Tue, May 4, 2010
WE, in the free world have an obligation to support women in third world countries to see they are not used as pawns in a male dominated war.WE are powerful enough to get this done. Apathy seems to be the reason it isn’t.
This government has committed billions of taxpayers’ dollars into the campaign in Afghanistan, one rationale for which is the need to give girls and women the access to education denied them under Taliban rule. I do not believe that Canada has gone so far as to insist on having a hand in the curriculum content in those schools, however.
It is the height of hypocrisy to feign a concern for the minds of women in one country to which we are giving aid, while insisting on the right to control the bodies of women in another.
Here is the paragraph I composed as the start of the form letter:
Since I am a man, I usually keep my mouth shut about women’s issues — those are matters that males ought not to meddle in. Nevertheless, the current debacle regarding Canada’s funding (or lack thereof) of a variety of maternal health options is something I have a right to comment on, but only because study after study has shown that women who can control their fertility have fewer children; and smaller families mean a reduction in the overall rate of global population increase; and that means less consumption and a smaller carbon footprint. Providing every measure of family planning ultimately benefits the planet — and everyone on it — in several ways.
Mr. Harper is not representing me or millions of other Canadians in his decision to not fund abortions with foreign aid. This decision demonstrates a lack of both compassion and understanding of the complexity of women’s lives in third world countries.
My Canadian pride within the global community continues to diminsh.
Quickly we are becoming a Fascist war-mongering nation bullying and victimizing other nations, because we have the ability to bring people to their knees, begging for their lives.
Never! ever! vote for these Conservative/Liberal politician corporate government people again.
they have no heart, only dollar signs in their eyes and-
they think they are God
to bend others to their will
We women must be strong, vote and change the world to a healthy place again for all
Stand up strong women! We can do it!
But soon, as these politicians will want to take us down too-it’s just the beginning
Think back to Nazi Germany -it is so much the same…….
I am outraged by Mr. Harper’s decision not to exclude access to safe abortion for women in the foreign aid. Lives for women and families in poor nations will only improve when women have control over reproductive issues. As many do not have control over their bodies and whether they get pregnant, we must give them the ability to choose whether to carry a child to term. There are many, many issues that influence a woman’s decision and they need to be able to make the best choices for themselves and their families lives. When women have control over reproductive issues including the right to a safe abortion, families and communities prosper; there is a break in the cycle of poverty. Women who have fewer children increase their chances for a better education and better opportunities. She has a better chance of providing her children with the resources they need to access education and to achieve better health. When women prosper, communities prosper and everyone benefits.
It is with much dismay that I read comments from these people who are so terribly misguided; so willing to believe all of this pro-abortion propaganda. I challenge each and every one of those who take a pro abortion stance to sit in and watch a live abortion. I challenge you all to talk to women who have been coerced and scared into aborting their babies and learn about the devastating effects of their poor choice. I challenge women who claim that their choice to abort thier babies did not have a negative effect on thier lives to take an honest look within…. there is simply no way that women can choose to have thier young ripped from thier wombs and not live to regret it. I, along with hundreds of thousands of other Canadians applaud Steven Harper for refusing to use our tax dollars to fund abortions overseas.
You have had my support until now. If you do not reverse your decision, you have lost my vote. It seems so hypocritical to me when I see all you men with placards “Save the fetus” and then the same men support wars.
What is the difference between a living child and an unborn one? Do you really believe that a women who has an abortion does not suffer? Do you believe that the decision to have an abortion is not a private war for the women? Is the difference that a war is supposedly to protect everyone, even the men with placards?
If abortion is legal in Canada, you have no right to change this law outside of Canada. Also, it is up to the doctors to make the decision, NOT YOU!
I wrote the following:
Prime Minister Harper:
It has taken generations for Canadian women to gain sufficient control over their own bodies to enable them the liberties and freedoms and rights accorded to them by the Canadian Charter of Rights. Canada’s foreign aid policy is a natural extension of our own rights and freedoms. The freedoms of livelihood and choice that women have achieved here in Canada are inevitably the same freedoms of livelihood and choice that are offered to those Canada has the good fortune to support.
That freedom of choice includes the right to safely abort a fetus whose birth could, or will, result in catastrophic consequences for the mother and the family she is the center of.
Barring this possibility from Canada’s aid is ill-advised and ill-educated. It demonstrates a lack of knowledge and a lack of compassion resulting, it would seem, from the kind of willful ignorance that rears up where ideology is trumping reality, and belief is trumping compassion.
If Mr. Harper objects to abortion, I suggest he doesn’t have one and stop imposing his beliefs on the rest of the world.
THE ANNA PROJECT
I am sharing a brilliant idea conceived by Sylvia Bews-Wright (www.sylviabewswright.com), a Victoria artist and social activist who has lived in developing countries for many years. She has come up with THE ANNA PROJECT, an easy way to get an important message out. See her letter below.
There are two parts to this process. Part 1 is a letter to the Prime Minister and Part 2 is the preparation of the Anna cut-outs. The letter is BELOW. You can personalize it or simply sign it and send it. You don’t have to be an artist to do this: just get out the pen, paper and scissors.
Please act now and remember you MUST include your name, address and postal code for the letter to betaken seriously – on both the letter and the Annas.
This time snail mail is the medium of choice, as it will have more impact. You don’t even need a stamp if you are in Canada!
Please act now and pass this on to at least five friends. We would appreciate news of any action anyone takes so that we can track the momentum.
Sylvia’s Letter, which inspired me to action:
Dear Friends –
This is a very sensitive subject and I do not wish to offend anyone. I feel very strongly (as you will read). If you are not interested in participating that is fine.
There are two sections: the first is the letter below, the second is an attempt to reach out to people across Canada who share similar concerns.
As you know, the Canadian government has recently announced that a major focus of overseas aid to the developing world is to be on mother and child health. But it has also decided that it will not fund any program that includes abortion as part of its programs. This is a reversal of a long-standing Canadian policy and is contrary to the policies of most other funding countries, including Britain and the USA. A full range of reproductive health services is needed.
PART 1: Prepare your letter
Use the letter below and personalize it ORJust insert your name, address and postal code and sign it. Below the letter are the required addresses.
Dear Prime Minister:
This is to introduce you to three twelve year old girls, each living in very different parts of the world. For convenience, let’s name them all “Anna”.
Anna #1 lives in a dusty, remote village in Africa, no school, no electricity, a well half a mile from her family hut. Her cousin watches Anna develop carefully and with impeccable timing rapes her one day as she returns from fetching well water. Three months later her mother realizes her daughter is pregnant and she is summarily banished from the village. Somehow, she finds her way to a town and is guided to a health clinic which displays a large red maple leaf. She is given some pamphlets which she cannot read, some condoms which she fills with water and some nutritional advice on caring for her baby’s needs. She walks on to the capital city and gives birth one night on a dusty median of a busy road. Two kind prostitutes come to her assistance and take her and her infant to the brothel where they work. A few weeks later Anna is compelled to join them on the street. While she has now learned how to use a condom she also has learned that her customers will pay double for “skin to skin”. Anna dies six years later of AIDS.
Anna #2 is the brightest girl in her class in a large city in Asia and yearns to be a doctor. She devotes her spare time volunteering at a Canadian run clinic for child and maternal health and learns quickly. One day a girl from her class at school appears pleading for an abortion after having been impregnated by her father. Anna implores the staff to help but they are forbidden under threat of having the clinic closed. Someone slips Anna a scrap of paper with an address and Anna accompanies her classmate to a back alley. Her friend develops septicemia and dies. Anna never returns to the clinic or to school.
Anna #3 attends a Halloween party at a community centre half a block from her home in a town in Canada. It is crowded and noisy and while she and her friends are distracted someone slips a pill into her coke. Feeling giddy from the heat and noise, she waves goodnight and heads home, only to be pulled into the bushes and gang raped. Her friends find her two hours later and she is taken to hospital but because it becomes a police investigation she is given no morning after pill. Her family discusses her pregnancy with her, weighing adoption versus abortion. At age twelve she is too young to have a baby, to drop out of school, and her parents, both busy professionals, have no desire to raise an infant. Anna wants an abortion, particularly since neither she nor the police have discovered who assaulted her. The clinic is spotless, the staff warm and understanding and the procedure is over fast and painlessly.
Prime Minister, there are countless other “Annas” out there. They all deserve the best chance at life.
c.c. The Honourable Lawrence Cannon, Minister of Foreign Affairs
The Honourable Beverley J. Oda, Minister of International Cooperation
The Honourable Tony Clement, Minister of Industry
The Honourable Michael Ignatieff, Leader of the Liberal Party
The Honourable Jack Layton, Leader of the NDP
The Honourable ________, Your Member of Parliament
The Honourable Nancy Ruth, Member of The Senate
To find your MP go to http://www.webinfo.parl.gc.ca
NO STAMPS REQUIRED – MAIL TO:
Address for the Prime Minister
Office of the Prime Minister
80 Wellington Street
Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0A2
Address for all MPs
House of Commons
Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0A6
Address for all Senators
Senate of Canada
Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0A4
CUT AND PASTE THIS LETTER, INCLUDE THE NECESSARY DETAILS, SIGN AND MAIL
BE SURE TO INCLUDE YOUR ANNA DOLL CHAIN
WITH YOUR NAME, ADDRESS AND SIGNATURE ON THE BACK
PART 2: Prepare your “Annas”
Please ask five (or more) friends to join you in creating a paper doll daisy chain across Canada. You can use any size paper (attached are two rough templates using a sheet of 8 ½” X 11” paper) but the girl dolls should all be holding hands to create the chain of unity. Follow these easy steps:
1. choose your template or make your own (blank and “pre-messaged” attached).
2. fold in three as you would a fan
3. cut out the Anna doll on the top third and unfold
4. if using the blank template, write “Anna” on the head and your message on the body
5. add your name, address and postal code on the back
6. insert the Annas inside the letter and place in an envelope
7 .mail! NO stamp required
For more detailed instructions on how to make a paper chain, go to either of these web sites:
These sites give instructions for longer chains. Sorry but I can not insert our template here .
It is a matter of life and death. Take a courageous stand.
I sent the following:
Your ideological and religious prejudices, and your avaricious motives can not deprive women of their rights. To deny international aid because of a difference in beliefs is fascism at its appalling best. If you insist on reverting back to the Dark Ages, and dragging the rest of the struggling world with you than there will be resistance. Human Rights must progress, and your retrograde actions have no place in liberating or aiding the developing countries. One can not use ideological tyranny to liberate those who are oppressed financially (or otherwise).
Women overseas, like women in Canada, have the right to make their own decisions about what is best for them and their families. They should not be forced to risk their lives because they choose to end a pregnancy.
I’m sixteen years old, Mr. Harper, and my disgust for your actions is immeasurable. Do you think my reproductive rights are unimportant as well, or do you value the rights of women overseas less?
Withdraw your government’s requirement that aid will only be given to programs that exclude access to abortion.
A response would be appreciated; I think there must be a misunderstanding, for no government should be able to subjugate people in your reactionary style. I urgently await your reply.
Even in ancient Egypt women had the right to safe choices.
How backwards can this government be?
It really would be refreshing if Harper would just admit it when he makes a decision based on his personal ideology.
i really support this campaign/ cause. as many have already said, literacy and education, and the ability to exercise one’s reproductive rights are some of the key elements in global change. YEAH rightoncanada!
however, i do want to add that i find the advertising on the right offensive. as another wommon who immigrated from another developing country, i can readily say that WE DON’T WANT TO BE SAVED. that’s an approach that is very problematic (think World Vision etc.) and often festers the idea that womyn in developing countries are just wandering around w/ their hands outstretched waiting for some gentle and kind rich white person to save them.
change the title, save your image, jeezanages!
No one should be surprised at this – Harper is an Evangelical Christian, he has an agenda and he and his supporters want to ram it down our throats.
Please join me by registering on my website. I’ve created an over-the-top, deeply offensive “Conservative” website that I plan on linking to real Conservative websites in an effort to undermine them and have moderate people question Conservative values. The more ridiculous your comments and questions are the better. Thanks
Well mentioned & with wonderful timing
[…] is being praised for his Bush-style approach, and an abortion vote is "inevitable".Concerned? Here are some ways you can get involved.And in international news, the struggle for legal abortion […]
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