G8 Final Communique Draft Shows Agreement On Maternal, Child Health Initiative, Funding Amounts Not Yet Set

A final communique draft completed last month for the upcoming G8 summit states that leaders will agree on a maternal health initiative that focuses on improving access to sexual and reproductive health services, including family planning, in the developing world, the Globe and Mail reports. The draft leaves “G8 countries free to decide whether their programs on reproductive health will fund abortions” (Clark, 6/4).

According to the draft, specific funding amounts for the maternal initiative, food security or other aid has not yet been agreed on “despite strong words urging concrete measures,” the Canadian Press/CTV News reports. “Instead of singling out abortion for funding, the document refers only to the need to strengthen ‘voluntary family planning’ … With just three weeks to go before the summit in Huntsville, Ont., negotiators are still a long way from agreeing to anything substantial on climate change, the draft shows,” the news service reports (6/4).

Also, British Prime Minister David Cameron and French Prime Minister Francois Fillon recently expressed their support for Canada’s G8 maternal health initiative, the Globe and Mail’s “Ottawa Notebook” writes (Taber, 6/4).