Harper Government Refuses to Provide Funding to Abortion Services for Women Raped During Global Conflict

Urgent: Speak Out Against Harper Government’s Refusal to Provide
Funding to Abortion Services for Women Raped in War

Thank you all for reading this post. The purpose of this blog has always been to advocate for human rights, both in Canada and around the world. An issue came to our attention this past weekend, one that we believe must be addressed immediately.

While the Stephen Harper Conservative government has said it backs UN initiatives to stop sexual violence and forced marriages, none of Canada’s funding will enable war rape victims to obtain abortions, International Development Minister Christian Paradis said on Friday.

Both the NDP and Liberal Party have strongly criticized the Harper government.

“Minister Paradis is wrong,” said Liberal International Development critic Kristy Duncan. “The victims of sexual violence need the support of countries like Canada. Period.”

The Harper government’s decision is also in direct conflict with a recommendation by the UN Secretary General Ban-Ki Moon. He is expected to recommend access to abortion services for pregnancies resulting from rape during conflict.

Please write to:
Mr. Christian Paradis,
International Development Minister
House of Commons
Ottawa K1A 0A6

Email: christian.paradis@parl.gc.ca

Points to make in your letter:

1. Rape has been recognized as a crime of war by the United Nations. To not support funding for abortion services for victims of such sexual brutality revictimizes the victim and is an example of extreme cruelty on behalf of Canada, in order to support an anti-choice position abroad.

2. By stating that no Canadian funding will go to support programs that provide abortion, Canada is refusing to fund an essential health service for women and their families who have already been deeply traumatized. By refusing to fund safe abortions for women who have been raped during war, the Harper government is advocating that these sexually traumatized women should continue with their pregnancies, and continue to suffer, and possibly die while they are forced to give birth.

3.The most important point to stress in your letters is that the Harper government’s stance is an affront to women’s rights everywhere, and serves only to punish women should they become pregnant from a rape during war. The Harper government’s stance that the women continue with
these pregnancies and not have access to abortion is completely reprehensible.

4. Finally, the UN Secretary General has recommended that women have access to abortion services for pregnancies resulting from rape during conflict. (see above).

Final Thoughts:

My country, Canada, has long stood up for human rights in the world, especially for the rights of women, children and those on the furthest margins of society, who are not able to speak for themselves. Because of the Conservative government’s decision, however, I am now disgusted and ashamed of my government. Under the Harper government, human rights have moved backwards and devolved.

As Canadians, as well as concerned global citizens and advocates of human rights around the world, we invite you to speak out now against the Harper government’s decision to deny funding to programs that provide abortion services to women raped during war.

Please write to the Canadian government today and tell them their refusal to fund access to abortion services for women who have been raped during war is unconscionable.

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