Women's groups protest PM's int'l abortion stance
Angry with the Harper government for excluding abortion funding from its G8 maternal health plan, three Quebec women's groups staged a pro-choice demonstration downtown Sunday.
Protestors from La Federation du Quebec pour le planning des naissances, la Federation des femmes du Quebec and the Centre 2110 gathered at Place du Canada in an act of solidarity, arguing that women in all countries deserve access to safe abortions.
"You've got eight million women living through complications following an unsafe abortion, five million of which are hospitalized, three million of which don't have access to a hospital unfortunately," said Ainsley Jenicek of the FQPN.
Stephen Harper's global maternal health plan includes funding for family planning, such as contraceptive methods, but does not include funding for abortion.
"The fact of the matter is, Canadians want to see their foreign aid money used for things that will help save the lives of women and children in ways that unite the Canadian people rather than divide them," he said in the House of Commons in April.
Protestors argue Harper's stance violates woman's rights.
"Already there are 70,000 women around the world who die every year as the result of unsafe abortions, and so we feel that you cannot discuss women's maternal health without also offering the possibility for women to terminate an unwanted pregnancy under safe, proper conditions," said Alexa Conradi of the FFQ.
With the G8 summit in Toronto less than two weeks away, protesters said they don't expect Harper to reverse his position, but they argues that was no reason for them to stay silent on the issue.
"I'm a nurse by profession. Women's health and children's health is one of the great determinants of overall social and medical health, and Harper is going in absolutely the wrong direction. He's putting families at risk," said Scott Weinstein, a pro-choice demonstrator.