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Members of Parliament are calling on the federal government to put $1.4-billion toward maternal and child health at the G8 summit - and to include access to safe abortion.

But the Conservative members of the status of women committee calling for the all-inclusive spending were conspicuously absent from the announcement today.

The committee chair, Liberal MP Hedy Fry, says the Conservatives did not explain why they wouldn't send anyone to the announcement.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper has made it clear he does not want Canada's contribution to maternal and child health to include funding for improving access to safe, legal abortion.

But the government has not yet explained publicly how it intends to structure the so-called Muskoka Initiative so that Canadian aid won't include abortion, but other G8 countries' money can.

Maternal and child health is Harper's signature initiative for the G8 summit next week in Huntsville, Ont., and sources say Canada is putting up at least $1-billion toward the plan.

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