Saturday, May 31, 2014

Canada pays for emergency contraception and abortion care in Afghanistan

Elizabeth Payne reported in today's Ottawa Citizen on my posting that revealed that CIDA/DFATD is funding emergency contraception in Afghanistan through IPPF.

What she didn't say, is that my ATIP also revealed that we are funding "safe abortion care".

The first thing that's worrisome about the Citizen article, is that NDP international development critic  Hélène Laverdière thinks that the emergency contraception used (Postinor-2) is not abortion.
“It’s not abortion, it is contraception". 
In fact the information provided by the manufacturer says that:
"Postinor-2 is not intended as a regular method of contraception." 
That's because, emergency contraception is an abortifacient if the egg has already been fertilized (i.e it prevents implantation in the uterus, killing the embryo). Wishful thinking, doesn't make it true.

Then Ms. Laverdière says:
"I don’t see why if it is a choice for Canadian women, it cannot be a choice offered to Afghan women.”
Now this is really out there. Shouldn't Ms. Laverdière, in her role as international development critic, know that abortion (including emergency contraception) is illegal in Afghanistan?

As I noted in that blog posting, the Population Research Institute says that:
"The current Afghanistan abortion law mandates a seven-year prison term and a monetary fine for each abortion performed. The only exception requires the written opinion of physicians, and a judicial review. According to strict and clear guidelines promulgated by the Ministry of Justice, this same law would apply to anyone who has prescribed “morning-after pills” or “emergency contraception” in Afghanistan, or even to anyone carrying these devices in the country."
And finally this from DFATD in the Citizen article:
"Foreign Affairs spokeswoman Amy Mills, quoting the World Health Organization. “WHO confirms that: ‘Levonorgestrel emergency contraceptive pills are not effective once the process of implantation has begun, and they will not cause abortion,’ ” she wrote in an email, adding, “DFATD funds are not used to fund abortion.”
I beg to differ. Canada is funding emergency contraception and abortion care in Afghanistan.

Abortion by any other name...

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