Reason for Rejoicing: Maternal Health and Abortion Motion Defeated!



March 23, 2010

Update: Today Canada’s Parliament voted against the motion 144 to 138! Praise be to God. This will be a huge shock to the many who assumed it was going to pass. Thanks very much to all the ARPA Canada readers who wrote to our government leaders since we first informed you about this vote on Friday evening. This is a clear example of the fact that your action makes a difference.

Click here to read some of the debate and to find how each MP voted.  Read the report of today’s events here. If you are looking for more context, click here to read a chronology of the events leading to this vote, by the IMFC.

E-Luminary Action Item:

According to a Friday afternoon report from the Globe and Mail, “Liberals are hoping to pin down Prime Minister Stephen Harper over where he stands on abortion in his G8 maternal-health initiative for the Third World.”

There are plans underway for the Opposition parties to introduce a motion in the House of Commons on Tuesday that would demand that Canada’s maternal-health plan support all “family-planning” options, including abortion.

This matter has been a political hot potato since Stephen Harper first announced the maternal-health initiative. Foreign Affairs Minister Lawrence Cannon explained the motivating factor for this plan. “Each year, nearly 9 million children die before they turn five, and half a million women die in pregnancy and child birth.  Many of these deaths can be prevented with improved access to health care, better nutrition, and scaling up proven interventions such as immunization.  So this is a key Muskoka priority.”

Unfortunately, pro-abortion politicians, media, and activists are using this as a wedge to promote abortion overseas and to politicize the abortion debate here in Canada. They have been relentlessly demanding that the maternal-health initiative include abortion.

When pressed to clarify the government position, both International Co-operation Minister Bev Oda and Lawrence Cannon specifically stated that this is not about abortion. But when asked about it this week, Prime Minister Harper stated that they would examine a range of family-planning options, though he repeated that this isn’t about abortion.

There are two very troubling aspects about this debate. First, helping pregnant women and their children overseas should mean offering medical support, not abortion. Abortion kills children and causes ongoing hurt to the mothers and families. Western conservatives are often accused of imposing western values on the third world without giving the help they really need. In this case, it is rather apparent that liberal Canadians are imposing their secular humanist values on the developing world simply to achieve political success at home.

The second troubling aspect with this debate is that abortion continues to be treated as a political poison pill instead of the atrocious crime against humanity that it is. Our political leaders refuse to have the guts to talk about the reality of abortion and instead throw out one line of rhetoric after the other. According to the Globe and Mail this motion demands that the government “refrain from advancing the failed right-wing ideologies” of the Bush era and be guided by scientific evidence “which proves that education and family planning can prevent as many as one in every three maternal deaths.” Have the opposition parties really considered what they are doing when they are urging Canada to promote the killing of unborn children overseas as part of our efforts to improve maternal health?

Take Action: Write a letter before Tuesday (ideally today) and send it to your MP, Stephen Harper, Bev Oda, Lawrence Cannon, Michael Ignatieff, Jack Layton, and Gilles Duceppe. Ask that their office phone you back with their reply. Contact information and a sample letter is below.

Also, be sure to record your action item at (right side of the page).

Finally, please forward this on to some friends and encourage them to take action and subscribe to this newsletter at our website to follow the developments.

Sample Letter

Dear Member of Parliament and Party Leaders,

Thank you very much for your service for our country.

I am very disappointed that the opposition parties are bringing forward a motion to the House of Commons on Tuesday to demand that Canada promote abortion overseas under the guise of “maternal-health.”

I urge you to vote against this motion. Even more importantly, I urge you to refrain from the politicization of such an important issue in the future.

If we really care about maternal health, we should be supporting pregnant mothers and their unborn children. To claim that abortion promotes health and then to use fabricated statistics to back up the claim is deplorable.

Canada’s Parliament is long overdue for a sensible discussion about abortion. Every year we lose another 100,000 children. The Supreme Court of Canada urged Parliament already back in 1988 to come up with legislation. Please show some leadership. Stop the promotion of abortion overseas and at home.

The majority of Canadians are civil enough to discuss this difficult topic. When will Parliament?

I look forward to hearing a reply from your office. My phone number is included below.


Name, Address, Phone Number

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