Anglican Samizdat

April 27, 2010

World Vision and abortion

Filed under: World Vision — David Jenkins @ 12:00 pm
Tags: ,

The Conservative government has taken a stand against abortion which appears to upset World Vision:

HALIFAX — The political debate about whether Ottawa should fund safe abortion services overseas is a distraction, and should not be allowed to derail a new Canadian-led campaign to save the lives of new mothers and children the world’s poorest countries, says World Vision Canada.

World Vision is one of a handful of independent relief agencies, working in the developing world, that convinced Prime Minister Stephen Harper in January to make maternal and child health care in Africa and Asia one of his new international priorities.

Harper’s International Co-operation Minister Bev Oda, is in Halifax today hosting a meeting of her counterparts from the G8 nations, to try to hammer out a consensus on funding a new maternal health initiative.

The initiative has become a political hot potato in Canada, however, because of long-standing disagreements over abortion. Oda announced on Monday that any new Canadian efforts to improve maternal health care in poor countries would not include abortion services.

No matter, says World Vision. There are bigger issues at stake.

“The debate is ongoing in Canada. We’re not going to solve it. But we’re not prepared to see this initiative derailed while we’re trying to sort out the ideologies around this,” says Caroline Riseboro, World Vision Canada’s vice-president of public affairs.

Why is World Vision Canada not applauding the government’s opposition to killing the unborn? I really do hope that it’s not because World Vision surreptitiously condones abortion – particularly as I have supported them for many years.



  1. I just heard a spokeswoman from World Vision being interviewed on the CBC. She was asked, directly, what World Vision’s stance on abortion was, and weasled out of answering the question twice, by changing the subject to child health. When the interviewer wouldn’t let go of the question, she said that World Vision doesn’t take a position on abortion, but prefers to concentrate on the things we can all agree on (a rough paraphrase, the interview will probably be up on Ontario Today’s website in a few days).

    You might want to consider supporting Compassion Canada instead.

    Comment by Kate Sanderson — April 27, 2010 @ 12:56 pm

  2. We should all phone our MP’s office to express our support for what the Government is doing (and not doing) on this issue. I just did.

    The more of us who take the few minutes to actually pick up the phone and call, the more it will register with the politicians. So basically I am saying this. “Walk the walk, and talk the talk”.

    Comment by AMPisAnglican — April 27, 2010 @ 1:46 pm

  3. Thanks Kate, yes, I will consider that. Meanwhile, I’ve emailed WV.

    AMP – agreed.

    Comment by David — April 27, 2010 @ 2:11 pm

  4. I just e-mailed my own MP (Rob Merrifield, who is a Christian), Stephen Harper at his own riding, and the PM’s office, thanking them for their stand. Hopefully everyone who agrees will do the same.

    Comment by John K — April 27, 2010 @ 2:43 pm

  5. My husband used to work on the hill. The MPs assume that every snail mail handwritten letter represents the views of 100 people, since only one in one hundred would bother to hand write a letter. A hand written letter has much more impact than an email.

    Comment by Kate — April 27, 2010 @ 4:00 pm

  6. I just read part of the article that is linked in this blog. It mentions several times “women and childrens health”. I have to wonder, since when did “childrens health” also include killing babies?

    Comment by AMPisAnglican — April 28, 2010 @ 8:20 am

  7. Here is World Vision’s response to my email:

    Hello David,

    Thank you for your e-mail message and for the opportunity to address your concerns!

    We apologize for the delay in this response. World Vision does not provide, recommend or support abortion. wE promote the healthy timing and spacing of pregnancies, and encourage the use of family planning methods that are proven not to be abortive in nature.

    World Vision recognizes that there are other issues taking the lives of many more babies, children and mothers around the world each day, and that while health advocates may continue to disagree on abortion, people of good will who aim to protect the lives of children and women can find common ground to work in coalition to save lives without compromising their principles.

    Through its development and health work in many communities, World Vision is actively encouraging family planning practices that would reduce demand for abortion and promote healthy alternatives for vulnerable mothers, respecting life at all its stages.

    The maternal and child health initiative that World Vision has successfully lobbied for leading into the G8 does not involve support for abortion in any way.

    We appreciate your concern about the use of abortion as a method of birth control, and would like to assure you that:

    • World Vision does not support or promote abortion.
    • World Vision supports the position that all life is a gift from God and therefore of great value.
    • We do not participate in programs that encourage abortion.
    • While our staff and supporters come from a variety of expressions of Christian faith, we share a common concern for the sanctity of life.
    • We have made our position clear in our relief and development policies worldwide
    • We teach about the benefits of child spacing and maternal health.
    • All of our work to improve the situation of women, families and children, if successful, will lessen the demand for abortion.

    If we can be of further assistance, please feel free to reply to this e-mail or contact us directly at 1.800.268.4888.

    Thank you and God Bless,

    Finlay D’Silva
    Customer Service Division
    World Vision Canada

    Comment by David — May 3, 2010 @ 3:32 pm

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