CANADA – Ottawa to encourage more countries to offer contraception and abortion, International Development Minister says

Canada will continue to encourage other countries to offer more family planning services, Marie-Claude Bibeau, the International Development Minister said on 11 November. She said that reproductive and sexual education and access to contraception, and eventually abortion, are important steps in eliminating poverty, especially among women: “What we want is for each child and each pregnancy to be wanted, and for mothers to have the means, that they be ready to receive that child. To end poverty, we have to work on all the barriers that make it that girls and women don’t have the chance to develop their full potential. For that to happen, it starts by having control over their own bodies.” She added that Canada will continue to speak “frankly” with other countries on the need for such services, even if it remains controversial in some circles.

The federal government pledged up to CAD 20 million to fund sexual health and family planning initiatives in 2017 as part of an international campaign to fill a gap created by the Global Gag Rule.

SOURCE: The Globe and Mail, by Vicky Fragasso-Marquis, 11 November 2018 ; PHOTO by Patrick Doyle/The Canadian Press