All this posturing, so breathlessly dissected in the media, is aimed at the home-town crowd, of course. None of it will ever have the slightest impact on any woman in India or Uganda. Nor will it influence the international policy approach to maternal health, which has been in place for years. This policy is to encourage contraception, and to support women’s access to safe abortions in those countries where it is legal. This has been Canada’s policy for years, and no doubt will remain so, despite the phony moral righteousness on all sides.
All the more reason to stand up and point out why abortion is not part of maternal health. This is all the more true in developing countries than here, which really does make the abortion-as-part-of-maternal-health debate one for the home-town crowd.by