Abortion — an issue that Canadians from coast to coast don't want to re-open — has seemingly become an issue again.
On Thursday, Prime Minister Stephen Harper pledged $3.5 billion in funding aimed at improving the health of mothers and newborns in developing countries around the world....very generous indeed.
Instead of being lauded for this generous and significant contribution, the headlines Friday morning were all about Harper not funding access to safe abortions.The opposition New Democrats argue that $3.5 billion is a good start, but "ensuring access to safe abortion and full reproductive health care is the best way to reduce maternal mortality."
"Unsafe abortion amounts to 13 percent of maternal death worldwide — 47,000 women a year — and we urge the Government to adopt a more comprehensive approach to reproductive health and women’s equality," NDP MP Hélène Laverdière said in an email to Yahoo Canada News.
The maternal health chatter comes on the heels of Justin Trudeau's edict earlier this month that all future Liberal candidates would have to be pro-choice. The ramifications of that pronouncement continue to be felt. The media have continuously been writing about this. Roman Catholic leaders across the country continue to criticize his stance with some even recommending that he be banned from receiving communion.
In Prince Edward Island, the provincial Liberal government is under fire from pro-choice activists who want the government to provide access to abortions there. (P.E.I. does not offer abortions in the province but will pay for the cost of abortions outside the province.)
And last year, Conservative MP Mark Warawa made headlines when he tried to introduce a motion in the House of Commons to condemn gender-selection abortions — also known as 'gendercide.' Motion 408 was deemed non-votable by a parliamentary subcommittee, but Conservative members convincingly passed the motion at their policy convention in November.
As an aside, a 2012 Angus Reid survey suggested that 60 per cent of Canadians believe "there should be laws which outline whether a woman can have an abortion based solely on the gender of the fetus."
Politicians are fond of saying that the abortion issue is closed. And, to a certain extent, it's true: another Angus Reid survey found that only 4 per cent of Canadians say abortion should only be permitted to save a woman's life while 5 per cent say abortion should never be permitted.
But try as they might to keep the issue under wraps, it's alive and well in Canada.
Mr Harper, step into the 21st century with the rest of us. Women, worldwide, should have a choice in what happens to their own bodies. Abortion should be an option for many reasons; - rape victims ( So prevalent in Africa and India ) - children under sixteen who should not have to take on the responsibility of babies - women who cannot feed or support a child and more, too numerous to mention here. They should all be allowed a choice.
'Ouvrez les yeux', Mr Harper! I can't wait to vote you out of office. Justin Trudeau may be a little rad but at least he has an open mind.