If there’s one thing Steve does really well, it’s using hot button issues to sew strife and division among his enemies.
Within a day of Conservative Senator Nancy Ruth’s tactical warning on Monday to NGOs that their insistence on having access to abortion included in Steve’s maternal health initiative for developing countries risked blowing the whole thing up, proponents on the pro-choice side were at each other’s throats.
Progressive Bloggers featured a whole page of moronic posts denouncing the pro-choice Nancy Ruth, founder of LEAF ferchissakes, for “intimidation” and calling for her dismissal. A quick check just now reveals those “intimidation” posts are still coming.
The Liberal Party immediately dashed off a fundraising letter to supporters:
So this is how the Conservative government treats those who work with women and children in some of the world’s poorest nations?”
Shut the f—- up on this issue,” Conservative Senator Nancy Ruth told international aid workers who gathered on Parliament Hill earlier today to express their concerns about the government’s maternal health policy. She then warned them the organizations they represent risk losing their funding, or worse, if they continue to speak their mind. “If you push it, there will be more backlash,” she said.
The men and women who were insulted and threatened today have every right to be deeply concerned about this government’s backwards approach to maternal health, which departs from over 20 years of established Canadian policy supporting women’s rights to access safe, legal abortion and the full range of family planning services.
And when they say they find it tougher to do their jobs effectively under Stephen Harper, we believe them.
Thanks, Libs. You know what would have counted? Showing up in the House to vote for your own party’s motion to include contraception and the unspoken word “abortion” in Steve’s wee world stage gambit.
Over at Rabble, the regulars are busy announcing their intention to pull financial support for any aid group that buckles under Harper’s pressure — you know, the aid groups that have been working for years to get some kind of maternal health funding — any kind of maternal health funding — going for the women and children in poor and war-torn countries.
It’s principle vs pragmatism for the aid groups.
Pragmatism: If they insist women in poor countries are accorded the same rights women have in Canada, they risk losing their funding — and the desperately needed aid they can provide — after the G-8 spotlight moves on. In fact Harper cut funding for 11 women’s groups in just the last two weeks, although I see Wycliffe Bible Translators and Chakam School of the Bible will still be getting their funding.
“Canada is still a country with free and accessible abortion. Leave it there. Don’t make this an election issue.
Today JJ takes it further: It’s a trap.
“. . . eventually the spiraling debate over funding abortion as part of foreign aid would boomerang as the focus inevitably shifted back to our own domestic policies.”
Yes. It may have started with funding abroad but now it’s on its way home.
I don’t think Steve intended his moms and tots feel-good world-stage initiative to blow up in his face this way, putting the spotlight on Canada as the most backwards nation in the G-8. No.
But never underestimate Steve’s ability to turn a seeming loss into an opportunity to set his enemies against each other to quietly further his agenda.
Seriously, who the fuck wants one? Who wants government interfering in this in any way at all?
Speak out for all the aid groups forced to struggle with an unnecessary principle/pragmatism divide imposed by Harper. Speak out against being silenced with threats.
But when it comes to reigniting the abortion debate here in Canada, which it will, could everyone please just shut the fuck up.