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Gian Luigi Gigli, M.D.
Rev. Ben Johnson raised the question in his piece with Acton.org, "whether paternalistic leaders – of either sex – have any legitimate authority to declare when women have had “enough” children."* In prioritizing the funding of abortion and contraception over the immediate and ongoing needs of infrastructure, basic healthcare, clean water and education, the Trudeau government shows its desire to play into an ideology that has little to do with the struggles of women and their families in the world’s poorest regions.
Despite the claims of Canadian news outlets*, abortion related deaths are NOT “one of the world’s leading causes of maternal deaths”. Abortion related deaths represent 7-9% of maternal mortalities, with the overwhelming majority attributed to direct obstetrical causes that can be easily prevented by basic obstetrical care.*
In continuing to prioritize abortion funding, we in Canada send the message to the rest of the world that only in the wealthy Western countries can we provide basic life-saving care and that the children of poorer countries are undesirables. We mirror the atrocities of forced abortion in China and North Korea with a life or death ultimatum that begins with conception in poor countries lacking basic care and clean facilities, and we risk replicating the forced sterilization campaigns that scarred women from Alberta, China, Germany, Japan, Indian and Peru among many others by implying that women have had “too many” children if they are not living in wealthy countries. The strategy Canada uses to coerce women in poor countries into abortion is to offer abortion while not offering life-saving obstetrical care.
When Trudeau's development minister, Marie-Claude Bibeau, called abortion a “tool to end poverty” in an interview with CTV News, she denied the real causes of poverty, such as lack of education, disease, lack of infrastructure, poor governance etc, and instead seemed to blame women and their children for the economic disparity among countries. The Trudeau government fails to recognize that children are a resource for their families, valued and cherished, and worthy of our financial and socioeconomic support.
Dr R.L. Walley
Professor Emeritus of Obstetrics and Gynaecology
Ph office : +1 (709) 579-6472
Mobile +1 (709) 749-3826
*Rev. Ben Johnson, "Macron’s African statement ignores human ingenuity": https://acton.org/publications/transatlantic/2017/07/11/macrons-african-statement-ignores-human-ingenuity
*Globe and Mail: https://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/world/canada-gives-20-million-to-replace-trumps-contraception-cuts/article34187584/
*The Lancet: http://www.thelancet.com/journals/langlo/article/PIIS2214-109X(14)70227-X/ful
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