My friend Deborah Rankin is certainly not a Tory. She considers herself a progressive and a feminist. She is very much pro life. She has founded a new organization. Here is the press release. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org for more info.
Women's Information Network Statement on Maternal-Child Healthcare for G8 Summit
Women's Information Network (W.I.N.) salutes the Canadian Government's commitment to put maternal-child healthcare at the top of its agenda when Canada hosts the G8 summit in June, 2010, and strongly supports the human rights of all elected representatives in Parliament to vote their consciences on this pressing moral issue, free from partisan reprisals.
W.I.N. supports the "conscience rights" of all elected representatives at all levels of government, and in all instances of public life, and supports substantive democratic debate on all issues as the best guarantor of these rights.
The lack of adequate maternal-infant healthcare in the developing world is an urgent concern requiring clear thinking and goodwill from politicians who have the power to make a real difference. Too many women lack the necessities of life, a sad fact that contributes to poor maternal-infant health outcomes.
Yet, women and their children have fundamental human rights to protection, aid, and healthcare, especially during the pre-natal and post-natal years, under the UN Declaration of the Rights of the Child and the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.
W.I.N. supports the rights of women and children to receive healthcare without any strings attached and strongly opposes any attempt to make funding for abortion a condition of providing this vital humanitarian aid to women and children in some of the poorest countries in the world.
Abortion is incompatible with maternal-child healthcare because it harms the mother, baby, and subsequent born children. Copious research links it to infertility, breast cancer, and depression, while Canada's own long-suppressed research shows elevated risks for suicide and psychosis in post-abortive women.
Abortion causes fetal death, yet one of the goals of maternal-infant healthcare is to reduce the incidence of fetal death i.e. from smoking and other causes. W.I.N. emphasizes that human embryos and fetuses are unique-DNA nascent human beings, and not blobs of tissue, parasites, or tumors, as many abortion advocates claim.
Multiple studies also link abortion to prematurity and low birth weight in subsequent born infants, risk factors for the development of diseases such as diabetes, cerebral palsy, and retardation.
Proactive abortion policies have also resulted in many unforeseen social problems, especially coerced abortion, coupled with violence towards pregnant women who refuse to abort, the latter all too often resulting in fetal injury or fetal death, and increased risk of subsequent miscarriage. The most horrific result is homicide of the mother, with murder by a woman's male partner now the leading cause of death among pregnant women in the US.
Legal abortion has also been accompanied by a marked increase in father absenteeism and the ensuing feminization of poverty when deadbeat dads refuse tosupport their children, rationalizing that the woman could have had an abortion instead.
Coerced abortion is often used to cover up the sexual abuse of minors, and most shockingly, sex slavery, a gravely serious problem in the developing world. Amnesty International opposes forced abortion as a human rights violation and W.I.N. urges all concerned citizens to say a clear no to it.
Since, undeniably, some women die from abortion, either as a direct cause or as an underlying factor in some maternal deaths, often leaving born children without a mother to care for them, W.I.N. believes that the best way to prevent abortion-related deaths is to prevent abortion itself, by deterring legal abortion through health education and better social support for mothers, especially those at the margins of society, and by enforcing prohibitions against illegal abortion.
Given these gripping realities, it can't be reasonably argued that abortion is in the "best interests of the child", the framing principle of the law. W.I.N. firmly believes that the best interests of the child must prevail in determining all norms and standards for maternal-child healthcare.
W.I.N. also strongly opposes "fertility reduction quotas", an intrinsically coercive framework, in the guise of maintaining sustainable population levels, whether such measures are implemented through abortion, sterilization, or contraception. Human beings don't have the same status as animals, and must never be viewed as resources to be managed. Human population control is illegitimate and violates human dignity, as well as human rights.
W.I.N. supports access to family planning resources, including contraception, to help space pregnancies. However, this access must be based solely on free and informed consent. W.I.N. emphasizes that some contraceptive options may have health risks that outweigh benefits, or may conflict with a woman's moral values or personal goals.
W.I.N cautions that family planning isn't the same as maternal-child healthcare and must be viewed only as an option and never as a prerequisite of healthcare for mothers or their children. W.I.N. notes that, under medicare, family planning isn't tied to maternal-child healthcare. Last year, priority access to Swine Flu inoculations for mothers and young children wasn't contingent upon agreement to use contraception, nor were contraceptives or contraceptive information provided on this occasion.
W.I.N. rejects the view that abortion is a form of family-planning. Rather, in most cases it is a crisis-management option that, in countries where abortion is legal, depends upon a misuse of medical resources to solve social problems.
W.I.N. supports educating women about their reproductive cycles by teaching them ovulation detection, a scientifically proven method used to avoid or achieve pregnancy, as well as informing them about the natural contraceptive benefits of the Lactational Amenorrhea Method, the scientific name for breast feeding.
W.I.N. believes that maternal-child healthcare can be best accomplished through a preventative health approach promoting nutrition, inoculations, breast feeding, home visits from nurses, training midwives and front-line workers, providing emergency obstetrical care, protecting a sustainable blood supply, and ensuring clean water and sanitation, coupled with community development requiring the staffing and building of schools, hospitals, birthing-centers, and housing, standardized to current building codes, as well as modernization of transportation and infrastructure, while redoubling efforts to advance literacy and gender equality.
W.I.N. urges our Canadian Government to be steadfast in bringing forward this important and timely initiative without compromising its whole health vision.
Women's Information Network
Copyright 2010 Deborah Rankin
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