No abortion in Canadian initiative

April 27, 2010 at 9:50 AM

OTTAWA, April 27 (UPI) -- Abortion will not be included in Canada's Group of Eight maternal healthcare initiative for developing countries, the Canadian government said.

International Cooperation Minister Bev Oda says Canada will consider funding family planning measures such as contraception but not abortion, the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. reported.

Before Monday, no one in the Canadian government had disclosed whether abortion would be included in the programs.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced late last year that as host of the upcoming G8 meeting in June, his country would champion maternal and child health in developing nations.

During questioning last month, Harper would only say his government would not be "closing doors against any options, including contraception."

International health and women's groups have said omitting abortion would be at odds with the G8's established goals at previous summits.

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has said the health initiative should include access to safe and legal abortions.

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