One of the greatest things about PM Stephen Harper's sudden professed interest in women's well-being -- at least that of those women who don't live in Canada, of course -- is how it's making many men here owning up to being pro-choice. They're actually blogging about it.
Now, a quick look at the male opinionators listed in my blogroll will reveal that there were already many guys out there who got it. It's just that, now, even more are speaking out. (And, yeah, even if it's about scoring partisan political points, who cares? We women need all the Support Bros we can get.)
Which brings us to this post today by BCer in Toronto Jeff Jedras (I added the boldface):
In a story in Embassy Mag (behind a subscriber firewall, but I’ve pasted the relevant sections below) Canadian International Development Minister Bev Oda confirms safe abortions, and even contraception, will not be part of the Conservative push on maternal and child care:
Oda says no abortion, contraceptives support
But the WHO reports that lack of both contributes to unnecessary deaths.
CIDA Minister Bev Oda says the government's child and maternal health strategy will not address unsafe abortions in developing countries or support access to family planning and contraceptives. Rather, she said that to ensure the aid agency remains effective, "it's the lives of mothers and babies that we are focused on."
When asked about support for contraceptives and family planning in an interview last week, Ms. Oda said: "In order to maintain our focus, again our focus is on maternal and child health and mortality rates.
"We want to make sure that mothers, pregnant women, are healthy and can have safe births, and that the birthing process is made safer because if you look at the number of births during the actual birthing process, that's where a number of maternal deaths happen," she added.
"We also want to make sure when babies are born, they are born as healthy as possible so that they can live through their early age, up to the age of five, with as strong and good health as possible."
I won't belabour all the reasons why maternal healthcare includes contraception, family planning, AIDS prevention and, yes, abortion. I've done it so often. I just want to emphasize Jedras' point:
The idea of a major push to address maternal and child care is a noble one. But ideology can’t be allowed to dictate the program and the help we’re going to give to women in need. We should listen to the experts on the ground about what is needed and what will be effective to meet the goals we’re trying to achieve and let them direct the resources accordingly.
That has always been the Canadian policy, and the Conservatives desire to address this challenge is legitimate, it shouldn’t change it now. Sadly, though, it seems that the trend of the Harper Conservatives allowing ideology to guide development and aid decisions is ever expanding.
Jedras also dug up this video. It's from CBC News yesterday.
Please pay special attention to the note The Family Canada put up with it.
Your letters and emails to Members of Parliament has paid off! Shelly Glover confirms that Abortion will now not be included in the Canadian Government's plan to help women and children overseas.
Pray for the Conservative Party of Canada and our Prime Minister! Donate and volunteer your time at www.conservative.ca
Forward this video to all of your Christian friends!!!!!
Canada: Now Under OMG Management.
UPPITY WOMAN DATE: Joyce Arthur has more.
Of course, Ignatieff is a politician, and bringing up abortion is no doubt a political strategy in part – but it’s also the absolutely right thing for him to do. It is impossible to tackle maternal health without addressing unsafe abortion, which is a leading cause of maternal death in most developing countries. Given the critical importance of legal safe abortion in saving women’s lives, and the Conservative Party’s well-known anti-choice stance, Ignatieff would have been remiss not to make it a burning issue. The majority of women in Canada are pro-choice, and we are surprised, pleased, and hopeful to see Ignatieff stand up to defend the rights of poor women in other countries.
Conservative politicians and commentators have heaped scorn on Ignatieff’s concerns, however, and condemned him for turning women’s health into a “political football.” But most of the politicking is actually coming from Ignatieff’s critics, who have launched attacks without the benefit of any facts, and even less compassion for women. Some of the coverage is so shockingly ignorant that it qualifies as being misogynist.
Go to her page for a misogyny round-up.
If you can bear it.