What we’re talking about when we talk about maternal health (II)

Included in CIDA’s explanation of the UN’s Millennium Development Goals and what Canada is doing to help meet those goals is this section on maternal health. Included in that is a three-year commitment to the International Planned Parenthood Federation.

CIDA supports the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) and is providing $18 million over three years beginning in 2007 to help raise awareness and increase the provision of sexual and reproductive health services. The IPPF supports services provided by 58,000 facilities worldwide to approximately 32 million visitors per year.

Planned Parenthood explicitly includes access to abortion in its mandate. At last report, it was still waiting to hear whether its funding would be renewed.

What we’re talking about when we talk about maternal health (II)

  1. And beyond the buzzword 'abortion', something like Planned Parenthood also obviously means birth control.

    And offhand I can't think of anything women in the third world need more that birth control. That is basic to all else.

    Since when did birth control get to be a dirty word in Canada?

    • "And offhand I can't think of anything women in the third world need more that birth control. That is basic to all else."

      So the answer to all third world problems is birth control? You seem to be saying that malaria, dirty drinking water, unsafe hospitals, warlords killing tens of thousands are all unimportant and will be fixed by birth control. That's quite the perspective.

      • Sorry, I don't intend to indulge you in little Con-bot games.

      • "So the answer to all third world problems is birth control?

        That's quite the re-invention of what Trillium wrote.

        • You think so?

          When he/she writes "I can't think of anything women in the third world need more that birth control", you think they forgot caveat about besides clean drinking water, sanitary hospitals, mosquito nets … etc? I can think of plenty of things that third world women need more than contraceptives.

          • When someone says X is a priority, they are not saying that X is the solution to all problems.

            I happen to disagree with Trillium here, I think there are lots of things that are more important to African women than birth control. Is there anything that is more important to women specifically than birth control (as opposed to things that are just as important to others)? I'd still disagree but it is arguable.

            But what he/she most clearly did not say is that birth control was going to solve all third world problems. That was a hyperbolic fabrication.

          • Why shouldn't they have it all?

    • "And offhand I can't think of anything women in the third world need more that birth control. That is basic to all else. "

      Education is more important, even for delaying childbirth. If you look into the demographic shift that happens with development, you'll see it has no relation to birth control but a strong relation to universal primary education, lower infant mortality and increased prosperity.

      • And education rates generally rise when women have fewer (to no) children.

        • I was speaking to the cyclical causation of the two. From my guts.

  2. February 6, 2006

  3. "Today Eugenics is suggested by the most diverse minds as the most adequate and thorough avenue to the solution of racial, political, and social problems … As an advocate of Birth Control, I wish to take advantage of the present opportunity to point out that the unbalance between the birth rate of the unfit and the fit, admittedly the greatest present menace to the human race, can never be rectified by the inauguration of a cradle competition between the two classes." Margaret Sanger, founder of Planned Parenthood

    Giving money to Planned Parenthood is likely to drive many conservatives bonkers – I am not at all surprised there is delay about decision on funding IPPF.

    And why are Libs only capable of suggesting abortion when it comes to solutions for third world issues? There are all sorts of problems in third world and all liberals and progressives propose is we murder their babies.

    • If you read the article, abortion isn't being proposed as a solution to anything but unsafe abortions:

      "We would argue if you're really going to tackle maternal health and morbidity you've really got to tackle safe abortion because, in the developing world there are more than 19 million unsafe abortions every year and the toll that takes on women, particularly young women, is enormous."

      • "Of the 500,000 annual maternal deaths, complications from unsafe abortion account for approximately 70,000, or 13 per cent, of all deaths." IPPF

        According to the WHO World Health Report 2002, the top ten leading causes of death in developing countries does not include unsafe abortions. Measles came in tenth and close to 700,000 people died from it.

        http://ucatlas.ucsc.edu/cause.php

        So, abortion does not make the top ten leading causes of death in developing countries but liberals and progressives continue on with their 'lets kill third world babies, that will fix everything' mantra.

        And I am curious tobyont to know what you think. Abortions are illegal in most countries – do you propose we give money to orgs or people that are breaking their county's law?

        • You're not curious at all. I think you are deliberately trying to mislead by pretending that anyone is suggesting killing "third world babies … will fix everything" and I'm calling bullshit.

        • "liberals and progressives continue on with their 'lets kill third world babies, that will fix everything' mantra."

          Ya know, even by your standards, this is a pretty odious statement.

        • You think "70,000" women aren't important so what if they die because they didn't meet the numbers of other issues?

          Strange way of thinking. Life is important only on your terms.

          • It's important to make a distinction here. Is there a demand for safe abortions from third world women? I don't support Joylon's absurd hyperventilating over progressives. But neither do a agree with funding abortions if we are creating a demand…imposing our cultral norm. I don't know if that's clear…but is this a prority at all for third world women? If they are asking for the funding of safe abortion sevices that's entirely different.

    • Why are CONs/cons only capable of asserting that abortion and contraceptive accessibility are mere obstacles to the poor's conversion to peace, happiness and good governance*?

      * accountability and quality of governance may not be available in all areas; a coffee tin may yield higher returns.

    • you are forgetting or ignorant of the fact scores of women that die each year in giving birth. in many of these cases abortion can save lives.

      but your basic point that liberals and progressives carry 'lets kill third world babies, that will fix everything' mantra and that abortion is the 'only' fix they support for the third world is utter hogwash. why be so disingenuous? unable to make your case against abortion on its own merit?

  4. Yes, I'd agree with that. Sadly.

  5. Although CIDA has been funding the IPPF by $6 million / year, it does not contribute to that organization's Safe Abortion Action Fund, which is funded by the governments of Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom.

    http://www.ippf.org/en/Resources/Reports-reviews/

    • Hey, research! Thanks. How strange that Ignatieff seems to be worrying about the demise of a program that never existed…

      • It's a political gambit, nothing more. It's one of those debates where people are basically arguing about principles – actual facts rarely make an appearance.

        It's too bad, because ideally we should be talking about the cheapest and most effective ways to help the most people. We should be focusing on the 94% of maternal deaths that have nothing to do with abortion, instead of getting sidetracked by unproductive debates.

        • So asking Harper and Oda to state our current policy is a waste of time?

          Personally, I think the allocation of taxpayer dollars should be transparent. Interesting how many conservatives around here are totally satisfied not knowing.

          • You mean our current policy about funding groups like IPPF? I don't think that Canada actually has a specific policy one way or the other. Should we?

        • Where do you get that claim that 94% of maternal deaths have nothing to do with abortion? Says who?

          • But you are just counting the figures for death from complications of abortion. No doubt some of the other deaths are a result of the women or girls not being able to have an abortion, such as children who have been raped and are not healthy enough to bear a child. Note that it mentions the high mortalisty for newborns, foetuses, etc as a result of maternal mortality. So abortion and the lack of access to abortions is a factor in other areas.

        • That's an excellent point, and also the only possible common ground between abortion opponents and proponents on this issue.

          Unfortunately, as this thread and the one prior have shown, this 94% compromise is not likely to work.

          • "Of the 500,000 annual maternal deaths, complications from unsafe abortion account for approximately 70,000, or 13 per cent, of all deaths." IPPF

            6%, 13%, it doesn't matter. It's unethical to leave tens of thousands of maternal deaths per year unaddressed. Access to safe abortion and contraception is a major factor in womens' health worldwide.

            Perhaps we should refer to this as Harper's campaign to help *some* womens' health in developing countries.

        • It's a political gambit, nothing more

          Does that mean you somehow know the funding will be renewed despite the MP saying it shouldn't be? In their statements, it appears the Conservatives want to not be seen supporting any birth control. I don't think it is obvious they will continue funding IPP. If such a change in policy is made it is a lot more than a political gambit.

        • So when Harper opens his trap on anything next time you'll call him on his relentless political gambit-ing, right? Muppet got your tongue?

      • It doesn't earmark the funds but CIDA increased its sexual health, reproductive health, and maternal health funding from just over $37 million annually in 2000-2001 to nearly $52 million annually in 2007-2008. Harper has put a stop to that now. That is in addition to the funds sent to Planned Parenthood of about $6M annually.

        If you think that there is no policy in place to help women with planning parenthood, including abortion and contraception, then you are wrong.

        • What do you mean, Harper has put a stop to that now? You're suggesting that he has cancelled $52 million in funding for these broad CIDA categories???

          If Canada has ever had a policy about helping women in other countries with planning parenthood, including abortion, I imagine it would be written down somewhere. It should be fairly easy to find.

          • In fact, it is very easy to find.

            In fact, all you have to do is click the link up above or, to make it easier, right here:

            You are welcome.

          • Why thank you Ted. I note that the word "abortion" (or any of its euphemisms) is not included anywhere in CIDA's Millennium Development Goals. They merely allude to the broad category of reproductive health services.

        • This is confusing – you've demonstrated that Canada's commitment to these issues has risen during Harper's administration, then you announce that he's put a stop to it. There's no evidence for the second assertion and the first fact contradicts the thrust of the Liberal insinuation.

          • I think Ted was just getting a bit carried away with the anti-Harper rhetoric when he said "Harper has put a stop to that now". Of course, Harper hasn't stopped anything.

          • The funding was already committed prior to Harper coming along. So he didn't cut the commitment I will give him that.

            What is confusing some is the shift that occurred with Harper in 2008. Like Rights and Democracy – he first appoints non-ideological experts in the field like Beauregard, then suddenly in 2008 he starts appointing fervent single-issue ideologues.

            And he has started "stopping it". He's circumventing the existing aid programs that are already in place to provide aid and health services for women and children. He cut 98% of funding to Planned Parenthood. That's just two recent examples. The more we dig, the more of this kind of stuff we are finding.

          • The funding for Planned Parenthood began in 2007, after Harper came along, and I understood they were waiting for a decision on its renewal (and weren't too happy with Ignatieff's intervention). But you're right – there are a lot of commitments reported in 2008 that were made pre-Harper.

  6. Oh please, education, water, food, medicine etc are needed by everybody, not just women.

    Birth control and abortion are women-specific. Enough with the buzz words.

  7. "The campaign for birth control is not merely of eugenic value, but is practically identical with the final aims of eugenics."

    Margaret Sanger, founder of Planned Parenthood. "The Eugenic Value of Birth Control Propaganda." Birth Control Review, October 1921, page 5

    Alarm bells? Anyone? Hullo?

    • Uh…. 1921 ,,, when actual eugenics practices were in place. The Deep South was the most
      documented area although it was certainly more wide spread than that … like The Deep North
      …. Alberta, for one. 1921.

      • Eugenics were popular in Alberta 80 years ago. It was surprisingly routine for the government to sterilize people deemed mentally unfit for reproduction.

        • Far less than 80 years ago. Preston Manning's dad was an evangelical advocate of eugenics and the law was not removed until the PCs came to power in the 1970s.

          • Good point, Ted! It's amazing that the Sexual Sterilization Act was only revoked 38 years ago.

          • From which we conclude that if any organization started by Manning's father for the purpose of furthering eugenics requests federal funding …alarm bells should be ringing. It's all different for an organization started by Margaret Sanger of course. Completely different.

    • Hmm, it says here that Alexander Graham Bell was a proponent of Eugenics….my God man, we ALL use his invention! We are ALL complicit!!

      Away with the telephone!! May God have mercy on our souls.

      • Didn't Tommy Douglas write a paper as a proponent of this as well?

        • Yeah, apparently his thesis supported eugenics. A whole lotta people did at one point – it would seem that Hitler turned most people away from it.

    • By your logic, considering the gov't of Alberta is still digging out of its ill considered eugenics program, it proves the CURRENT gov't still thinks the same way.

      this was "mainstream thought leadership" back in the day.

    • It seems she was flat out wrong.
      Look at who uses birth control.
      Look at who eugenics was wanting to prevent having kids.

      The amount of overlap is actually very small. If anything, the use of birth control runs almost opposite with the final aims of eugenics.

      And that's ignoring the fact that you're trying to dredge up a quote from nearly a century ago, when even people such as the President of the University of Alberta and Nellie McClung were in agreement that Eugenics was a good thing.

      • Yes, people today are so *completely*different. No one actually believes nowadays that some human beings are more worthy of preservation than others!

        And I'm sure Planned Parenthood, pushing for taxpayer funded expansion into the 3rd world, has nothing but the most altruistic motives. Clearly all Canadians should be forced to help this corporation.

        • Oh good. So you'll stop trying to smear them with attacks on the position of their founder some 90 years ago?

          • ”Frankly I had thought that at that time Roe was decided, there was concern about population growth and particularly growth in populations that we don't want to have too many of.”

            - Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, July 2, 2009.

          • "…So that Roe was going to be then set up for Medicaid funding for abortion. Which some people felt would risk coercing women into having abortions when they didn't really want them. But when the court decided McRae, the case came out the other way. And then I realized that my perception of it had been altogether wrong."

            - The Rest of the Quote.

          • I'm honestly failing to see how this changes the point of the quote.

          • "And then I realized that my perception of it had been altogether wrong."

            (actually the point of the quote is not what you're pretending it is anyways. Bader Ginsburg is saying that she thought there was concern…not that SHE was concerned. Then when the McRae ruling came down she realized that her perception was wrong. But if you want to keep pretending that Bader Ginsburg is a raging bigot who secretly wants state sanctioned sterlization then go right ahead I guess.)

          • "Do you know what the leading cause of death in the African American Community since 1973 is? Think about it for a minute. Is it heart disease (2,266,789) deaths since 1973, cancer (1,638,350) or accidents (370,723)? Is it AIDS (203,695) or violent crimes (306, 313)?

            There is one possibility that is often overlooked. It happens 1452 times a day in our community. It has taken over 13 million Black lives within the last 30 years. It has taken 1/3 of our present population. What is it? ABORTION!"

            http://www.nbccongress.org/features/abortion_sile

          • Here we go again. This is jolyon a couple of weeks ago, accusing Liberals of being racist eugenicists:

            "all the Libs contribute to debate is idea that Canada should be in business of killing black and other third world babies. If Canada did actually have a conservative msm, we would be discussing Libs and their love of eugenics but that's another issue."

            Saying "abortion is murder" is a matter of personal opinion. Saying "you want to apply eugenics to murder Black babies" is a baseless insult. Surely jolyon can see the difference.

          • "Saying "abortion is murder" is a matter of personal opinion."

            Um, no, actually it's a matter of fact. It's either factually wrong, or it's factually correct, but "murder" is not a matter of opinion.
            One way or the other our society should probably work out which statement is true.

          • Killing is murder. Is the death penalty murder?

            Murder is a matter of opinion. The opinion of society.

          • "Murder is a matter of opinion. The opinion of society."

            And that attitude, in a nutshell, is what has led to every genocide in history.

          • Yup. What's your point? "Life sucks sometimes?" Yeah.. it does.

            Society could turn around tomorrow and say "You know what? Killing animals is murder. No more meat eating." And if you went ahead and had roast chicken anyway, you'd be a murderer.

          • Correct. And in Nazi Germany when society decided that killing Jews wasn't murder, protestations by people like the White Rose students were viewed as the ramblings of treacherous psychotics.

            My point is this: you (I assume) agree with me that historical genocides were murderous and wrong. Yet they were approved by the society of their time. Therefore you implicitly agree that whether something is "murder" is determined by objective standards, not the whimsical "opinion of society".

            The question concerning our own society, then, is whether our prevalent opinions concerning things like abortion, euthanasia, etc. are objectively correct….because if not then we are engaging in wholesale murder of our "unwanted", just as previous societies did. To put it in the ghastly words of Planned Parenthood's motto: "Every child a wanted child"

          • No.. I'll agree that our society has determined that the historical genocides were murderous and wrong. And I agree with our society in that. However, that does not mean that there are any objective standards in play here, there's just two different societies.

          • Actually, it is determined by the opinion of the society. It's just that our society agrees with the students.

            I agree with you that historical genocides were murderous and wrong, and that they were approved by the society of their time. I do not agree that there is anything objective at play here other than that there are two different societies with different opinions. Do I think our society has the right take on it? Yup. Do I know that? Of course not, because there's no giant rule book in the sky saying what right or wrong is.

          • And that, folks, is the crux of the matter, and the root cause of the 20th century's blood-soaked record.

          • You never did answer whether or not it's murder when a Canadian soldier kills a Taliban fighter.

          • If someone really wants a conversation/debate on what objective standards differentiate killing from murder, I'd be happy to oblige.

            Given the tone of the thread, though, I just don't think that's what people are after here.

          • No need for a debate – just state your position. You have been waxing eloquent about genocide (the implication being that allowing abortion is on par with the atrocities of Stalin…but I digress), and when someone asked you a fairly straightforward question you dodged.

            It's fairly simple – either there is a difference between killing and murder or all killing is murder.

          • re: killing vs. murder

            … by definition:

            Murder is the “unlawful” killing of a human being.

            In Canada, abortion is not considered murder because of two facts; abortion is legal; the unborn child is not considered a human being and is therefore not protected by the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

            However, in other nations it may not be so simple. In fact perhaps the UN itself is running afoul of it’s own
            definition and protection of Human rights with this very issue. Has anyone asked about the Muslim point if view? Just wondering …

          • LEtting a woman die because she cannot get a safe abortion is also murder. If you value women as more than just baby incubators.

          • Murder is the killing of a person. Whether an 8-cell blastocyst is a person is a matter of opinion. Calling the destruction of 8 cells "murder" is a matter of opinion.

            Accusing people of wanting to "murder black babies" is a baseless personal insult.

            "One way or the other our society should probably work out whether the statement is true…"

            Yeah, heck, why hasn't somebody sat down with a calculator and notepad and wrapped up this abortion debate once and for all? My god, it's so simple!

          • So, we're going to spend the day counting up causes of deaths.

            Most of them in the US can't get health care.

          • Too bad the quote was about birth control, not abortion.

          • I was wondering about that, actually.

            There was no birth control in 1921 like we know it today – I believe Sanger was talking about sterilization and/or abortion when she writes about birth control.

          • I was wondering about that, actually.

            There was no birth control in 1921 like we know it today – I believe Sanger was talking about sterilization and/or abortion when she writes about birth control.

      • Actually, the abortion rate amongst African Americans is huge compared to whites.
        The overlap is actually exactly what one would expect from this organization.

    • "The campaign for birth control is not merely of eugenic value, but is practically identical with the final aims of eugenics."

      Margaret Sanger, founder of Planned Parenthood

      … the idea in your head that gave birth to the connection between then and now's current discussion should have considered some contraceptive. The world would have been better for it.

    • Alarm bells? Perhaps, but they are somewhat faint.

      I'm not particularly worried that today's pro-choice supporters are either advocating for or even unconciously supporting eugenics.

      • "The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated, but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience." CS Lewis

  8. I think he was referring to the caricature liberals in his head, not actual people. Why he would ask others about the motives of creatures from his own imagination is the difficult part, here.

  9. No.

  10. This UNICEF article has slightly different statistics on maternal mortality: http://www.childinfo.org/maternal_mortality.html

    The point that comes out is that abortion leads to maternal deaths, but is not the leading cause. It will also not be a major contributor to low birth weights, pre-term deliveries and early life infections which are going to have significant impacts on maternal and child mortality and longer-term outcomes. Not sure why this would become the focus of our discussion in Canada.

    • That's quite the discrepancy between the UNICEF statistics and the IPPF statistics.

  11. Family planning = eugenics?

    That is almost as absurd as threatening to wipe Israel off the map.

    OK, it is probably closer to a tie.

    • Agreed. You'd never know we've used birth control in the western world for half a century without some group X being eliminated or even close to it!

      As to Israel…some govt people need to chill out. The chest-beating is gonna do them in otherwise.

    • "That is almost as absurd as threatening to wipe Israel off the map. "

      It's a good thing, then, that no one is making that argument.
      On the other hand there are a few people pointing out Planned Parenthood's associations with racism and eugenics, and the general problem with suggesting that it's ok to kill unwanted children.

      We few, we happy few.

      • Except that nobody's suggesting children be killed. It's not a child until it's born.

        • " It's not a child until it's born."

          Terrific. I used to believe no one was actually ignorant enough to believe this. Thanks for shattering that optimism for me.

          • Well.. at least some of your ignorance has been shattered.

  12. Education involves birth control, and I don't just mean how to use it.

    You can't go to school if you're pregnant at 10 or 12 and for years thereafter.

    • This is a very strange world you imagine where 10 year olds are having consensual sex for pleasure while attending school full-time. When you have universal primary education, young girls are at school instead of starting families. The marriage market changes so that people wed later in life and don't get pregnant until their later teens. This has all sorts of benefits for women's rights, infant and maternal mortality and other social and economic outcomes. It doesn't work the way you're presenting it though and isn't an argument in favour of contraception or abortion.

      • The world is neither strange nor imagined, it is called "the third world", where women are treated like property and denied basic education. In many cases, one of the key limitations on their education is that they become pregnant or are married off at too young of an age. The world that you just described "marriage market, universal education" is a westernized luxury that we take for granted. You can't have those things unless gilrs/women are educated at a very young age about their bodies and related natural rights. Central to that education is birth control, because the key word in that term is "control".

  13. According to this, most government funding of the Canadian Federation for Sexual Health has been cut by the Government of Harper. But it appears to be a social conservative anti-choice website and so is probably dishonest.

    http://www.theinterim.com/features/ottawa-cuts-fu

    • Yes, if there's one common feature amongst all of us social conservatives, it's our rampant dishonesty and insincerity.

      • This from the guy who posted this:

        "”Frankly I had thought that at that time Roe was decided, there was concern about population growth and particularly growth in populations that we don't want to have too many of.”

        And neglected to post the rest:

        "…So that Roe was going to be then set up for Medicaid funding for abortion. Which some people felt would risk coercing women into having abortions when they didn't really want them. But when the court decided McRae, the case came out the other way. And then I realized that my perception of it had been altogether wrong."

        You were saying?

      • Yep. They lie about abortion, they lie about global warming, they lie about Harper's obvious contempt for democracy and attempts to impose theocracy upon Canada, and they lie about just about everything.

        • Now, now, he's got a point. We shouldn't be prejudicial. Just because most do doesn't mean that they all do.

          So in the case of this one, if we pop down a few articles into the Euthanasia section, we find this quote:

          "Even today, the euthanasia lobby attaches their campaign to Sue Rodriguez and her false assertion that allowing her physician to be directly and intentionally involved in causing her death in some way would have advanced her autonomy."

          Okay. Claiming that her assertion is false seems to fit the bill that this one is dishonest as well. I'm not sure how someone can have a false assertion about their own autonomy.

      • Don't be so honest about it. It goes against your so-called leader's opaque principles.

  14. Why are you asking me? The point is that the Harper gov't is dodging questions on their policy, be it changed or unchanged.

    This is unacceptable. They need to make the policy clear and reap the rewards or criticisms as may be.

  15. Why are you asking me? The point is that the Harper gov't is dodging questions on their policy, be it changed or unchanged.

    This is unacceptable. They need to make the policy clear and reap the rewards or criticisms as may be.

    • Why must Canada have a policy about this? Most countries don't. I don't think we've ever had an explicit policy about funding groups like IPPF, even though we've been doing it for a quarter century.

  16. Oh do get serious. There's been birth control since the Egyptians.

  17. "If Canada has ever had a policy about helping women in other countries with planning parenthood, including abortion, I imagine it would be written down somewhere."

    Right. And if Harper has changed that policy, or created one where none existed before, we have no knowledge of that. Because his government refuses to tell us.

    Would you accept that from a Liberal government?

  18. My guess is that a policy on this divisive issue has never existed before, so it's a bit rich for the Liberals to be insisting that Harper create one now.

    • Sounds like effective opposition to me.

      • I disagree. This is clearly an issue that divides Canadians, which is probably why the Mulroney, Chretien and Martin governments didn't feel the need for Canada to have a policy about funding abortions in developing nations.

        • Funny, it strikes me that the issues where we're divided as a country are the issues where we really need to get some form of policy in place so that people (including ourselves) know where we stand as a society.

          That previous governments didn't do it provides them no excuse. However, if it's any consolation, now that Ignatieff has brought it forward, you'd certainly be correct to label him hypocrite if he gets into power and does not enact such.

          • Unfortunately, I don't think I'll ever have a chance to label Ignatieff a hypocrite, because I don't think he'll ever be prime minister.

    • Are the Liberals insisting that one be created now? (To be fair, Ignatieff started running at the mouth on the topic, which causes my eyes to glaze over. Maybe he made such a demand).

      As I understand it, and as the reporters here have demonstrated, Harper won't even reveal his intentions on this area of policy. That's unacceptable.

      • Didn't Bev Oda make it clear that the government won't be adding contraception and abortion to the new woman & child health initiatives? As for the continuation of existing IPPF funding, I'm sure we'll find out soon enough.

  19. Is it murder when a Canadian soldier kills a Taliban fighter?

    Is the death penalty murder?

    Is the morning-after pill murder?

    Is voluntary euthanasia murder?

    You're pretty smug for a guy dancing around the core issue.

  20. Yeah, just as soon as Harper clears up that Cadman mess, I'm sure he'll give us a forthright explanation of the policy.

    • Unfortunately, Harper is probably too shrewd to fall into Ignatieff's not-too-subtle abortion trap.

      • From the free dictionary…

        1. Characterized by keen awareness, sharp intelligence, and often a sense of the practical.
        2. Disposed to artful and cunning practices; tricky.
        3. Sharp; penetrating: a shrewd wind.

        Definition 1 seems like a good characteristic for a Prime Minister to possess; it's the characteristic described in the second definition that seems to bother some folks.

  21. I guess I fell into the trap (along with many others) that Ignatieff's quest for the scope of Harper's maternal health proposal was something of a trap. It nows seems Harper was a fair bit ahead all along. Rev. McVety has set his sights on Planned Parenthood. http://www.charlesdarwin.ca/index.html

    Presumably Harper decided to go along but needed a cover, so he first introduces a grand new scheme for helping mothers internationally and somehow the previous support for International Planned Parenthood seems redundant. Thanks to Gaunilon for bringing attention to the prominent role McVety is assuming in our government foreign policy… I am sure everyone will sleep better tonight for that.

  22. How's this for a total mind-freak…Hitler was obviously a supporter of Eugenics. But So Was Churchill!

    Whoa dude….

  23. Yeah, but unfortunately, Intense Debate doesn't have an ignore feature, so we don't have a choice about seeing Gaunilon's posts.

  24. I didn't say we must have a specific policy.

    I said that it's unacceptable for Harper to refuse to answer questions on this aspect of womens' health, given that he's started a huge campaign on womens' health in developing countries.

    Are you seriously ok with him refusing to answer the question?

    • I'll wait until we see specific details of the maternal and child health plan before I get too worried about what is and isn't included.

      • I'm glad you can be sanguine about it (which sounds way snarkier than I'm going for, honest :)

        Personally, I think the pressure needs to be kept on Harper who, let's face it, is known for making significant policy changes when nobody is looking. This is exactly the sort of opportunity he loves to take.

        And since he's suspended Parliament, he doesn't have to take face-to-face questions about it. Frankly, I think he should come under increasingly intense questioning now on *everything* since he's able to operate entirely behind the scenes.

  25. Tabatha points out again what anti-choicers never seem to realize:

    "…Simply put, it isn't possible to separate the issue of women's health from the issues of birth control and abortion. Our uteruses won't allow it.

    Women's bodies are complicated, sometimes messy creations, and motherhood, for all the lovely things it conjures up and often is, frequently involves difficult choices.

    In Canada, we've long allowed women to make these medical choices, and it would be wrong to deny that right to women we're assisting in other countries…"

    http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/mr-h

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