Canada behind women’s reproductive rights as U.S. opts out

Published On July 11, 2017 | By Pablo Balza | International, News, Politics

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has been criticized for investing in sexual and reproductive health projects. (Courtesy:

By: Justin Dominic

African women’s heath initiatives took a financial hit as the U.S. decided to back out of programs providing birth control measures and abortions.

But other countries including Canada intends on picking up the tab to ensure delivery of health services continues to women in the developing world countries in Africa. But Ottawa doesn’t appear it’s ready to criticize the Americans for pulling out of family planning initiatives.

The Canadian contingent at the Family Planning 2020 summit in London announced Monday it’s desire to continuing funding for family planning and to find private donors to help.

Some of the world’s richer countries had pledged $2.6 billion for the cause initiated by London in 2012.

Marie-Claude Bibeau, minister of International Development, acknowledged the need to fund women empowerment on July 10.

“We definitely need to invest more and to bring new partners around the table to reach the objective of the Family Planning 2020 agenda which is to reach an additional 120 million women to offer them … access to contraception,” Bibeau said.

Bibeau, however, refused to take the Americans to task at the summit on its stance on abortion at the summit. She said the two countries have different views and refused to criticize their decision.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced earlier this year Canada will invest $650 million for sexual and reproductive health projects worldwide.

However, the U.S. had withdrawn from the summit refusing to invest into anything that provides reproductive rights, as the Trump government identifies itself as pro-life.

The Catholic Church in Canada criticized Trudeau for allocating funding on contraception, which has reportedly received more than $100 million from the Canadian government.

Vanessa Sproule, executive director at the Toronto Right to Life Association, said she also has an issue with the Canadian government funding reproductive rights.

“Everyone has a right to life, we are dealing with a human being here even in pregnancy, there are methods science could use to save the mother as well as the child,” Sproule said. “The baby is conscious even in the womb, this is not a bundle of tissues, but a living breathing being.

“We need to respect that,” she said.

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