It just gets better and better.
Further to the previous post, about how the HarperCons are now caught between the devil and the deep blue machine on the connection between maternal health and reproductive freedoms, this As It Happens interview last night by CBC Radio's Carol Off is a totally worth your time.
First up is Liberal MP Dr. Carolyn Bennett -- who knows a whole more about maternal health than the entire Conservative caucus.
That said, I would have liked to have heard another Liberal MP on the subject, emergency room physician ob-gyn Keith Martin, who has been in the field in some of the hellholes for women of the earth. Maternal health is practically an obsession for him. He insists that it will have a positive impact on everybody's health. That's because, if you create the physical infrastructure (clinics, hospitals etc.) and train the people to help pregnant women -- as well as those who don't want to be pregnant -- your efforts extend to other areas of healthcare in the region. (We had a long conversation on Thursday afternoon which I hope to write up soon.) He also doesn't shy away from the subject of abortion.
Anyway, Bennett is followed by Bev Oda, Minister of International Co-operation, the cabinet minister who was stuck with the tough questions after PM Stephen Harper made his grandiose, opportunistic and hypocritical announcement about ''championing'' the cause of maternal health last week.
Off keeps trying to pin her down, on how much the government is willing to commit, what exactly its plans are, whether it recognizes the connection between maternal care, child mortality and reproductive rights ...
Oda gives an Olympic-worthy skating performance, doing triple flips to avoid dealing with the specifics and, more important, family planning.
My only regret is that Off didn't pin Oda down on maternal health and infant mortality right here at home.
Still, I knew this was going to be fun.
This may be the issue that brings the Harper government down.
My work is done here.
(H/t to reader Jay H. who sent me the link.)
Despite harsh criticism from two prominent Catholic bishops, Liberal leader Michael Ignatieff stood firm on Friday on his position that abortion rights must be tied to any Canadian plan to improve maternal and infant health in the developing world.
Calgary Bishop Fred Henry on Friday called Mr. Ignatieff’s proposal “pathetic,” while on Thursday Archbishop Thomas Collins of Toronto labelled the Liberal leader’s position on abortion and the developing world “sad.”
“In light of the many positive contributions that Canada can make to the improvement of maternal and child health, it is astonishing that the leader of the Opposition has issued an official statement advocating contraception and abortion as fundamental elements in addressing this important issue,” said Archbishop Collins. “Even those who think that abortion should be allowed do not, however, propose it as a positive contribution to the good of society.”
Bishop Henry was even more blunt.
“I thought it was pathetic for a political leader to suggest that abortion is somehow tied to the health of women and children,” said Bishop Henry. “It was a particularly crass remark in light of all the orphaned children we now see in Haiti. It was absolutely incredible that he would say that and he is alienating religious people with these comments. This will not win him votes.”
Male celibate priests who don't even believe in contraception pronouncing on women's reproductive rights in the 21st Century.
Perhaps you gentlemen might get over that virgin birth thing.