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No development dollars for abortions after war rape, child marriage: minister

Christian Paradis rises during Question Period in the House of Commons on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Feb. 28, 2012. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld.

International Development Minister Christian Paradis says the government will not fund overseas projects that allow war rape victims and child brides to obtain an abortion.

The Conservative government’s position on the matter was unclear last week after it backed initiatives to tackle sexual violence and forced marriages at the United Nations.

But Paradis says the government’s policy would follow the same logic as that behind Canada’s $3-billion G8 funding commitment for maternal and child health — no money should go towards abortion services.

That’s a change from the department’s previous statement that it does not monitor where each dollar goes when funding is provided to large multilateral aid organizations outside the G8 commitment envelope.

An upcoming report to the UN Security Council from Secretary General Ban-Ki moon is expected to recommend access to such services for pregnancies resulting from rape during conflict.

Paradis says the government will come up with other measures to help victims, but the details are still a work in progress.