Humanist Canada

Choice at Home - Choice Abroad

Noon Rally at Parliament Hill in support of abortion funding for developing countries 16 October, 2010


Ottawa, Ontario -- (ReleaseWire) -- 10/14/2010 -- To re-focus attention on the restrictions Canada is placing on funding for maternal health in developing countries, a coalition of social activist organizations and individuals will meet at 11:00 am at Minto Park, Ottawa on 16th October, and from there, march to Parliament Hill. Speakers will seek to inform and educate onlookers about the suffering these restrictions will perpetuate.

"The Harper Government's refusal to fund abortions as part of a G8 initiative to improve the health of mothers in developing countries turns a blind eye to the tens of thousands of women who die each year from unsafe abortions,” said Simon Parcher, President of Humanist Canada. “Access to abortion services is fundamental to women’s health, both at home and abroad” Parcher added.

Stephen Harper has publicly remarked on the “pressing need for global action on maternal and child health.” Yet the Canadian government's plan in this area is in opposition to goals for maternal health support set at previous G8 summits and ignores these facts available from the World Health Organization:

* Over 20 million women a year worldwide risk unsafe abortions
* Over 220,000 children a year are orphaned when their mothers die from unsafe abortions
* 5 million women and girls are hospitalized each year due to complications from unsafe abortions
* Unsafe abortion is the only cause of maternal mortality that is entirely preventable

Representatives of both the U.S. and the U.K. governments have stated that any international effort to boost maternal health must include access to contraception and abortion. Canada's current stance against funding abortion is a reversal of over three decades of support for a procedure that has come to be internationally accepted as an essential part of family planning, particularly where access to contraception is difficult.

The partners in the Choice at Home - Choice Abroad march call upon Canadians to educate themselves about the necessity of reproductive choice and the need to empower women in developing countries to escape the cycle of poverty. Postcards addressed to the ministers responsible for the maternal health funding initiatives will be distributed on the hill after the march.

Join the Choice at Home - Choice Abroad march, meet us at Minto Park at 11 a.m. or on the hill at noon, this Saturday, Oct. 16th:

Humanist Canada
The Humanist Association of Ottawa
Centre for Inquiry - Ottawa
Action Canada for Population and Development
Canadians for Choice:
The Carleton University Graduate Students Association
Pro-Choice Coalition of Ottawa