OTTAWA - Michael Ignatieff has lobbed an abortion grenade into the midst of Prime Minister Stephen Harper's plans to become an international champion of women's and children's health.
The Liberal leader says Harper's commitment must include government aid for "the full gamut" of women's reproductive health services, including abortion and contraception.
Harper has vowed to use the G8 summit in Canada this June as a podium from which to launch a major initiative to improve the welfare of women and children around the globe.
But Liberals are worried the Conservative government is backing away from Canada's long-standing tradition of supporting women's reproductive rights under its foreign-aid program.
They say the Harper government has all but eliminated federal funding for the Canadian Federation of Sexual Health, Canada's member of the International Planned Parenthood Federation.
And they say a Tory MP has petitioned the government to cut funding to Planned Parenthood.