By Thaddeus M. Baklinski

OTTAWA, April 7, 2010 ( – The pro-abortion organization “Catholics for Choice,” which has been denounced repeatedly by Catholic bishops for falsely promoting abortion in the name of the Catholic Church, has written a letter to Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper demanding that he include abortion in his G8 initiative on maternal and child health.

Several mainstream media news agencies have already reported on the letter from the anti-Catholic activist group as if it actually represents a valid Catholic position. However, Catholics for Choice has no affiliation with or endorsement from the Catholic Church; it was created by the Rockefeller Foundation in the 1970s to undermine Catholic teaching on abortion and sexual morality.

The letter, signed by Washington, D.C.-based Catholics for Choice president Jon O'Brien and CFC Canada coordinator Rosemary Ganley, urges the PM to “reconsider” the government's decision to exclude abortion from the G8 initiative on maternal and child health.

“Historically Canada has played a leading role in the campaign to improve the reproductive health of women around the world,” stated the letter.

“Maternal mortality can be alleviated through wide access to comprehensive reproductive health care services. It is a basic human right and a matter of social justice to provide women and men access to family planning and abortion services and information to prevent unplanned and high risk pregnancies.”

While Prime Minister Harper said he intends to make maternal and child health in developing countries a central issue during the G8 summit in June, his government repeatedly stated that contraception and abortion are not part of the package – although the government has since backed down on the issue of contraception.

On March 17th, Foreign Affairs Minister Lawrence Cannon told the House of Commons foreign affairs committee that “This [initiative] does not deal in any way, shape, or form with family planning. Indeed, the purpose of this is to be able to save lives. Too many people are losing their lives on a yearly basis.”

Harper later clarified, however, in response to criticism, that, “We are not closing the door on any option, including contraception. However, we do not wish to debate abortion in this place or elsewhere.”

International Cooperation Minister Bev Oda, who oversees Canada's international development program, said that the initiative “is about saving the lives of mothers and children” and will not allow the maternal health plan to be used to “regenerate any debate on abortion.”

“There are many ways that maternal and infant health can be improved and many of those are easily done and they're inexpensive,” she said. “We know what we can do by providing clean water, vaccinations and better nutrition. As well the most effective way is the training of health care workers and improving access for those women. That is what we are going to do.”

See previous LSN coverage:

Maternal Health Plan about Saving Lives, not “Family Planning”: Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister

PM Harper “Caves”: “Not Closing the Door” on Contraception in G8 Maternal Health Push

Third World Women Don't Want Contraceptives, Expert Tells Canadian Politicians

Minister Confirms Abortion Not Part of Harper's Maternal Health Initiative


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