The Liberal's motion to include "reproductive health options" (code word for "abortion") in the government's maternal and child health initiative for third world countries--was defeated in the House tonight: 144 against the Motion; 138 in favour:
"That, in the opinion of the House, the government’s G8 maternal and child health initiative for the world’s poorest regions must include the full range of family planning, sexual and reproductive health options, including contraception, consistent with the policy of previous Liberal and Conservative governments, and all other G8 governments last year in L’Aquila, Italy; that the approach of the Government of Canada must be based on scientific evidence, which proves that education and family planning can prevent as many as one in every three maternal deaths; and that the Canadian government should refrain from advancing the failed right-wing ideologies previously imposed by the George W. Bush administration in the United States, which made humanitarian assistance conditional upon a “global gag rule” that required all non-governmental organizations receiving federal funding to refrain from promoting medically-sound family planning.
"Margaret Somerville wrote an excellent article on the topic:
Her last paragraph said it all:
"Finally, in arguing for funding for abortion, Mr. Ignatieff was also reported as saying, “Let’s keep the ideology [he meant the pro-life stance] out of this and move forward.” But that’s impossible, because the pro-choice stance is just as much ideologically based – that is, promotes a certain set of values and beliefs – as the pro-life one. Mr. Ignatieff was saying, therefore, that his pro-choice values should not only prevail, but not be opposed. That’s not how democracy works."
Naturally I was disappointed that my Liberal Member of Parliament, Mauril Belanger, supported the motion. I specifically asked him not to. I remember hearing somewhere that MPs are supposed to represent their constituents. Guess I'm naive.
No matter...because in the end, democracy did prevail.