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Thursday, June 10, 2010

Cultural Imperialism and Abortion

Recently, I was accused of being a cultural imperialist because of my insistence that abortion be included in the maternal health initiative. (See The Munk Debates). Again note my fairmindedness in posting critiques of me on my own blog. Hmmm. This was quite a gambit from my opponent, I thought. After getting over my shock at being accused of cultural imperialism, I decided to respond that actually, excluding safe abortion is cultural imperialism because it forces women to continue pregnancies that they might not want by making the alternative impossible or unsafe. It is limiting choice and defining possibilities for others that is cultural imperialism. Giving women the choice to follow their own consciences respects their human rights, their right to freedom of conscience, their right to control their own body, and to put it in terms of the struggle for abortion rights in Canada, to security of the person.

As Professor Fred Sai, former Senior Population Advisor at the World Bank and reproductive health advisor to the government of Ghana, has said, “Abortion laws inherited from colonial powers are the main reason so many women in developing countries die.” (Thanks to Joyce for pointing me to this.)
This is from this great website called global safe abortion. It's fantastic. Have a good read.

On the same topic, this is a great article on how recent Canadian politics harms Africans.

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