Ot­tawa will en­cour­age more coun­tries to of­fer con­tra­cep­tion, abor­tion: Bibeau

The Peterborough Examiner - - Canada & World - VICKY FRAGASSO-MARQUIS

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.”

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