G8 Action Alert!

July Update: Thanks to everyone for your efforts and actions to try to ensure that safe abortion and family planning would be included in Canada’s G8 initiative for maternal/child health. Although we all did our best, Prime Minister Harper and his Conservative Party rejected evidence in favour of right-wing ideology, at the expense of women’s and children’s lives.

As the host country of the G8 Summit on June 25/26, 2010 in Huntsville Ontario, Prime Minister Stephen Harper and his governing Conservative Party of Canada have chosen to champion an initiative to improve maternal and child health in developing countries.

However, this admirable initiative has become deeply mired in the Conservatives’ anti-choice ideology. The government will “consider” including family planning and contraception in the initiative, while announcing it will not fund safe abortion services “under any circumstances” in developing countries.

Please take action by engaging in some of the following activities and events. If your group is organizing a campaign or event, please send us the details so we can post it here. Thank you!

Please click here to read a great letter to Prime Minister Harper from a Conservative voter disenchanted with Harper’s no-abortion stance for the G8 initiative.

Take Action!

1.      Sign the petition to Parliament to: “Include funding for family planning and safe abortion in Canada’s G8 Maternal/Child Health Initiative.” (Hosted by Abortion Rights Coalition of Canada.) We also have a paper petition that can be printed and mailed. **Online petition now closed.**

2.   Sign the petition to CIDA and the Prime Minister of Canada to:  “Provide CIDA Funding for IPPF (International Planned Parenthood Federation)” (Hosted by a supporter of IPPF.)  **Petition now closed.**

3.   Participate in the anna project: a creative letter-writing project that gives voice to the many faceless and nameless girls and women in developing countries who die each year due to lack of access to safe abortion.

4.      Send a letter to Harper, using the template on Right On Canada’s website. “Mr. Harper, stop playing politics with women’s lives”.

5.      Send letters to Stephen Harper, Bev Oda, Lawrence Cannon, and your MP using points from the Call to Action written by the Action Canada for Population & Development (ACPD).

6.      Veuillez envoyer une lettre en français. Voici un modèle de lettre ci-joint, de la Fédération du Québec pour le planning des naissances (FQPN) 

7.      Sign onto the letter to Harper drafted by the Ad Hoc Coalition for Women’s Equality and Human Rights, protesting the exclusion of funding for safe abortion from the G8 Initiative. Email the Coalition.

8.      Organize a local event in your own community (forum, rally, letter-writing campaign, etc.)

9.      Join one or more Facebook groups that support G8 funding for family planning and safe abortion (listed in order of number of members as of May 23):

10.   Stay informed of new developments on the G8 maternal/child health initiative by visiting/joining:

Global actions:

1.      For groups outside Canada: Sign the letter urging the government of Canada and G8 leaders to support the full range of reproductive healthcare, including family planning and contraception, safe abortion where legal, and quality healthcare for women suffering from complications of unsafe abortion. Contact the National Abortion Federation.

2.      Join the White Ribbon Alliance for Safe Motherhood (WRA), an international coalition that promotes public awareness of the need to make pregnancy and childbirth safe for all women and newborns in developing and developed countries. 

3.      Attend the “Women Deliver” conference in Washington DC, on June 7-9. Women Deliver is a global advocacy organization bringing together voices from around the world to call for action against maternal death. 

4.      Attend the “Global Maternal Health Conference 2010” in New Delhi India, organized by the Maternal Health Task Force, on Aug 31 to Sept. 1. The Task Force helps shape collective efforts to improve maternal health worldwide, and is supported by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

Attend an Event (or plan one)

More events will be added regularly, so please check back!

If you know of an event, or are planning one, please email us the details so we can add it to this list. Thank you!


Wednesday, June 16, Toronto.

Doors 7:30, Panel Discussion 8:00. Clinton’s Tavern, 693 Bloor Street West, Toronto. Admission: $5.

“Speak the F**k Up” – Women, Children and the G20 agenda. Does Canada have any business leading the charge? A roundtable discussion hosted by Judy Rebick. Speakers include: Josephine Grey (LIFT), Antonia Zerbisias (Toronto Star), and more. Visit www.this.org or www.rabble.ca for more information and updates on speakers. Facebook event listing.

June 18 – 20, Toronto

Friday: 1pm, The Carlu (444 Yonge St @ College). Sat/Sun: 9:30am, Ryerson University, Engineering Building.

Gender Justice Summit. Organized by Oxfam: “Taking place in Toronto the weekend before the G8/G20 meetings, our 2010 gathering will take the form of a Gender Justice Summit. This dynamic gathering of Oxfam supporters, academics, advocates, researchers, policy-makers, and activists from around the world, will be discussing various issues including: gender based violence, maternal health, poverty, security, climate change, and food security.” The Gender Justice Summit will run parallel to the People’s Summit.

Saturday, June 19, Toronto

Rally at 1pm at Pitman Hall, Ryerson University 160 Mutual Street. March to Ministry of Health/Education 900 Bay Street.

Rally for Reproductive Justice – Sex education matters for youth, maternal health includes abortion! Featuring a spoken word performance by RED SLAM and speakers from The Native Youth Sexual Health Network, Oxfam, Ontario Coalition for Abortion Clinics, Planned Parenthood Toronto, LGBT Youthline. (This is in conjunction with Oxfam’s Gender Justice Summit prior to the Toronto G20 meetings.) For more information, contact Jessica Yee.

Sunday, June 20, Toronto
.8:00 pm.Alumnae Theatre, 70 Berkeley Street, Toronto, ON.

The Abortion Monologues“- a staged reading of this moving new play. $20 – cash at the door, or online in advance (+ service charge) at http://www.totix.ca/ or 416-364-4170. For more info on the theatre, see www.alumnaetheatre.com. All proceeds to go to Planned Parenthood and Choice in Health clinic in Toronto.
Monday, June 21, Toronto. 7pm. 25 Cecil Street (just east of Spadina, south of College).

“Harper’s attacks on reproductive rights – at home and abroad.” A public forum and panel discussion just prior to the G8/G20 summit, focusing on the need for G8 funding of safe abortion and family planning, and critiquing the Harper government’s anti-choice stance. Featuring speakers Jessica Yee, Ayesha Adhami, Rhonda Roffey, Kelly Holloway, Judy Vashti Persad, and Carolyn Egan. Organized by the Ontario Coalition for Abortion Clinics.

Friday, June 25, Toronto

2:30 pm. Meet at Allan Gardens, corner of Carleton & Sherbourne. Wheelchair access van: SE corner of Dundas & Yonge at 2:00 PM. Meal served. Sign language interpretation available.

We are calling on all women and trans people to join the Gender Justice contingent as we lead off the Toronto Community Day of Action March against the G20. We are marching for freedom from all forms of violence and for control over our bodies and our lives, including freedom of sexual and reproductive choice, for women and children, trans and queer people everywhere.  We demand funding for the healthcare we need – including the full range of family planning options, access to medication and safe, legal abortions for women, and full access and reproductive choice for all women everywhere.  Bring your signs and banners, pots and pans, whistles and chants, and march to reclaim our city. We will end with a block party and tent city.

Gender Justice Group contact: genderjusticeG20@live.ca. Info about the Toronto Community Day of Action: http://25june.wordpress.com or 416-925-6939. (Other events and actions: http://g20.torontomobilize.org and http://peoplessummit2010.ca.)

Sunday, June 27, Ottawa

7:30 pm, doors open at 7:00. The First Unitarian Congregation of Ottawa, 30 Cleary Avenue. Tickets $20 at the door (cash only) General Admission. Proceeds to support Planned Parenthood Ottawa. For more info call PPO (613) 226-3234.
The Abortion Monologues“- a staged reading of this moving new play.

June 21 – 27, Toronto

G8/G20 Toronto Community Mobilization. Schedule of Events.

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