- By Joshua Keating
Joshua Keating is associate editor at Foreign Policy and the editor of the Passport blog. He has worked as a researcher, editorial assistant, and deputy Web editor since joining the FP staff in 2007. In addition to being featured in Foreign Policy, his writing has been published by the Washington Post, Newsweek International, Radio Prague, the Center for Defense Information, and Romania's Adevarul newspaper. He has appeared as a commentator on CNN International, C-Span, ABC News, Al Jazeera, NPR, BBC radio, and others. A native of Brooklyn, New York, he studied comparative politics at Oberlin College.
Stephen Harper’s government seems to be on the verge of implementing a new foreign-aid plan that excludes any mention of family planning, contraception, or abortion, prompting comparisons to the U.S "global gag rule" which was reversed by President Barack Obama last year:
The Toronto Star reports:
For two consecutive days this week, Conservative cabinet members have ruled out any suggestion that birth control be part of Harper’s announced new, foreign-aid focus on maternal health for this year’s G-8 and G-20 meetings in Canada.
In the Commons on Wednesday, International Co-operation Minister Bev Oda pointedly left birth control off the list of aid projects the government intended to support, saying that “saving lives” was more important than family planning.
Of course, helping to prevent unwanted pregnancies and the spread of sexually transmitted disesases would save quite a few lives. It would be a strange world if U.S. foreign aid policies looked liberal in comparison with Canada’s.
The Guardian‘s Sarah Boseley has more.