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May 02, 2011

Vote for Sexual and Reproductive Health Today!

By Michelle Reid

I'm young, female, Aboriginal, and pro-choice, and that's why I voted against Harper.

I'm young, female, Aboriginal, and pro-choice, and that's why I voted against Harper.

Today, May 2nd, is the general election in Canada. It's hard for me to focus on anything else because the last few weeks have been so inspiring: seeing so many people of all ages come together to challenge voter apathy with insight and innovation. I'm hopeful that today will be a landmark election in Canadian history, one that demonstrates we aren't apathetic about how our country is led. You might know that in the last election, two out of five eligible voters didn't vote; only one in five voted for the current Prime Minister. In comparison, this election saw the highest-ever numbers of advance voting.

Why am I talking about the election on That's So Sexy? Because the personal is political, and your sexual health (and choices, and freedom!) are political issues. Stephen Harper has done terrible things for reproductive and sexual health while in office, many that directly impact Canadian women everywhere.

He eliminated funding to the project that investigates the hundreds of missing and murdered Aboriginal women. He has cut funding to women's advocacy groups by more than 40% and eliminated many legal and community services for women. And just last week, a Conservative MP in Saskatchewan bragged about Harper defunding the International Planned Parenthood Federation, because they provide abortion services. Harper's G8 "Muskoka Initiative" on child and maternal health prohibited funding of abortion services, despite their life-saving importance to women around the world.


In Canada many women take for granted that we have the legal right to control our body, including whether or not we continue with a pregnancy, but the Harper government doesn't think women in other countries deserve that right. And despite their claim that they are not "reopening the abortion debate," their actions say clearly that they do not care about reproductive or sexual health. We know you care. That's why your vote matters.

Find your riding, show up (even if you don't have a voter card, you just need ID with your current address), and vote for a government that cares about your sexual and reproductive health.

Tag(s): Feminism, Gender, health promotion, HPV, Sexual Health, Sexuality Rights, Social Justice, Youth

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