Mar 11 2008
This link will take you to a commentary written by a CBC French service journalist on an investigative report he filed for TV show Enquêtes (French for “investigations”).
I caught the end of this report last week on Radio-Canada. They interviewed a Quebec-based abortion provider on the practice of late term abortions in the province. He told the camera that women needing abortion services (I dislike writing these two words together: I don’t think abortion is doing women any service) after 24 weeks are flown to American clinics all expenses paid by Quebec’s health insurance plan. At some point in the interview, journalist Alain Gravel asked Dr. Guimont about the ethics of ending the life of fetuses who are viable and who basically look like full term babies. The question went a little like this: “But here you have this baby … – catching himself – uh, fetus …” I said “Ah-Ha!” and my husband thought I was watching some kind of game show. The abortion doctor replied: “In Canada, to have a crime of murder, you need a person, a legal subject. The Supreme Court was clear: the fetus is not a person, therefore, there is no murder, no crime.” He added: “The dimension that is missing from your analysis is the dimension of the women. Whether late term abortion is right or wrong is irrelevant: women who want it need it and this is all that should matter. The woman has rights, the fetus doesn’t.” (I am translating quite freely here).
Dr. Guimont intervention made me reflect on imagination in the abortion debate. Dr. Guimont’s imagination forms reality according to its legal definition. His eyes may see a viable, fully-formed, human baby but he has trained his brain to see something else, something disposable, an infringement on women’s rights to life and security. My pro-life eyes see a zygote and imagine a baby. But my zygote will turn into a baby. No amount of magical legal thinking will turn a late-term unborn infant into a legal construct.