Hear that?

I admit I was initially unimpressed by the fuss Liberal leader Iggy raised over the lack of abortion funding in Harper’s “maternal and child health” initiative for developing countries.  It just seemed like more hypocritical gasbaggery from a party so infested with anti-choicers and lacking in testicular fortitude that it couldn’t even pass a motion on the issue.

I’d assumed the government might just be trying to use scarce foreign aid dollars as efficiently as possible, as in “post-natal” maternal care rather than reproductive health in general.  Why would Harper invite a confrontation over abortion?  In spite of the mewling and puling of his socon base, it’s not like Harper welcomes the opportunity to debate the issue: he typically reacts to it as though he’s stepped on a poison snake.

But hey — even I am wrong (sometimes).  Today the government confirmed that abortion won’t be included in the maternal health initiative, which will cover just about everything else including contraception:

The federal Conservatives say they will not provide funding for abortions as part of Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s centrepiece initiative for the G8 this year to improve maternal and child health in developing countries around the world.

It is the clearest statement yet on the government’s position on the issue — a position which the government has appeared to modify several times in the face of opposition from domestic political opponents, as well as international allies.  […]

In a parliamentary debate on the issue last month, (International  Co-operation Minister Bev) Oda said, “what we have said is that we are open to considering all options, including contraception, and addressing them.

Well… contraception is birth control, and abortion is also birth control — yeah yeah, SHRIEEEEK! — albeit the birth control of last resort.   So that puts the boots to my little theory about fiscal efficiency, and strongly suggests  there are ideological motivations behind the way this initiative is shaking out.   And why not?  It’s not often you get to dog whistle your base without fucking with any actual voters.

4 Responses to “Hear that?”

  1. 1 Cornelius T. Zen Tuesday, April 27, 2010 at 8:39 am

    Good morrow, all!
    Fiscal efficiency? This, coming from a government who took a healthy budgetary surplus and *Allah Kazam!* magically converted it into a massive budget deficit. By all means, pull the other one, it has bells on it.
    Weissenmenchen uber alles? It is up to those righteous white Christian men to tell the rest of the world (you know, all those red, yellow, brown and black wogs and, of course, those uppity women and those unspeakable fags) how to run their lives…isn’t it? Hmmm… did I remember der umlaut? Oh, well…
    They can’t keep it in their own pants, they can’t balance a chequebook, but they can tell you all how to live your lives.
    How wonderful is that? – CTZen

  2. 2 Bleatmop Tuesday, April 27, 2010 at 10:19 am

    This is part of the reason why, even though I no longer want a Conservative government, I don’t want to go back to a Liberal government. They are as big of political opportunists as the conservatives. It’s like I can see Iggy trying to walk a tightrope between not alienating his pro-choice supporters while trying to not make the moderate pro-life voters all flee to the CPC. Goddess forbid he actually make a principled stand on something. You know, a stand on some other principle than opportunism. It’s the exact same thing Harper is trying to do with this bill, not pissing off his pro-life supporters with trying not to send the moderate pro-choice supporters fleeing to the LPC.

    Iggy, Harper, what’s the difference?

  3. 3 Calgal Wednesday, April 28, 2010 at 7:17 pm

    They may be a lot alike but I don’t think Iggy would have botched this one like Harper has. He would have given the money with no conditions.

  1. 1 Anti-Choice is Anti-Awesome: Weekly Reader Trackback on Saturday, November 24, 2012 at 1:40 pm

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