If you’ve been following the news surrounding Canada’s G8 maternal health initiative, you know that access to contraception and family planning programs are glaringly absent from the government’s plan to improve healthcare for mothers in developing countries. And last week, much to the chagrin of many women’s health advocates, the House of Commons voted down a motion to add access to contraception programs to the initiative.
Well, the Canadian contraception controversy continues this week with a slap on the wrist from Hilary Clinton. In a news conference held in Quebec yesterday, the U.S. Secretary of State told reporters that you cannot hope to improve maternal health if you do not address reproductive health. Here’s her quote as reported by the Globe and Mail:
“You cannot have maternal health without reproductive health’And reproductive health includes contraception and family planning and access to legal, safe abortion.’
With all the evidence that supports the fact that contraception, family planning education and access to abortion all help to prevent maternal deaths, I can’t imagine how a staunch women’s health supporter like Clinton (check out this video of her defending reproductive rights at a U.S. hearing) could do anything but disagree with the initiative’s glaring omission?
So may I just say: Touché, Ms. Clinton. Your move, Mr. Harper.