And now the funding cuts.

Women’s groups decry Tory funding cuts – The Globe and Mail.

Eleven women’s groups have had their funding cut in the last two weeks , plus three more who are  silent  for fear of further repercussions, according to this article in the Globe and Mail today. All these cuts were then followed by Senator Ruth’s advice to “shut the fuck up”. The Globe in its editorial supported the notion that there are other ways to support women’s health besides focussing on the reproductive issues.

They just don’t seem to get it. All the other measures don’t matter if a woman is burdened by a pregnancy every year. The body just wears out. Reproductive choice is the starting point, the foundation for women’s health. Not much worry about heart disease if you die in childbirth.

The Globe makes the valid point that there are other conversations worth having. Are we only allowed one at a time? And does the Tory caucus decide which conversations we can have when, and only the ones that don’t offend them?

Now they’re telling us to shut up.

CBC News – Politics – Tory senator to women’s groups: shut up.

Nancy Ruth, appointed Conservative senator, philanthropist, failed politician(several election tries) and high-profile supporter of women’s equality rights tell the international groups assembled for a conference on those rights to”shut the fuck up” about the inclusion of reproductive rights in the Canadian proposal to the G8.

Senator Ruth sits in the Conservative caucus and she is quoted as saying that if more pushing goes on there would be a backlash from the government. Unspecified threats but it sounds that at the least she meant that the inclusion of contraceptive rights would be removed, or the government funding these groups may receive. (Government, from me and you, not just Conservative supporters.)

Those rights were only included because of pressure from women’s groups. She thinks the Canadian people have no time for such altruistic matters as the provision of reproductive health care to women in other countries. Apparently the Canadian people only have time for mortgages and other personal concerns. She also declared that  ” we still have the right to abortions in this country.” What does she mean “still”?  Another threat?’

Senator Ruth has a background that includes education at a prestigious Christian college in Washington State, and a degree in political science from York, as well as theological diplomas, unspecified. She has been a member and supporter of many groups active in the area of women’s rights. It would seem that the atmosphere in the Tory caucus is so schoolyard that the chief bully can convince even a woman with the Senator’s activist credentials that she has to toe the line.

I am surprised that someone with her background would suggest that the way forward for women is to sit quietly and wait for the government ie Mr. Harper to do the right thing. That hasn’t worked out well so far in this and many other issues. Silence never works for women, ever.

No, it doesn’t, Mr. Harper

CBC News – Canada – Maternal plan should unite Canadians: Harper.

Apparently Mr. Harper doesn’t believe that those of us who are pro-choice have strong feelings about it. He thinks we will ignore those feelings in order to “unite” with those who are anti-choice. I don’t care to do that. And I don’t care to “unite ” Canadians by ignoring the realities of women’s life in the third world.

No abortion in Canada’s G8 maternal health plan

CBC News – Canada – No abortion in Canada’s G8 maternal health plan.

The Harper government is in a minority position. Lucky for all of us who remember the fifties and early sixties – the backroom abortions, the deaths, the infections and resultant infertility, the pregnant thirteen-year-olds. what happens if they achieve a majority next time?

They are prepared to condemn women in the third world to much worse than went on here years ago, but after all, they’re  “prepared to talk about family planning.”  No sense that multiple imposed pregnancies break down maternal health, lead to early mortality for women and children left motherless. No sense that is only when the number of children are controlled that women are able to contribute to the economy. No understanding that women drive the micro-economies in the third world as well as managing the family.

Family planning: make the itinerant trucker in Africa use condoms; keep his hands off other women in his travels; support the family he leaves behind; buy the contraceptives for his wife; indeed believe that contraception is allowed by his god. Good luck with that.

The Harper government appears to believe that they have a mandate from the Canadian people to take us backwards. After all, if they think that is the right thing to do internationally, won’t they have to do the same here? This has always been the hidden agenda of the Conservative Party and their fundamentalist supporters, the ones who think that their view of morality is the only one, and should be imposed on the rest of the world.

Abortion is a choice that women and young girls should have. Remember the pregnant eight-year-old rape victim in South America, denied abortion, because her life is less valuable than her embryo. Remember her when you vote next time. Remember them all. This link takes you to a Wikipedia entry of youngest mothers. Please note the incidence of rape, and remember that countless others are unknown. Or dead.

CBC News – Politics – Contraception an ‘option’ in maternal health plan

CBC News – Politics – Contraception an ‘option’ in maternal health plan.

These people still don’t get it. Contraception should not be an option. It is too important in the health of young women everywhere, especially in the developing world.
And apparently “family planning” is the Conservative code word for abortion. At least the Minister says no family planning, and Harper says yes to contraception as an option but no abortion debate. Yet more back pedalling today. Either they are incapable of thinking through their ideas, or they believe they can put “spin” on these issues and we won’t notice.

Retirement looms. One more week until the last day for patients, the 29th of March. I’ve been cleaning out financial files. Who knew how much there was to keep. The rule, according to our accountant is to keep seven years of records. I’m up to 6 banker’s boxes and counting.

Fundamentalist Harper and failure to save women’s lives

CBC News – Money – 10 myths about taxes and filing.

It’s tax time and the CBC has been helpful, publishing a list of myths. Some of them are very old news, but there’s new information too. Worth the read.
I see the Harper government doesn’t think that supporting contraception and abortion rights saves lives. I guess the only lives worth saving are those of embryos.The lives of the women who die in childbirth or its complications, of which there are millions around the world, don’t count. The lives of women who are condemned to repeated pregnancies, without pause, ending up dying at what is by our standard a very young age, don’t count either. Stephen Harper tries very hard to convince us that he’s at the centre of the political spectrum. This sort of pandering to the most fundamental of his supporters shows again that he is not.
Shame on him. Shame on us if he’s elected again.