Since we are on the subject of life and death (see my last post), I would like to take the opportunity to thank the government of Canada for the recent stance they have taken on “maternal and child health” in poor countries. In preparation for the Leader’s meeting of the G8 next month.
Maternal, child health in poor countries leads G8 talks in Halifax By The Canadian Press
HALIFAX, N.S. – A two-day meeting of G8 development ministers got underway in Halifax on Tuesday with a debate on abortion looming over a discussion on improving maternal and child health in poor countries. Canada announced on Monday it won’t support funding for abortions in the developing world as part of a family planning initiative it is pushing as a key agenda item for a meeting of G8 leaders in June in Huntsville, Ont … On Monday, Oda said Canada’s contribution internationally could involve family planning and the use of contraceptive methods, but funding for abortions is not something the federal government will support.
Some government critics say Oda’s declaration on abortion could threaten an attempt to find a consensus on the best approach to maternal and child health among G8 development ministers. Ontario Liberal MP Bob Rae said the Tories’ position is ridiculous. “They have this great sort of double talk where they say, ‘We don’t want to reopen the abortion debate.’ Well, they just did,” he said outside the Commons on Monday. He said the federal government is trying to impose its moral agenda on other countries. “Canada is now taking an ideological position and, frankly, I think they’ve raised something which could well have been avoided in the effort to create a stronger international consensus.”
As soon as the word abortion is raised hackles go up and the rhetoric starts flying. It is not my intention to fling rhetoric. What I would like to do is ask once again (see Abortion Question Part I and Part II) for a little healthy reflection – this time on what health care is. There are many who claim that free and easy access to abortion is not only necessary, but vital to maternal health. Perhaps we should stop for a moment and discuss what the word maternal means.
“Maternal – related to or characteristic of a mother” (Oxford English dictionary)
Now please realize that I do not say this tongue-in-cheek. I’m not trying to be a wise-guy. I simply want to know how a woman destroying that very thing that would make her a mother, can be considered as receiving maternal health care? Is a farmer a farmer because of the crops he destroys? Is a writer a writer based upon the books he burns? How can the destruction of a woman`s unborn child be considered maternal care? How can it be defined in any way as health care for women AND Children?
But so many women die because of unsafe, illegal abortions (especially in poor countries), to deny them that right would be to in effect kill them. So the argument from the other side goes. Yet, let’s please stop and think critically about this too. Why should women have to suffer the consequences of a bad decision? It almost sounds like those who might ask why a fetus should have to suffer the consequences of not even being allowed to have a decision. Why is it morally wrong not to safeguard the life of a human (who willingly chooses to kill her offspring), but morally ambiguous as to whether or not that human offspring in question should be safeguarded? Does not our moral obligation lie as much or more in aiding those who face death through no fault of their own, as it is with those whose very decisions are implicit in causing their own demise?
And finally, to Mr. Rae and those with him that oppose health care that only cares for health instead of also offering death … since when is consensus more important than human rights? Just because others are doing it doesn’t make it right, nor is it Canada’s job on the international stage simply to do whatever the rest of the gang is doing.
Oh, and by the way, being pro-abortion is as much an ideological stand as being against it … the only difference is in who will thank you for it – the ones who are allowed to kill or the ones who are allowed to live. On behalf of them, I thank you government of Canada.