A Canadian global gag rule?

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 ...

By , a former associate editor at Foreign Policy.
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Canada's Prime Minister Stephen Harper (2ndL) speaks to Canadian soldiers at a water processing plant ran by the Canadians in Jacmel on February 16, 2010. A major earthquake shook Haiti on January 12, 2010 killing over 200,000 people and leaving over 1 million haitians homeless. AFP PHOTO/Ariel MARINKOVIC (Photo credit should read ARIEL MARINKOVIC/AFP/Getty Images)

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.

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

Joshua Keating was an associate editor at Foreign Policy. Twitter: @joshuakeating

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