Ottawa will encourage more countries to offer contraception, abortion: Bibeau
MONTREAL — Canada will continue to encourage other countries to offer more family planning services including contraception and abortion because they’re key to fighting poverty, the country’s international development minister said Sunday.
Marie-Claude Bibeau said Canada will continue to speak “frankly” with other countries on the need for such services, even if it remains controversial in some circles.
Bibeau arrived in Rwanda on Sunday of a four-day international conference on family planning that runs until Thursday.
In a phone interview from Kigali, she told The Canadian Press that some countries are willing to discuss the topic at meetings, but don’t always follow up with concrete commitments.
“Canada has a very, very important role to play right now to talk about it in a very open way, and to make sure that the conversation stays wide, that the conversation is not narrowing,” Bibeau said Sunday.
“We talk about everything and we talk about it openly,” she said.
Bibeau said reproductive and sexual education and access to contraception, and eventually abortion, are important steps in eliminating poverty, especially among women.
“What we want is for each child and each pregnancy to be wanted, and for mothers to have the means, that they be ready to receive that child,” she said.
“To end poverty, we have to work on all the barriers that make it that girls and women don’t have the chance to develop their full potential.”