CIDA Abortion Policy Won’t Change Despite Canada’s Abortion Position On G8 Initiative

As the the Canadian government prepares to focus on maternal and child health at the G8 meeting this summer, Julio Montaner, president of the International AIDS Society (IAS) and director of British Columbia’s Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS, said, “There cannot be a successful Maternal and Child Health Initiative, unless we deliver on the Universal Access Pledge” for HIV prevention, treatment and care.  In 2005, G8 countries at Gleneagles, Scotland adopted a Universal Access Pledge, which “promised delivery of HIV prevention, treatment and care to all those needing it by 2010,” the Vancouver Sun writes. 

Despite the recent concern over Canada’s announcement that it will not fund abortion in its G8 initiative, “Montaner says there is an even bigger issue at play – a failure to honour past foreign aid commitments.”

“The G8 has failed to deliver on the pledge, despite repeatedly reassuring the international community about their commitment,” he said.  In the article addresses (Yaffe, 5/5).  

In related news, the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) said it will continue to fund programs in countries where abortion is legal, CBC News reports. Margaret Biggs, head of CIDA, told a parliamentary committee in Ottawa on Tuesday that her agency would also provide funds for organizations that provide abortion referrals. “There’s no change in the policy,” she said. 

“Biggs restated the government’s position that it will focus on nutrition and strengthening health-care systems in the developing world with its G8 maternal health initiative,” the news service writes. At a G8 meeting last week, the Canadian government said it will not provide funding for abortion as part of its G8 maternal and child health initiative (5/4).

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