The Liberals are giving a close to $100 million to Congo. This includes “sexual and reproductive rights”–which I put in quotation marks because that is a meaningless phrase that generally includes abortion. What I note in this Globe and Mail article is the Minister for International Development talking about how they will offer abortion, which is illegal in Congo:
Ms. Bibeau said the DRC is a prime example of a country where Canada’s new feminist foreign-aid agenda – particularly its support for legal abortion services – will have to be handled carefully. Abortion is illegal in the DRC, unless it is necessary to save a woman’s life, creating stigma around the service.
“In Canada, you are very interested in the abortion part, but if we want to be effective here, the idea is not to put the light specifically on that. We have to be more subtle,” Ms. Bibeau said.
“More subtle” means they will be breaking Congo’s laws but they don’t want people to know that. And on “creating stigma”–who knows why it’s illegal? Maybe African women understand killing their children isn’t a solution for rape. Maybe the stigma preceded the law. Maybe a western outlook on African life isn’t the right lens through which to view this. This seems a whole lot like a western, wealthy power coming in and telling a poorer country what they want/need before asking.