Summer news and views

Now that summer has finally arrived in Vancouver the city is alive and everyone is outside.  And I have been lax in posting! I have some news to pass on, though, and next posting I will have a review of a book I just started called Ourselves Unborn: A History of the Fetus in Modern America, by history prof Sara Dubow. I’ve just begun it, but already I can tell that it will be a very interesting look at the history of fetal personhood. Its main argument is that what the fetus means, and how it has been viewed, has changed several times over the last 100+ years according to various political and moral agendas. I think it could be a valuable read for pro-choicers, but I’ll leave it until next time to tell you more.

In other news, today there is a summit going on in the UK about the future of global family planning and contraception, sponsored by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. These are important topics, but as this article points out, there are flaws in the assumption that “you can just pour in money and contraceptives to health and family programs that already discriminate against the poor and miraculously they will turn around and help women.” We all know that the Canadian government, for instance, could be addressing the fact that women need access to a full range of modern contraceptive methods, as well as access to safe abortions where it is legal.  However, the Conservatives have narrowed the range of programs that can they will fund through global aid and development programs to exclude safe abortion services, therefore preemptively deciding what sort of help is “good” for poor women. 

I will be following the stories on the summit today and will likely have more to say next time.





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