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