International development minister contradicts Canada's abortion policy

  • September 8, 2010
Bev OdaThe Conservative minister in charge of Canada’s international development assistance seems to be singing from a different hymn book than her Conservative colleagues on funding abortions in poor countries.

The tune is leading some pro-lifers to call for Prime Minister Stephen Harper to dismiss International Co-operation Minister Bev Oda from the federal cabinet.

Oda told the Ottawa Citizen that her government would fund abortion infrastructure in developing nations if asked, and would fund programs that offer abortion as a family planning measure where the procedure is legal.

“As long as it is legal within the country and it’s a legal procedure... if we were asked to help in that way, we would do that,” said Oda.

But Oda’s spokesperson, Jessica Fletcher, said those comments were “taken out of context and misrepresent the government’s position.”

Harper’s spokesperson Dmitri Soudas told the Canadian Press there has been no change to the government’s pledge to exclude abortion funding from its $1.1 billion G20 commitment to improve maternal health around the world.

“We’ve been clear that we will not be funding abortion,” Soudas said.

If the government and the minister can’t agree, Oda should resign, said Campaign Life Coalition national president Jim Hughes.

“Surely the Prime Minister must have known that a minister as pro-abortion as Oda would attempt to impose her own views within the implementation of the Canadian goals to provide help to women and children in Third World countries,” said Hughes in a press release.

Campaign Life is calling on Harper to remove Oda from her post, “since she cannot seem to follow Conservative Party policy on the international stage.”

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