New UN Report Confirms Canada’s Refusal to Fund Third World Abortion
By Patrick B. Craine
OTTAWA, Ontario, June 4, 2010 (LifeSiteNews.com) – A new report from the World Health Organization and UNICEF has underscored the wisdom behind Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s decision to exclude abortion from Canada’s maternal and child health initiative. Declaring that 2 million maternal, newborn, and stillbirth deaths result each year from a lack of skilled birth attendants, the Countdown to 2015 Decade Report (2000-2010) reveals the importance of the simple solutions that Harper outlined when he first announced the initiative in January.
The report, released Thursday, tracked the progress over the last decade of the 68 countries where more than 95% of all maternal and child deaths take place.
While the report does call for greater access to contraception and describes “safe abortion” as “essential for reducing maternal deaths,” the authors maintain that the risk of mortality for mothers and babies is highest before, during, and just after birth. As such, they emphasize the need for skilled birth attendants and other remedies surrounding birth.
According to the report, nearly 50% of women in the focus countries, mostly from Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia, give birth without skilled assistance.
“All women and their newborns need skilled care at birth and access to emergency care when complications develop," said Zulfiqar A. Bhutta, MD, of the Aga Khan University in Karachi, Pakistan and co-chair of Countdown to 2015.
In addition to skilled birth attendants, the “crucial services” they recommend include immunizations for mother and child, early breastfeeding, antibiotics, and bed nets to protect from malaria.