Canadian government will not fund abortions in foreign aid

Prime Minister Stephen Harper

The Canadian federal government, led by Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced that they will no longer include abortions as one of the things they will finance in developing countries. This is in line with the Conservative Party and also with the policies of the Republican Party in the U.S., but it is not what the majority of Canadians think is right.

In fact, by not funding abortions in their foreign aid packages, it is even worse and more restrictive of people’s rights than it is if they did the same for their own people. Much of the reason that some people do not support abortion comes from a religious belief. However, when you give aid to developing countries, they will not all be of the same religion and belief system. Also, these are people who may not be able to provide a good home for a child and would rather not have one given the choice.

If someone does not believe in having abortions then that is perfectly fine. However, by removing funding for abortions, it is really an around about way of making it tough for people that want abortions to do so. No matter what one’s belief system is, it is unfair and against basic rights to not let other people have abortions as an option for themselves.

Moreover, they say that “it is the woman’s right to choose” and I agree with this statement, but that is only half right. It should not only be the woman’s right to choose but also the father’s right. If a woman wants to keep the pregnancy going and have the baby but the father does not want to have any part of it and makes it clear from the outset, then the father should not be forced to pay child support.

Almost all of the risk with getting pregnant when it is not desired would be removed if the couple uses protection or contraceptives and there should be penalties for lying about using them even when it is not the case and it results in an unwanted pregnancy. However this part of the issue only has to do with advanced nations as contraceptives are not as abundant and the laws are different in many developing countries.

In the developing world, it may not be as easy to obtain a birth control pill and therefore funding abortions is important. Keep in mind that in some of these developing countries diseases such as AIDS can be transmitted to the fetus and if a woman would like to have an abortion to avoid giving birth to a child that has a chance to have AIDS, then a very strong argument can be made that an abortion is by far the more humane method than simply having the baby.

The Canadian government has made a terrible judgment call based on irrational and ideological views. The fact that they try to paint the entire developing world with the same brush that they paint themselves with shows that they either do not understand or do not care for the complexities of people’s situations and beliefs. Everyone should voice their displeasure with this policy announcement.