April 21, 2011

Conservatives gaff on abortion funding

CANADA - Conservative Saskatchewan backbencher Brad Trost says his government cancelled funding to International Planned Parenthood Federation because the organization supported abortion. Trost reportedly told a pro-life meeting in Saskatchewan last weekend that the government is anti-abortion and cancelled the funding because they don't want to fund safe abortions overseas.

The Conservative Party is now in damage control mode, trying to cover up Brad Trost's comments and dissuade the public from the idea that the Conservatives don't want to fund safe abortions.

Harper spokesman Dimitri Soudas met with reporters early today in Newfoundland and reiterated the basics of the government’s G-8 “Muskoka Initiative” on child and maternal health.

Soudas says his political party is willing to work with groups like International Planned Parenthood, but refused to say if it would receive its funding.

He also repeated the Harper government’s often stated position that it would not re-open the debate on abortion in Canada, but wouldn't comment on Canada's funding of safe abortions overseas (or lack thereof).

International Planned Parenthood is a global non-governmental organization with the broad aims of promoting sexual and reproductive health in an effort to combat HIV/AIDS, prevent unsafe abortions and promote proper condom usage. The USA also cut its funding during George W. Bush's time in the White House.

IPP also provides doctors and midwives to help deliver babies safely. Maternal deaths are significantly lowered by having trained people available to deliver babies.

FACT: Unsafe abortions kill 70,000 women annually according to the Guttmacher Institute. More than half the deaths, about 38,000, are in sub-Saharan Africa where access to doctors is significantly scarce.

The Guttmacher Institute estimates that the number of abortions worldwide fell from 45.5 million in 1995 to 41.6 million in 2003 thanks to increasing availability of condoms, the Pill and other contraceptives. Poverty is also a huge factor.

Refusing to fund safe abortions effectively kills a % of women who then choose to have an unsafe abortion because they have no other option.

See Also
Open Letter to Anti-Abortionists

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