Family planning does not "save lives" - Macleans.ca

Family planning does not “save lives”

Foreign Minister explains conservative approach to maternal health

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PM Stephen Harper probably thought his offer to champion a global initiative to improve maternal and infant health would earn him some brownie points. And it might have—if not for the pesky issue of family planning. The opposition was up in arms yesterday after Foreign Minister Lawrence Cannon affirmed that the Canada-led initiative, which will be unveiled at the G8 summit in June, “does not deal in any way, shape or form with family planning.” Cannon’s rationale: “the purpose of this is to be able to save lives.” But many argue that any effort to address women and children’s health must take birth control into account. Katherine McDonald, executive director of Action Canada for Population and Development, explains: “I’m very concerned that [the government is] equating family planning with abortion.” She points out that many childbirth deaths result from complications due to too many pregnancies—or from illegal abortions.

Globe and Mail

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