On Monday, international development advocates got together to protest Canada’s stand against abortion in foreign aid. Conservative Senator Nancy Ruth told them, “We’ve got five weeks or whatever left until G-8 starts. Shut the f— up on this issue,” or risk Prime Minister Stephen Harper taking even stronger measures, the Toronto Star reports. She went on to tell aid experts that if they “push it, there will be more backlash,” saying, “This is now a political football. This is not about women’s health in this country.” While her remarks were intended as friendly advice, the 80 aid representatives responded with surprise or rage. “We do want people to feel a little nervous about where our institutions are going because our development effectiveness is actually being undermined,” said Joanna Kerr, chief executive of Action Aid International. “We are increasingly distancing ourselves from an urgent agenda … to advance the rights of women and girls worldwide.”
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