'That the approach of the Government of Canada must be based on scientific evidence' - Macleans.ca

‘That the approach of the Government of Canada must be based on scientific evidence’


As posted by Carolyn Bennett, here is the text of the motion the Liberals plan to present on Tuesday.

That, in the opinion of the House, the government’s G8 maternal and child health initiative for the world’s poorest regions, must include the full range of family planning, sexual and reproductive health options, including contraception, consistent with the policy of previous Liberal and Conservative governments and all other G8 governments last year in L’Aquila, Italy;

that the approach of the Government of Canada must be based on scientific evidence which proves that education and family planning can prevent as many as one in every three maternal deaths; and

that the Canadian government should refrain from advancing the failed right-wing ideologies previously imposed by the George W. Bush administration in the United States which made humanitarian assistance conditional upon a ‘global gag rule’ that required all non-governmental organizations receiving federal funding to refrain from promoting medically-sound family planning.

Here, for the sake of argument, is the latest post on this subject from Glen Pearson.


‘That the approach of the Government of Canada must be based on scientific evidence’

  1. I think this may be asking a bit too much of the Conservatives:
    "…that the approach of the Government of Canada must be based on scientific evidence…"

    Any Canadian with eyes and ears knows that this Conservative government ignores (and has ignored) scientific evidence on many different issues when it doesn't suit their ideological goals, and they only pay attention to science when it is politically convenient.

    • Very true; on anthropogenic climate change, Insite, law and order agenda… in every case the Conservatives prefer the anti-science, anti-reality position

      • Damn those egghead university professors. Why can't they stick to making coconut radios and cycle-powered hammocks, like that professor on tv? Now he was a useful fellow.

  2. You would think that Carolyn could draft a real bill and not an out and out insult to the intelligence of anyone who actually reads the bill!!

    • The Cons have already insulted our intelligence to the nth degree, thank you very much.

    • What part of the text struck you as phoney, Wayne?

      • The slam at Bush maybe ?

        Why on earth we're talking about an American president in a Canadian parliament is beyond me.

        • I thought the slam at Bush was gratuitous, but otherwise, it comes as no surprise that he didn't understand, ROFLMAO.

    • it's a motion, not a bill. there's a difference.

  3. I have to say that Glen Pearson is an admirable and intelligent MP; one Liberal I would definitely vote for if I could.

  4. Experts! *#!?@#

    we don't need no stinkin' experts …..

  5. She could have phrased that less ideologically….

    • No, she couldn't have. You don't know Ms.Bennett if you think she could.

  6. Well, I'm pretty sure that the "scientific evidence" indicates that abortion is NOT healthy for the child's health, to say the least. Again, not sure where the logic comes from on these kinds of issues. Up is down, black is white….

    • And you don't care about the mother's health, even if an abortion would save her life so she could look after the children she already has.

      • This is exactly what I'm talking about. Up is down. Black is white. Avoid, distract, deflect.

        Why not address the health of the child being aborted? How in the world is that safe or healthy? My God.

        • Why do you ignore the health of the mother? If the mother dies the foetus will die, and her older children may die too.

          • How in the world am I ignoring it? Geez. We can have a discussion about that next, if that's what you really want.

            But how about the health of the unborn child? I raised it. Why won't you address it?

          • do you think that anyone who advocates the availability of abortion is unaware or obfuscating the health implications of abortion for the abortion?

          • You're doing your best Jean Chretien impersonation, right?

          • ha! the last abortion was supposed to be fetus.

          • One way or another, they would have to be denying the health consequences to the unborn child, wouldn't they? In fact, it's done all the time. We constantly hear the term "safe abortions" being used. How in the world is an abortion safe to the unborn? That it boggles the mind is a severe understatement.

          • it is safe for the mother who you consider to be secondary in all of this.

          • Why in the world would I consider the mother to be secondary?

            Yet again, none of you want to address the health of the unborn child. It's bizarro stuff here, man.

          • an abortion terminates that prospective life of the fetus. you needed that explained to you?

          • Yes, and it's not quite healthy for that child, is it. Next.

          • you said none of us were willing to, or capable of, address the health of the unborn child. i believe that you have acknowledged i have. so next let's get to mothers how about. do you believe it is more important to ensure the birth of the fetus then it is to protect the health of its pregnant mother?

          • Let's get this straight. You agree that an abortion is absolutely horrible for the health of the unborn child. You will now agree to this statement, right? So why isn't that part of the liberal approach to this issue here?

            Let's deal with this first, then to the health of the mother. Thanks.

          • sure you set out the conditions of the convo right dennis, you big man you?

            i have clearly stated that an abortion terminates any potential for life the fetus had prior to abortion. period. (ps no one here is equivocating on that).

            do you mean L or l liberal. if the former I am not a party member and have no idea; if the latter, you are treating a large diverse population as a monolith. bad idea.

            ready to talk moms yet?

          • so yo appear to have buggered off. we have established below that you are in well over your head on the issue of maternal and child health (as you were ignorant of the role of contraception in the matter) even without getting into the specifics of particular issues of the third world. and now I play along to your rules of the convo and when it comes time for you to ante by making your views on some of the issues you run away. nice conservatism. maybe Glen Beck is around to give you a hug.

          • lol, why am I supposed to follow your schedule of posting? Man.

            OK, so if you agree that the health of the unborn child is in jeopardy regarding abortion, why isn't it mentioned by an liberals or Liberals or leftists in this debate? Even you concede it, but don't do anything with it.

            If' it's there, then it's important, isn't it?

          • Okay, let's go there, head-on.

            A fetus is not aborted and a child is born. It is born smaller, or with vitamin-deficiency issues, or with some other small health issue that wouldn't be a problem here but is serious where the child is born. It struggles on, but the father turns away because this runt won't help with the farming. The chld develops other diseases due to lack of nutrition and hygiene. The other children in the family resent this child because it is sapping all of mother's strengh (if it didn't kill her) and taking what little was available out of their mouths/pockets. In addition, they have to do more to take up the slack by mother's preoccupation. And dad is mad all the time. So, they resort to kicks and pinches when mother is asleep. Perhaps they break a bone (brittle anyway) and there is no way anybody has the resources to get that bone healed properly.

          • Wow, after I read, "Okay, let's go there, head-on. " I was expecting something formidable. Didn't get it.

            First, a life as you hypothesized about is STILL healthier than being tortured and killed in the womb, right?

            Second, all you gave me was hypothesis. If it's gonna be that bad, why not adoption? Anything to make the LIFE better and healthier?

            Third, shouldn't all these factors be taken into consideration BEFORE conception? BEFORE engaging in behaviours that lead to unwanted pregnancies?

            Again, for some reason, we here in the West think that sex is a right, and that it has no consequences. Of course it does. You just outlined some. Don't punish the baby for your mistake or anyone else's.

          • your world view is overwhelmingly oversimplifies reality.

            tell me dennis do you beleive that every pregnancy results from fully consensual sex where the women is fully empowered to refuse sex and the conditions of sex (e.g., use of contraceptives)?

          • Of course there are some pregnancies that are the result of rape. About less than one percent, I believe. If that was all that the abortion debate was about, there probably would be no debate.

          • So basically Dennis thinks women must be punished for having sex. They deserve to die in childbirth because they had sex. SEX IS BAD!!!!111!!!!

          • Who said that, idiot? Geez, what an agenda some of you have.

          • And rape. Okay if she's raped it seems.

          • "First, a life as you hypothesized about is STILL healthier than being tortured and killed in the womb, right?"

            Not even close to right. A fetus (and I admit I'm talking first trimester abortions) doesn't have the senses and nerves to take note of it. A one-year-old sure can get that it is unloved, unwanted and unwell, on the other hand. And when the father (who is mad all the time) finally takes a whack at this kid with his axe, I'd say that would be a lot less healthier.

            As I attempted to humorously explain further down this thread, abortion is an option when other options aren't viable. Contraceptives in the first place is a better way to go. If adoption is feasible, go for it. I deeply resent the one about abstinence, though, because you know those women mostly have no say in the matter whatsoever.

            I further deeply resent the last line. You can take that tone with me when the men in this equation take any consequences (every time), and not before.

          • You can resent whatever the heck you want. I live in a country where people are allowed to disagree, and I'll disagree as much as a choose. Thank you very much.

            OK, so you want to limit the debate to the first trimester. Why? What about the last trimester? Why not protect ALL human life?

            Again, why kill a kid if you think he's going to have a bad life? if it's that bad a prospect, don't get pregnant. Geez. What happened to people being responsible? Why kill the kid for "mistakes?"

            Look, all of you are raising all kind of health issues that should not be addressed by killing the unborn child. If rape is a problem, deal with the rape. If unwanted living conditions is the problem, deal with that. Simply killing off babies because of these concerns has nothing to do with health, does it? Just a sexual agenda.

          • You are arguing with, I believe, three women here Dennis. "if it's that bad a prospect, don't get pregnant."

            Easy for you to say. Not so much for our sisters in third-world countries. So those men tell those women when and how and where they shall have sex. And then you tell us women here on this thread what those women are allowed to do about it.

            I am so very glad I live in a country where we women get to control our own bodies and our own reproduction. If nothing else, this conversation has reminded me of what a wondeful thing that is. While I shall continue to voice my support of my less-fortunate sisters, I'm done with you.

          • Yup, and others can disagree with you all they want without your silly compative nonsense.

            Actually, I think you're just being simplistic and stubborn and get you jollies doing it.

            That's what it's about more than the issue

          • Huh. I was wondering when someone was going to figure it out.

          • speaking of "why won't you address it?", nearly two days ago you went on and on declaring your ignorance with respect to how "a man and woman having sex has something to do with health issues involving a mother and her child" and the role of contraception in potentially affecting the child and/or mother's health. I provided an example and asked if you considered the example i provided to be legitimate. it is now nearly 48hrs later you have failed to respond. will you now?

          • Can you re-post it here? Honestly, if I keep addressing every single response to my posts on here, I'd have to be chained to my computer. I have to pick and choose, and sometimes even stop reading the threads. My apologies.

          • Dennis here is my original post:

            <block>Dennis are you seriously this willfully ignorant. if so that is really sad.

            you want one example? how about the role of condoms in reducing aids prevalence including in utero transference from mother to child? does that count?

            you should read more and talk less.

          • I've addressed contraception use before. It promotes and increases the frequency of the specific behaviour, sex, that leads to the very consequences to be avoided: disease and unwanted pregnancies.

            However, putting that aside, why not also promote values like education and choice BEFORE sex and conception.

            We have developed this mentality in the West that sex is a right, and that the consequences can be avoided through condoms and abortions. They can't.

          • right, i understand that you are endorsing GWB's failed abstinence policies, but, you were arguing that sex between a man and woman did not lead to health issues for that, later, mother and her child. will you now admit that you were wrong and you did not know what you were talking about or were purposefully obfuscating on the role contraception can play in improving maternal and child health?

          • I think that SEX is a very small component of child and maternal health, and a very controversial one — one that you leftists had to insert into other measures that nobody would have a problem with. So, not sure why I'd have to admit to any of your lame suggestions.

          • you suggested that contraceptives do not impact the health relationship between children and their mother. you are wrong. your ignorance, and that you won't admit it, discredits all you say on the issue.

          • I just said it's an extremely small and controversial part of it, one which you ideologues must force into the debate of worldwide health.

          • For what? Your anger to abate? I've answered your tiresome questions, haven't I? Next.

          • we relied to my previous comment at the same time. you sure are childish aren't you?

          • Let's see. made a nonsensical post about me not responding, then follow-up with illogical response, but I'm the one who's childish, eh?

            It's like nobody is allowed to disagree with you leftists on these issue. You HAVE to force abortion and sex onto other people, then accuse others of such. Unbelievable.

          • no its more like you are scared to tell us if you think whether protecting the fetus is more sacrosanct than the right to live of the women that is pregnant with said fetus. even on this more extreme consideration you appear to believe women are subordinate.

          • Good grief. Hello 1800's

            Promote values? They tried that in the US and it totally failed.

            Seems to me you hate sex period.

          • Legally, it's not a child. Therefore, not included in the equation, at the moment.

            If the current government would like to address the law and declare that an unborn foetus has legal rights, they have every opportunity to do so. They have not done so, They seem unwilling to do so. In fact, they have said, out loud and recently "We're not going to have a debate on abortion".

            So, because of the current governments' unwillingness to address the issue, there are no "rights" to consider here. None at all.

          • I'm not talking about rights specifically. I'm talking about health. So, then, you agree that abortions are unhealthy for the children, right?

          • They are healthy for children who are not orphaned because their mother's life was saved by the abortion of a foetus that would have killed her.

          • So, you refuse to address the point about the health of the unborn child. I think you've actually said a lot there.

            Regarding health of the mother, it pertains to less than one percent of all cases. So, why bring it up? Oh yeah, you apparently have nothing else.

          • Your "less than one per cent of cases" is a lie.

          • What does it say about you and your agenda that you would accuse an opponent of lying without one shred of facts to back it up.

            Yet again, this just shows that those who support the abortion agenda don't have a leg to stand on. Just bitterness and resentment.

            Now, let's say it's 5%. It's still the overwhelming minority of cases, but you still persist. You still won't discuss the health of the unborn child. What an agenda.

          • So back up your figures with citations and links. Or admit you lied.

          • Why don't you? And why don't you address the issue of the health of the unborn child? Are you truly this miserable and intolerant of dissent?

          • Ouff! I can't believe I made it this far …. but I must say your last sentence is best applied to you, together with 'thickheaded' and 'blindly fundamentalist' . This is evidenced by your very annoying habit or tactic of replying to all those intelligent (counter-)arguments with your one simplistic query. Not a sign of much depth and willingness to 'discuss' there. Impossible to take you seriously, sorry!

          • You can't be serious. Ms. Holly has literally done nothing but to post one-line insults against me, and you consider this to be an example of intelligent argumentation, do you?

            How do such ineffective people consider themselves to be so much smarter than others? It's like a 100 pound weakling convincing themselves they can win a Mr. Universe contest.

            You have to see it to believe it. And I'm seeing it on these boards.

          • And you lied about your one per cent and five per cent figures – just pulled them out of that sunless place where you get all your arguments from.

          • It was explained above in a manner any reasonable person could understand.

          • Oh really. So, why doesn't a brilliant and "reasonable" person like you point it out to peons like me. lol.

            Never ceases to amaze me how, when push comes to shove, you social leftists have nothing. It's why I speak out.

          • They're not children. So, no, it's not unhealthy for children.

          • They're human, and they can be killed with abortion, right?

            We were all children at that stage in LIFE, and you're all saying that someone had the right to crush our skulls with an abortion utensil. Amazing.

            So, what are they? Tumors?

          • No, they're not human. Are they tumors? Pretty close to, actually. A separate growth in the body feeding off the energy and nutrients of the host. Incapable of living on their own, they are closer to a parasite than anything else at that stage. And often the body naturally flushes it out.

          • You don't know that.

          • Abortions have nothing to do with children. We don't abort children. We abort the foetus.

  7. The story not told yet… How are all those Catholic Liberal MP's feeling about this?
    They cannot be to comfortable sitting in church nowadays.
    Liberals have really put up a flag marker to divide people. We'll see if its smart or not.

    • Canadian Catholic MP's can choose to use or not use contraceptives. The same choice should be made available to Africans receiving Canadian aid.

      • You don't get it do you.
        Full range of family planning in the Liberal world means abortion. The "global gag rule" stated here was G Bush limiting funds for family-planning groups that offer abortion and abortion counseling.
        You can close your ears and cover your eyes if you want to.

        • Yes, that's right. Liberals won't give you access to a condom, in the hope we can interest you in an abortion instead. Abortions R Us, we thought we'd change our name to, since "everyone should have an abortion" is our party's motto. In fact, if you take out a membership, we'll find someone to knock you up so you, too, can get an abortion! Oh, don't worry, we are an equal-opportunity party. We have technicians willing to diagnose unwanted pregnancy, and perform an abortion on you men, too.

          Ahem. The above was me being sarcastic, for those of you without a sarcasm meter.

          • It was fun, and you gave me an idea. We need to invent a kind of condom that would keep stupid ideas and comments from ever reaching the keyboard, pen or mouth. We could give them brand names like Second Thoughts, Reconsiderations, Don't Go There, and Uh… Never Mind.

            We could make a killing! (excuse the metaphor, I don't want to be picketed by pro-stupiders.)

          • Along your line of condom uses may I suggest contemplating the "Condom for Stupid Ideas" and its use during Question Period. The picture of MPs with condoms on their heads is delightful. The fact that condom failure is low would be and added bonus.

          • "… "everyone should have an abortion" is our party's motto."

            I know you intended this as sarcasm, but if we add the words "access to" between "have" and "an abortion", it is beginning to look a lot like the LPC motto. Mark R's question is therefore quite relevant and not one to be taken lightly.

          • Oh good Lord. The 'access to' is the key there, isn't it? I don't expect you to go out and get an abortion just because you have access to one, Gaunilon. I do personally happen to think everyone should have access to abortions, although I don't really have any idea what the Liberal Party's position is. And I'd be just fine if that access was rarely taken advantage of. I don't need to meet a monthly quota or anything. The point of this fact being, in fact, that I would encourage all the other avenues so that the abortion avenue is the last possible stop.

            My entire point is that access to abortions and having an abortion are two very different things, and I also think you are aware of that. But, you seem to persist in equating the two as synonymous.

          • You folks understand that as a Catholic having access to abortion in Canada is still a problem.
            Therefore as a Catholic it is a problem if we are going to try and extendpromote-insert word here- to third world countries as part of maternalchild health.
            Good lord give me patience.
            There seems to be people who keep wanting to change the subject to condoms, and contraception. The elephant is abortion.

          • You folks understand that as a Catholic having access to abortion in Canada is still a problem.
            Therefore as a Catholic it is a problem if we are going to try and extendpromote-insert word here- to third world countries as part of maternalchild health.
            Good lord give me patience.
            There seems to be people who keep wanting to change the subject to condoms, and contraception. The elephant is abortion.

          • No, it's not a problem. Having an abortion is a problem, living in a society where others have the choice, is not.

            There is no elephant in the room.

          • Lots of things are considered wrong by Catholics: artificial contraception, missing Mass on Sundays, eating meat on Fridays in Lent, etc. No one advocates illegalizing these because it is understood that in a free society, people can make their own choices.

            The difference with abortion is why it is viewed as wrong. It's not some religious dictate: it's viewed as wrong because it's viewed as infanticide. Therefore it's either wrong for all (if it is indeed infanticide), or it's not wrong at all (if it is not infanticide). You can't have it both ways. What kind of person says "yes, I agree that this is child-murder, but I wouldn't presume to stop people from doing it."???

          • On which day of a pregnancy is an abortion considered infanticide?

          • sigh…….most Catholics I know aren't so vain as to think that they have an opt-out on living in civil society. You can't pick and choose where your tax money goes. I mean, it's not like a good Catholic is saying "hmm…maybe I'll donate a couple hundred bucks to the local planned parenthood clinic". If socitey has decided that women should have the choice, then fine, so be it.

            Yes, there are Catholics who believe exactly as you say, and that agitate for a change in abortion laws. But there are also a large number who do not, who think exactly like I do; that at the end of the day a good Catholic can only look out for their own Salvation. We come in every political hue under the sun, and all navigate the ground between faith and politics as best we can.

          • And if society is currently debating whether to fund abortion, shouldn't a Catholic (or anyone else who believes abortion is infanticide) stand firmly on the "no" side?

            It's one thing to say "society has decided to fund infanticide and I won't rock the boat". It's quite another to say "society is debating whether to fund infanticide and I think we should."

          • We are sophisticated people living in a complicated world. Portraying abortion as fundamentally either "totally okay" or "infanticide" is unnecessarily divisive. For example, many people who oppose abortion also think it is justifiable in limited circumstances such as incest and when the mother's life is in danger. The shades of grey give us, even Catholics, room to find an agreeable compromise.

          • The Catholic church is clear..
            People are not.

          • But is the Catholic Church infallible?

          • With respect to this issue, does it matter?

          • Now I am not religious, so my views on this are not so deeply defined by right and wrong.
            I have two young children and witnessing the miracle of their birth was the closest I've ever come to perfection in this imperfect life; but I know there are men (and some women) who are indifferent to what they helped create.
            We've all made mistakes in our lives and have been allowed to continue unburdened except for the weight of a lesson learned; yet in pregnancy, some women bear a lifetime of consequence and responsibility.
            I feel unqualified to judge this issue with certainty.
            While I would love to live in a world where every child was nourished and nurtured, I live in a world fraught with human frailty and imperfection.
            Since I do not believe in a supreme being, I view religions as having taken their shape from the imperfect people (usually men) who created and now administer their doctrines. In short, I question their certainty.
            Can someone consider themselves a "Catholic", but still question the certainty of the church?

          • Thanks Danby, it was VERY refreshing to read your post.

            Personally I would find it very helpful if more posts could have the same style and thoughtfulness.

            If I'm not mistaken, you didn't call anyone an idiot or a moron or stupid…kudos!!

          • Many thanks PhilCP.
            I pretty much come here to learn. Many of the posts are very informative and I like to examine the different arguments and emotions. I feel I owe it to my kids to stay as informed as I can. I find too much of today's politics revolves around deflection, deceit and low cunning and that the result is a civic apathy that will not serve my children or our country .
            There are several deep and persuasive thinkers to be found here and it helps to keep a simple ponderer like myself from becoming a jaded cynic ;)

          • I actually don't think religion has anything to do with the abortion issue; Argent and I were discussing it in terms of what Catholics believe but that's a tangent.

            It seems to me to boil down to this: if you agree that the child before birth is a child, then abortion is infanticide. If you further agree that infanticide is not a good thing to be funding then we're on the same side here. Religion has nothing to do with it beyond the fact that certain religions have taken a stance on the two statements above.

          • And the same religions do not value women.

          • You present a logical and consistent argument and I can agree that the line that divides the issue is whether or not one considers the unborn life a "child". If you believe it is, then it becomes a matter of your conscience and how that affects your life in a practical way. I think a lot of people adopt the Clinton attitude stated above, and manage to sleep at night.
            I can tell you are a man of principle (an admirable trait) and respect your stance on funding abroad.
            I suspect that Stephen Harper introduced his Maternal Health Care initiative for political reasons, and I suspect that the Liberals are offering the same in return. They both seem like cheap ways to score political points.
            I guess we will see if political principles trump the desire for power.

          • Thanks for the kind words, and fully agreed on the last sentence.

          • Now, in answer to your last question, I can't speak for all Catholics. But I do happen to be a practicing Catholic (at the moment) who has spent a fair bit of time thinking about and investigating this question. My take on it (and I welcome correction from anyone who is an authority on the subject) is as follows:

            (a) a Catholic, by definition, believes that the Church holds authority in matters of faith: this authority having been delegated by a higher authority with witnesses. Those who deny this authority but believe most of the same things we do are "Protestants", again by definition.

            (b) In matters not pertaining to faith, the Church holds no authority. For example when Churchy types pronounce on matters of science or economics they are only slightly more likely to be correct than anyone else, and that "slightly" is due to the tradition of intellectual inquiry upheld by the Church, not due to any kind of authority or guidance.

            (c) It is always good to question things in the sense of asking "how do we know this is true", but if one is questioning the Church on matters of faith in the sense of "I doubt that this is true" then one is in effect a Protestant. Protocol in that situation is to step back from the Church (e.g. communion) and pray about it, since pretending to be Catholic without adhering to the core principles of Catholicism would be inherently dishonest.

            Again, none of this has much to do with abortion. The ethics of abortion is not a matter of faith; it's merely a matter of
            (a) biology (i.e. determining whether the fetus is indeed a young human being as the name "foetus" – "young one" in latin – implies) and
            (b) natural law (i.e. whether it is permissible to deliberately kill a child).

            And of course, whether to fund such deeds in aid packages is even farther removed from religion.

          • What he said.

          • What you said.

          • Except we're not having that debate.

          • The CPC has said Canada will not fund abortion in aid to third world countries as part of the Maternal Health Initiative. The LPC has said that we should – that is what "must include the full range of family planning, sexual and reproductive health options" means.

            The debate is ongoing both on these boards and in the House of Commons. Which side are you on?

          • Where do I personally stand? Like Bill Clinton I think abortions should be safe, legal and rare.

            I see what you and Mark R are trying to do – you're trying to drive a wedge between the Liberal party and a group that has traditionally supported them.

          • Gaunilon you are constantly using dishonest equivalencies; you insist that a foetus is a child and you insist that abortion is infanticide. Both of these are false.

          • Thanks Gaunilon..
            Richard if it makes you feel better and can dismissagree that the Liberals want abortion to be part of family planning fine. Also if you feel this proposal will not hurt the Liberal party with Catholics that is also fine. I disagree.
            My question was how do the Catholic Liberal MP's feel about this.
            I hope someone takes the time to ask. I'm sure they will sometime.

          • Yes – Abortion is a problem for all those Catholic.
            Pre-marital sex is also a problem.
            How many of those Catholics are getting lucky for the first time on their wedding night?
            The answer – nowhere near as many as those getting an abortion when the circumstances are right.
            It all comes down to the individual….

          • Funding abortion is a problem for anyone who believes that abortion is infanticide. When the LPC says "access to abortion" it means "funding abortion". Many Liberal MPs and Liberal voters believe that abortion is infanticide and carry the burden of this conflict.

            Mike R's question was about this inherent Liberal dichotomy, and it was a very astute one. There is no need to ridicule his question. Your suggestion that I'm disingenuously equating having an abortion with funding abortions is also completely unnecessary.

          • are you seriously having trouble differentiating between a motto and the belief of some party members?

            please, stop being disingenuous Gaunilon, you are not that stupid.

          • I see, I'm not stupid, just dishonest. Well, that's a change from the usual accusation that I'm sincerely stupid. Variety is the spice of life, I suppose.

            Are you suggesting that the LPC as a party is not upholding the need for abortion funding in this Maternal Health Initiative, but rather that it's just a few Liberal MPs who hold that belief? I'd be delighted if that's so, but at present I see the party leader and every Liberal MP who's been speaking out on the subject advocating for the inclusion of abortion. I can't help but think that this is the position of the party as a whole, even though I know there are Liberal MPs who abhor it.

          • GauilonI think you are neitherstupid nor dishonest. I do think you were trying to extend your point further than it carried on partisan (anti-Liberal) grounds.Does your rejoinder not play exactly to my point? Indeed I suspect that the majority of Liberals do believe in the need for abortion as part of any serious maternal health effort (majority but not necessarily most) and it even may become the official party position (it is Iggy so who the hell knows!). But, all of that is a far cry from turning that belief into the party's motto, which will never happen. Sent from my iPhone

    • I expect all those Catholic MPs – of whatever party – feel pretty good about using contraceptives.
      Just like pretty much every other Canadian Catholic outside the priesthood…

  8. lol. you think that rape is the only condition under which women are not fully empowered to refuse sex and the conditions of sex (e.g., use of contraceptives)?

    • If that's the social problem you're worried about, then why not deal with it, instead of promoting the killing of the kid? Again, that's why I think this is more of a sexual agenda than any genuine issue of health.

      • You can't have it both ways. If you feel that all life is precious, where does that leave to woman who is told if she carries to full term she will die?

        • You have to read between the lines…

          Babies don't have sex, women have sex.

          To the simple-minded, the single-minded and the hardly-minded the calculation is clear; babies first, women second. They don't like to say it plainly, preferring instead to point out the blindingly obvious fact that abortion kills babies.

          We know, Dennis. We've always known.

      • 1) who said i did not advocate addressing gender power imbalances?

        2) if you don't mind and are capable can you please not oversimplify this conversation. if you take the time to reflect on what i am writing here you will note the bulk of it is on contraception which you also appear to oppose.

        3) that said i do not oppose abortion and believe it ought to be available as a safe alternative to women. and part of the reason is that while i hope to see major changes to power balances in our lifetime those changes will take a lot longer than i would like and there are many women and children whose lives are caught up in the consequences. I have not prepared to sentence women to death over the health consequences of a pregnancy that they may not have had the power to resist. are you?

  9. So much for the LPC carefully navigating the veritable minefield. Apparently they've made a political calculation that aggressively promoting abortion funding is a winning issue. The CPC has either made the same political calculation and come to opposite conclusions, or decided that the political calculus is outweighed by principle, or they haven't thought this through.

    Thinking about that last set of possibilities, my optimism wavers.

    • I think the Conservatives laid a trap for the Liberals and once again the Liberals stepped right into it . There are a lot of aspects to maternal health including a lot of options around birth control that does not include abortion. Abortion is an extreme with the exception of far left wing feminists – most Canadians do not favour abortion particularly when there are other options available. So the Liberals have made the most extreme stand and it turns out that the Conservatives are quite willing to have a lot of options available for birth control (but probably not abortion). So the Liberals have committed to abortion while the Conservatives are flexible. And more importantly, in the end, it will be the various developing countries themselves that will make the decision and many, for both cultural and religious reasons, will not be looking at abortion. The Liberals shot themselves in the foot for nothing. They could have played a behind-the-scenes with the focus on what will be the best options rather than going straight for an approach that will 'show' up the Conservatives – but what have they gained in the end – a position that is untenable for most Canadians. And like global warming, the debate is not settled on abortion – only a very small percent of Canadians see abortion on demand as acceptable.

      • I agree, I don't understand why the Liberals are pushing this.

    • Agreed that the knock against Bush kinda dents the credibility of the motion as a whole, but where, oh where is the reference to 'abortion' in Dr. Bennet's wording?

      One supposes you have to look really hard with blinkers on.

      • Where is the reference to "abortion" in Dr.Bennet's wording? That would be a good question to ask her.

        • Its not implicit so that those who choose not believe that "full range of family planning", "global gag rule" does not include abortion, can ignore the inference. Not to mention previous comments from Ignatieff about "safe terminations" and "botched procedures".
          Until Ignatieff and the Liberals say this DOES NOT include abortion than anyone who assumes otherwise, is ignoring the evidence.

          • Such a nice way to engage oneself politically, eh. Accuse the Conservatives of having a hidden agenda and then for the Liberals to be sneeky about the abortion issue. Don't get me wrong, I know how it works. What I am left with is the surprise Ignatieffs' behaviour. In one of the post here on macleans site, Ignatieff was considered "intellectually honest" above all (especially above Harper). I am surprised so many Canadians are taken in by this apparent "superiority" of Ignatieff. I can't see it.

          • Harper signed on to the G8 agreement which included contraception. Then his mouthpieces told Canadians that8contraception would not be included. Was Harper lying to the G8 countries or to Canadians? What is his hidden agenda?

          • Holly, he likes playing games. Don't you love playing games? He took you for a ride. Did you like it? Still dizzy you say?

  10. lol, why am I supposed to follow your schedule of posting? Man.

    rich, coming from the guy that earlier wrote: Let's deal with this first, then to the health of the mother. Thanks.

    you already raised the liberal thing. two comments above i wrote:

    do you mean L or l liberal. if the former I am not a party member and have no idea; if the latter, you are treating a large diverse population as a monolith. bad idea.

    so are i also wrote there:

    ready to talk moms yet? or are you still avoiding?

  11. Well, let me see. I guess I want to deal with the issue of unborn children's health first, BECAUSE IT'S THE ISSUE I RAISED, AND YOU'RE CURRENTLY RESPONDING TO.

    Where do people learn to reason these days? Bars?

    • Are you a doctor, specialist, scientist?

      • A specialist, of a sort.

    • great we did just like you asked. now, politely, as i am asking for the third time, do you believe it is more important to ensure the birth of the fetus then it is to protect the health of its pregnant mother?

      • I think he's not saying it's not more important. He's saying that it matters. He's saying that Liberals consider the health of the fetus to have consideration whatsoever.

        • based on what? look, he wanted an unequivocal answer on the effect on the fetus (like anyone didn't know the answer), i politely asked in return he provide an unequivocal answer on the relative importance of the health mother to the health of the fetus. he refuses to provide it and ran away. why is that so difficult for you to understand? “Do you think it is easy to make/defend opinions?”

          • Do you always answer a question with another question?

          • SCF: rallying against counter-questions since 2010!

            approx two 2M women and babies die each year in childbirth. do those women deserve the right to access a safe abortion so that there own life may be spared, even if that requires terminating the fetus? simple question SCF, can you provide an answer?

          • 1. more fetuses die during abortions than during child birth
            2. there are far more abortions than there are mothers at risk. For your 2 million deaths in childbirth , there are hundreds of millions of abortions per year.
            3. Abortion is not the way to save those woman. Giving them proper care and having their births in an actual hospital is how you save them. There is no need to kill the babies.

          • So here is an analogy: You wish to force people to answer whether "you think whether protecting the fetus is more sacrosanct than the right to live of the women that is pregnant with said fetus"

            That's like me claiming "it's OK to selectively kill your children", and that you cannot claim otherwise without first answering my question "if both your children fell off our cliff and you could only save one, which one would you save?"

            Here is what you are saying:
            "If one of your children must die, which one will it be, and once you've made you choice, can't you admit it's ok to kill that child regardless of the circumstances?"

          • those supposed analogies suffer from being false equivalency.

          • No they're not. They are exactly equivalent to what you were saying. Exactly.

          • you are now making things up. please specify where i said either

            that since there are extreme and unusual cases where it is necessary to kill the baby with an abortion, why not just make it perfectly fine to kill the baby in all cases?


            that we should make the baby-killing easy as pie.

          • You did so repeatedly when you repeatedly rebutted Dennis' assertion that the fetus deserves some consideration.

          • you continue to make things up SCF. i never once rebutted that the fetus deserves protection in the discussion with Dennis (who is still MIA btw).

            pls link to the exact comments where i said either:

            that since there are extreme and unusual cases where it is necessary to kill the baby with an abortion, why not just make it perfectly fine to kill the baby in all cases?


            that we should make the baby-killing easy as pie.

            in the absence of links it is clear that you are making things up.

  12. I think Hillary Clinton makes some very good points here. I admire her forthrightness considering she's among primarily Christian, right-of-centre men who likely really don't understand the grassroots issues of places like Africa.


  13. No.. Ignatieff is doing fine on his own.

  14. Carolyn Bennet usually reasons like that: throw in the "failed right-wing ideologies" phrase and all makes sense. How hollow her reasoning has becone.

    By making the contraceptive ommission a central issue of complaint, the Conservative government has at least avoided a central debate on abortion.

    Why, oh why, would Canadians promote abortions overseas if our own population does not dare come to terms with the issue?

    Better have this centre on contraceptives and that's what happened. The opposition parties will think they have won their case and forget all about pushing abortion to centre stage. Good job , Conservative government!

  15. ''and family planning can prevent as many as one in every three maternal deaths''

    And Ms Bennet is saying….?
    Liberals want to stir up the abortion debate but can not put the word a.b.o.r.t.i.o.n. in the motion
    That's just silly,
    why waste our time with this nonsense.

    • Are you opposed to the use of contraceptives such as condoms, the pill, etc.?

  16. Frankly, the conservatives capitluating to some some liberal quack who has no experience in maternal mortality in developing country is the saddest thing to ever happen to Canada.

    As someone from a developing country (Nigeria, where one in eight women fall to maternal mortality) who has seen these issues front line , I can confidently say that this program has just failed. Even the UNFPA agrees that the greatest challenge to maternal mortality is hemorraghing. The women simply bleed to death. The second highest is birth complications. These are things good drugs and proper training of midwives and birth attendants can solve.

    Now some idiot liberal has gone on to complicate issues by introducing contraceptives (which their husbands will not let them use). I just wish Canada actually approached experts in this debate instead of relying on parliamentary debates to decide the fate of the many who die because of maternal mortality.

    • According to Glen Pearson in the link above:

      "… some two million women and babies die each year in childbirth. Researchers worldwide concluded some time ago that these deaths would have been easily preventable through the use of condoms. So, yes, Mr. Cannon, contraception does save lives on a huge scale…"

      I'd say malnutrition, AIDS and other diseases, and having too many babies too quickly cause a large number of those deaths in childbirth, and it would take more than drugs and training to fix that.

  17. worth noting in the Pearson post:

    <block quote>Consider this. At a meeting with the African Union a week ago, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, Leonard Edwards, and the Prime Minister's personal representative, said that they will support the full package of Maternal Health for Africa and the summits. At a civil society meeting shortly after that, groups assembled were assured that the Canadian government would, again, support the complete package.

    What are the Conservatives doing? They say one thing at home and another overseas. While confusion reigns in Ottawa over this issue

    • Yes, contraception….Pearson was not talking about PMSH agreeing to abortion.
      And ms Bennett did not put abortion in her motion either.

      Pearson wrote:
      ''These two nations, along with other G8/G20 countries, include contraception as a key element to their own plans for assisting with child and maternal health.
      While confusion reigns in Ottawa over this issue, African countries are receiving full assurance that contraception will be included in any Canadian aid design for child and maternal health.''

      Contraception is not abortion.

      • 1) where in the post did i say anything about abortion? here is a hint: i didn't.

        2) i was merely calling attention to Harper's attempt to be vague and general abroad and suggest no change from the previous G8 (etc) approach which does not prevent access to abortion and his attempt to sell a specific approach at home that he later had to flip flop on.

  18. Apparently Cannon was not aware of that. Or Oda. Or somebody in the PMO, at any rate…

  19. What is the point of this motion?
    Harper,Oda and Cannon said yes, contraception will be part of the plan.
    If Liberals want abortion included, say so in the motion.

  20. "the Canadian government should refrain from advancing the failed right-wing ideologies previously imposed by the George W. Bush administration"

    You have to wonder what goes through a liberal's mind when they describe saving millions of lives, without killing babies, as a failure. Why are Liberals/liberals so keen on murdering third world babies?

    "There is great anticipation in Africa as the inauguration of Barack Obama draws near, but President George W Bush may turn out to have been the continent's best friend.

    While Mr Bush has been severely criticised for the invasion of Iraq, his green credentials and the general deterioration of relations with the rest of the world, his African record has won considerable support.

    Even normally critical voices, like the aid activist and former rock star, Bob Geldof, gives Mr Bush credit for what he has achieved. " BBC, January 2009

    "President George W. Bush's administration, for all its flaws, truly brought to change to Africa through its PEPFAR program, which injected billions of dollars of money into nearly every aspect of the fight against HIV/AIDS, from prevention to critical antiretroviral (ARV) treatment programs …… Admittedly, it's early, but for now it's clear that Bush was better than Obama for Africa." Newsweek, August 2009

    • Former UN Special Envoy for HIV/AIDS in Africa, Stephen Lewis made clear the impact of PEPFAR's emphasis on abstinence above condom distribution is a "distortion of the preventive apparatus and is resulting in great damage and undoubtedly will cause significant numbers of infections which should never have occurred".


      But don't worry you can simply smear Lewis as a liberal and ignore reality.

  21. you do understand that is possible that the program has effective and valuable components that lead to certain types of successes (i.e., increased numbers of individuals receiving ART; increase number of lives saved via ART) and, at the same time lead to other failures (e.g., decreased or not increasing access to effective prevention measures like condoms; increased or maintained infection rates). PEPFAR has, to date, done great things one the former but, as Lewis was suggesting, has been problematic at best on the latter. do you consider that an unmitigated success? if so you are ignoring the aspects of reality surrounding prevalence.

  22. also this is funny.

    when i (accurately predicted you would simply smear Lewis which you did by calling him "clueless" you initially posted:

    What reality am I ignoring? and who am I smearing?

    which you quickly changed to:

    What reality am I ignoring? (I don't need to comment on Lewis because he's more than capable of smearing himself with his inane beliefs and comments)

    while maintaining your smear of Lewis as "clueless".

    this sort of complete denial of basic elements of reality is what is impeding serious conversations on this and many other important issues.

    • It's the vanity of thinking that one's own opinion, merely because it's one's own, is always valuable: it's the populism of self-love.

      • The blogs at Macleans.ca runneth over with self-love…;-)

        • I dunno, to me there's a fundamental difference between just blaring one's opinion and arguing a position. The former is just a form of psychological revenge-seeking; the latter a way of sharing one's thoughts and implicitly asking to be corrected, if necessary. I'd say there's a heck of a lot more argument at Maclean's than on any other Canadian media comment board; but the blaring of opinion reduces the tone even here and is effectively a form of unconscious trolling.

          • I admit that my eight word comment [nine if you include the ;-)], lacks the detail and nuance that you have provided; I'm totally on board with your assessment that some commenters exhibit more self-love than others.

            Your description of "blaring one's opinion" as "a form of psychological revenge-seeking" is interesting….I'm curious, revenge for what?

            As to other Canadian media comment boards, other than the CBC site, I'm not all that familiar. It did seem that the CBC site attracts a lot of blaring, but it also attracts a lot more gross (no pun intended) traffic, so on that basis alone there would be more blaring. The main reason I stopped commenting over there was that the comments weren't threaded so it became impossible to keep up with direct replies.

  23. your comment neither fully answers the questions and is a personal smear.

    • "abortion has nothing to do with cancer. "

      Strange you can figure that out, but you have so much trouble with other basic concepts, such as the point I was making that killing babies is not really a good choice for improving health outcomes.