Here is U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in Quebec on Tuesday, making an important point with respect to abortion, contraception, and maternal health: ”I’ve worked in this area for many years, and If we’re talking about maternal health, you cannot have maternal health without reproductive health, and reproductive health includes contraception and family planning, and access to legal, safe abortion. . . and finally, I do not think governments should be involved in making these decisions.”
In Canada, the opposition (and some of the newspapers, apparently) are enjoying this smackdown of Conservative Prime Minister Stephen Harper and his government, which wants to make maternal health the center of his initiative for the G8 meeting in Ottawa in June, but which denies that contraception or abortion play a role in ensuring maternal health. I wish Lady Clinton would feel free to make the same point inside U.S. borders, especially to members of her own political party. If women are so important to U.S. foreign policy, shouldn’t we (as Voltaire suggested) tend our own garden, too?