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Abortion arrogance

  • May 20, 2016

The most impactful accomplishment of Stephen Harper’s years as Prime Minister might have been his selling G-20 leaders on the need to spend billions of dollars to improve maternal and child health in some of the poorest nations on Earth.

That program was launched in 2010 with a $7-billion international commitment. Since then it is credited with saving countless lives, largely in sub-Saharan Africa, by bringing clean water, immunization, nutrition and other basic health services to millions of pregnant women, new mothers, newborns and children under five.

Originally to expire in 2015, the program was extended last summer for five more years, with Canada chipping in another $3.5 billion. Saving the lives of mothers, newborns and children has become Canada’s top development priority — and as priorities go, it is one to be proud of.

But that noble achievement is tarnished by the recent decision in Ottawa to free up some of that money to fund abortions. Countries that receive our maternal and child health aid now have a Canadian blessing to divert funds towards terminating pregnancies. It’s bad enough that Canada is exporting its abortion culture, but there will be no increase in the government’s overall spending, so the pool of money available to support current life-saving services for moms and children will be diluted.

If the developing world had been asking for money to fund abortions, it was a well-kept secret. Poor nations routinely require aid for food, clean water, shelter and basic health services. They also need help with a broad range of educational, infrastructure and assorted development projects. These are the priorities. So why abortion?

The export of the West’s abortion culture is never sold as a strategy for population control, but essentially that’s what it is. Under Canada’s new policy it is inevitable that many desperate, impoverished women will be pressured to select the abortion option. Further, there is a legitimate concern that nations which balk at accepting abortion as a component of maternal and child health will be ostracized and suffer a cut in aid.

“A lot of the aid projects right now are coming with strings attached,” said Obianuju Ekeocha, a Nigerian scientist and president of Culture of Life Africa. “They are heavily fettered to these new sets of values from the West.”

Speaking recently in Ottawa, Ekeocha said she fears that poor nations which say yes to the abortion salespeople from the West will be rewarded while those that resist are “punished some way or deprived.” She resents the arrogance of wealthy nations which impose their abortion doctrine on the poor, saying that attitude “reeks of colonialization and it reeks of cultural imperialism.”

She’s right, of course. In fact, everything about this decision reeks.

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