Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Retrogressive Politics

Whatever your convictions about the subject of abortion, Stephen Harper's refusal to fund abortions in our international aid programs is simply stupid.

Canada is refusing to fund abortion services as part of a G8 initiative to improve the health of mothers in poor countries.

This shows a clear lack of good street smarts.

The question of whether family planning would be part of the G8 maternal-health initiative is deemed important by most experts because many of the estimated 500,000 childbirth deaths in developing countries each year are caused by complications from women becoming pregnant too young and too often in quick succession.

Saul Alinsky, the legendary American community organizer (and author of the great, great, great biography of labour leader, John L. Lewis) loved to tell the following story.

Paul sends his emissaries and disciples out across the Mediterranean to sign up non-believers to the new religion of Christianity.

Months later, a weary preacher returns with his report.

"Oh Paul, the Phoenicians are really liking our message. They can see the divinity of Our Lord and so forth, but there is one problem."


"They are really balking at the circumcision."

"Fine! To hell with the circumcision! Sing 'em up anyway, Good Soldier!!"

The inclusion of safe abortion services, where they are legal, is also promoted by many experts, because so many deaths are caused by complications from botched abortions.

Choking on the fine print is exactly why nothing ever gets accomplished in the real world once politicians get in the mix.

World Vision Canada has the appropriate take on this nonsense.

The political debate about whether Ottawa should fund safe abortion services overseas is a distraction, and should not be allowed to derail a new Canadian-led campaign to save the lives of new mothers and children the world's poorest countries.

They are right.

Drop the posturing, fund the programs and move on.


Gerry Verrier said...

I believe that Harper's refusal to fund abortions should be front and center if only for the purpose of embarrassing Harper on the world stage.

Gerry Verrier said...

And the more I think about it, the more I'd be willing to pay good money to see Hillary Clinton and Harper in the octagon. I'm not normally a proponent of fighting, even organized, but I just know Hillary would bitch-slap ole Stevie into submission.

Anonymous said...

Im not sure but I think funding third world abortion is like providing addicts with a safe injection site.

It is an easy way to avoid dealing with a complex problem.


Anonymous said...

Re: 13's comment comparing funding safe abortions to women in third world countries to safe injection sites for addicts.


A woman who has control over her body in terms of whether to have a child(ren) will have more control over the rest of her life and destiny (including getting education, starting a micro or small business or any other endevour which can help her and her family out of poverty.

Giving a needle and drugs to an addict keeps them addicted to a drug which keeps them out of control of their body.

Giving a woman access to abortion keeps her in control of her body.

Anonymous said...


If you think providing abortions will be of value in places where they dont have doctors or hospitals you go for it.

While your at it why dont we but them all a day at the spa. It will do wonders for their aches and pains.

Anonymous said...

WTF indeed!

Should Harper ever have a majority government his religious beliefs will take precedence - period. He is playing a game and is a hypocrite of the worst kind. Separation of religion and politics is essential.

Women should always have choice when it comes to their bodies. I could relate many many heart wrenching, devastating scenarios which took place in the fifties, when abortions were illegal. WOMEN MUST NEVER GO BACK THERE!

When men can bear/or choose not to bear a child - they can have a say. Until then - keep your hands off of what women do with their bodies.You have no say in the matter - and perhaps you should give thought to keeping it in your pants more often - you know...Ditch the "Penis Think" and use your brain.

Anonymous said...

"I could relate many many heart wrenching, devastating scenarios which took place in the fifties, when abortions were illegal."

Really? How? Please, spare us the mystery. Let's hear all about it. Were you a "back street abortionist"? Did you impregnate dozens of women who died in botched home abortions? Don't be a tease.

Anonymous said...

"Saul Alinsky, the legendary American community organizer "

You are really a communist, aren't you?

David Berner said...

Dear 13,

I enjoy and welcome your comments.

I disagree however with your thoughts about abortion.

"funding third world abortion is like providing addicts with a safe injection site."

I think that is an inaccurate and not in any way useful analogy.

I know a great deal about drug addictions and considerable about abortions. I find very little relationship, if any, between the two.

The issue in the story about whether or not we as Canadians will fund family planning program that include abortion services in Third World Countries is about saving women's lives.

To deny this service is to allow politics to derail a larger and most important agenda.

Anonymous said...

The Kennedy assignation and abortion 2 topics that talk radio people use when they don't have a current topic to discuss.

Mr Harper should fund abortion in every back water country all over the planet. Take money out of all foreign iad programs and make abortion available .

Our GG was in Africa in a country where rape is epidemic so instead of stopping rape simply build an abortion clinic. Problem solved.

I might be wrong but maybe Harper sees that our money can be better spent in preventing pregnancies. This would truly improve the lives of third world women. It might be a good idea to ensure that the woman has control over her body by having food to eat and the ability to sleep through the night in a shelter without fear of rape.

So debate on and on and on. Abortion is here for any woman in Canada. And if women in Canada were starving to death or being systematically raped abortion would not be the solution that the good people of Canada would be screaming for.


Anonymous said...

David, your right my analogy sucked. Pro or anti choice just seems to be an argument that doesn't fit for a third world environment . Maybe women living in unsafe and unhealthy places need clothes, food and shelter. A sense that they have a right to not be raped. And yes when all else fails and we cant provide safety, nourishment, and basic human necessities lets give them an abortion.

Lucky them.


Anonymous said...

""Saul Alinsky, the legendary American community organizer..."
You are really a communist, aren't you?"

Naw, its more the salon socialism of the uber-sophisticate. You can tell from how much time and bandwidth Berner devotes to looking down his nose at us uncouth rubes he's been surrounded by since he came here from tres chi-chi Winnipeg.