be a good candidate for the criteria you listed above!

  34. Can you please show me one single person who thinks it is OK to terminate a pregnancy a few minutes from birth? It is the famous straw man of the anti-choice crowd: we need a draconian law for something that never ever happens and for which a physician would lose their license if they ever did.

    See it is because idiotic and moronic pathological statements like that that make it clear there is no sense in discussing things with you.

  35. See Gary.

    Dennis actually does hold that incredibly hardcore and bizarre view that a woman should be thrown in jail for life because she terminated a pregnancy that is just a few minutes old.

    These are indeed the types that fill the Conservative Party coffers with their money and push them in their policies.

  36. Another leftist tactic: deny what your true position is. You don't really have a position on abortion, eh? My ass. Next.

  37. No, you just can't answer. This is typical. You leftists love abortion and snuffing debate.

  38. Look, if the problem is consent to sex, or education, then deal with those issues. But why in the world is the leftist answer to all this killing the unborn child? Again, it's absurd. I'm sorry. You guys love this right, and will stop at nothing to agitate in defence of it.

  39. Typical leftism. You want to kill all debate that challenges your bizarre agenda. You want to throw me in jail, too? Unbelievable. Again, you leftists will stop at nothing to defend this "horrific" right. It's like a death cult, or sexual worship. Something.

  40. I don't think it's absurd to accept that other people have different beliefs than I do.

    You're pro-life. I don't think that your beliefs are ridiculous, nor do I believe that a woman who chooses to abort because she's not ready to have a child (even to give it up for adoption) is making a nonsensical decision. I don't agree wholeheartedly with either position.

    What is consistent throughout my string of beliefs (and I grant you, they aren't all parallel) is that I believe that your body and my body are sovereign and nobody should have the right to tell me what medical procedures we can and cannot have performed on it.

  41. No, Dennis, I've demonstrated time and time again that I'm quite happy to have the debate. But nowhere in my version of "debate" does the concept of threatening another person's life play a role.

    Ever.

  42. I think issues of consent and education (and disease prevention and improvement of quality of life etc) all deserve to be dealt with.

    Thing is, those require social change, and that takes a siginficant amount of time. And, as that elapses, (some) women are still being impregnated against their will, still dying during childbirth, etc. So we need to have a short-term way to address current circumstances, while still working toward longer-term social change.

  43. Discomfort with government funding for abortion is wide-spread enough in Canada that we don't make any efforts to ensure it – it's not enforced through the Canada Health Act, for example. Given that, where are the reasoned arguments in support of this position? This comments board has only one extreme anti-abortion commenter. Does this mean Mr. Ignatieff and his LIberals could propose something ambitious to improve access to abortions in Canada? That woudl be a big leap forward…

  44. I'll just chuckle. I have mixed feelings on abortion, and as it has never played a direct role in the life I have lead, I do not have a position.

    I'm curious though – How is it that your buttocks will resolve this matter?

    It's lonely out in the playground, isn't it? Now be a good boy and drink your Kook-aid.
    Mmmmmmmm – refreshing! Now go tell the world how right you are, and how wrong everyone else is.
    Mommy is very proud of you. There, there….

  45. Funny how you ignore all the taunts and nonsense coming from the supporters of abortion, while not hesitating one bit for attacking "buttocks".

    Again, it's been my experience that a lot of leftists are not upfront about their views of the world, and you're proving that once again. Thanks.

  46. Mmmmmmmmm! I loves abortion. Abortion gooooooooooooooood!
    Nothing revs me up like cracking some eggs in a frying pan, and frying them up with some raw chicken strips. Yummy!

  47. Tell me where I have said that, you bumpkin?

    Nevertheless, you support the killing of a baby two minutes before birth, right? Why is its status different than two minutes after conception.

    If a born baby can't feed itself, does it have less basic rights than old people? Of course not. Next.

  48. You're putting words into my mouth, now, Dennis. I never said that I don't find other views absurd, I just said I don't think it's absurd to accept that other people have different views than I do. That is, other people are well within their rights to hold different views than I do, regardless of whether or not I disagree.

    As for "measures that can be taken in order to avoid conception" you're right. They do exist. Thing is, they don't work 100% of the time. What do you suggest women in impoverished countries do when contraception fails? What do you suggest those women do when they conceive after rape, that they are afraid to report for fear of repercussion? What do you suggest they do when medical evidence indicates they'll die if they give birth to that child?

    And no, my position is not that unborn children can be killed at any time during pregnancy. Stop accusing me of holding views I do not have.

  49. From what I have seen recently, anytime abortion has comes up here at Maclean's, Dennis goes on his crazy "leftist" belligerent tangent. To amuse myself, I picture him as a rabid hyena, frothing at the mouth. It's unfortunate that the validity of any of his points is lost due to his lack of people skills. It's one thing to be passionate with regards to a belief system, and quite another to be a pr*ck about it.

  50. Your welcome!
    Perhaps I simply have an a$$ fetish?

  51. Always with the name calling. Such a classy one, Dennis. Such a good thing you are our moral superior because I don't think you'd have much else to go on.

    You've said it is murder to flush out a few cells. There is only one charge of murder that applies in this case (first degree murder) and only one sentence for murder (mandatory minimum of life). So either you are lying and don't really think it is murder, or you do which only means you would throw the woman in jail for life.

    Fail. Next.

  52. Oh, so lying about what I've said is classy, is it? Look, if you can't understand what I write, then you're a bumpkin, right?

    And why do you always talk about a "few cell" right after conception? First, you and I were just a few cells at one point. And what about a few minutes before birth? Is there a difference in status to you?

    Why not address this specific point?

    As for murder, it's the abortion doctor who's committing it. Logic 101. Although I do think there should be penalties for women who allow their unborn children to be killed, yes.

    In fact, I think there should be a reproductive bill of rights, which outlines responsibilities and protections for everyone involved in reproduction – woman, man, child. Instead of this backroom horror show that many of you are completely fine with.

  53. Oh, and I'd have no problem with the man being charged if his child is aborted in the womb. He should take responsibility for that life, too.

  54. Well now, for a change, you are going beyond the black and white.

    But you still fail Logic 101 and kindergarden law.

    If I hire a third party to go and kill someone, then at law I am just as culpable if not more than the hired gun. So you are bending over backwards for a revision to a fundamental aspect of law.

    As for a few cells, I am quite unequivocal that a few cells are in no way shape or form a human baby. As for a few minutes before birth, I am quite unequivocal that that is a completely different status.

    I am also unequivocal in my belief that we do not need any criminal law – and that criminal law would make matters worse – to deal with this fantasy of abortions in the final weeks of pregnancy. Except for serious medical reasons, they just do not happen and a doctor would lose their license if they tried.

    Add the possibility that a doctor may face murder charges or at least manslaughter charges if he aborts to save a mother's life, and you are putting women's lives at risk and that utter disregard for women's health is to me quite appalling. But very revealing.

  55. Actually, the reason you want to kill someone (unless it is self-defence) never enters into it.

    And yes, a little while back I specifically asked Dennis if he thought it was murder if you caused a termination a few hours after conception and he was unequivocal that it was.

    So when I say Dennis wants to throw women in jail for life for terminating a pregnancy that is a few hours old, I am not misrepresenting Dennis.

    So why do you feel it necessary to make stuff up about what I said?

  56. Yes, you are killing a human life a few minutes after conception. Also a few minutes from birth. When have I been unequivocal about that? Gee. Next.

  57. It's a completely nonsensical position. I'm sorry. You want to have it both ways. You're for life, but you say killing it is OK if a woman's threshold for it is lower than yours. It's absurd.

  58. John Lydon got loads of things right; I disagree with him on this one.

  59. So, if other people have different views than you on child rape, you don't think it's absurd? Really???

    I don't understand this notion of bodies being "sovereign". However, when a woman has an unborn child in her womb, there are two bodies involved. Why isn't its body "sovereign?" Why don't you or I have rights when we're inside the womb? Why is it that only women have "reproductive rights" whatever they are?

    Furthermore, if a woman or a man doesn't want to reproduce, there are measures that can be taken in order to avoid conception. That's how you avoid unwanted pregnancies – to avoid pregnancy – not to abort it after the fact.

    The fact of the matter is that your position is that an unborn child can be killed at any time during pregnancy. It's an ugly view, which is precisely why you're desperately trying to say you don't have it, but you do.

    Under your view, life in the womb can be killed at any time for any reason. Like I keep saying, it's indefensible, and bizarre. I'm sorry.

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