The Canadian budget document, #YourBudget2018, is easily one of the more patronizing government documents I’ve ever read.
Imagine with me for a second that the budget focused so much on men. Imagine that Budget 2018 referenced men 708 times instead of women. Men — we need to coax you into nursing! Men — not enough of you are kindergarten teachers! Men — don’t take time off with your children when they are young! Men — you can’t choose more paternity benefits — these are “use it or lose it” for women, only! If that sounds pushy, it’s because it is.
Welcome to the world of “feminism means what I say it means,” courtesy of our current Liberal government.
This article from late January by Michael Gerson gets at some important angles on the abortion debate that I had not thought about before.
It is the antiabortion movement that appeals to inclusion. It argues for a more expansive definition of the human community. It opposes ending or exploiting one human life for the benefit of another. There are heart-rending stories that prevent the simplistic application of this approach. But most of the antiabortion men and women I know have the genuine and selfless motivation of trying to save innocent lives.
Inclusion and expansion instead of exclusion and autonomy–are just some of the concepts he gets at. Worth reading.
That appears to be the case on Ryerson Campus in Toronto, where posters offering support to pregnant students caused another… kerfuffle. The student union doesn’t know what to do now, because they are worried the pregnancy support might be “anti-choice.” Does the student union understand how extreme this sounds to outside ears? Do they not believe there could even be one woman who would benefit from attention and support if she is pregnant unexpectedly and doesn’t want to abort? Have they never met anyone who was pressured to abort? These things are quite common. Must be that they live in a little ideological bubble, where all they can process are the words pro or anti-choice.
What our governments would like is for abortion to be wholeheartedly accepted and applauded. So when anyone stands up and says otherwise, they have to quash that sentiment. That’s what is happening with the new restrictions around abortion clinics and with the Canada Summer Jobs program–no one should be allowed to say abortion is a bad choice. Hence also the heavy dose of Charter talk–abortion rights are nowhere in it, but maybe if we talk about them in that way, we can make it so?
The fact that there are, in the case of the bubble zone regulations, such strong punishments associated with free speech in the bubble zone shows just how brittle the pro-choice side is. On the one hand, women going to get abortions are freestanding, independent and strong–they’ve made their decision, so pro-choicers would lead us to believe. On the other hand, a flyer, or simply seeing someone with a sandwich board condemning abortion apparently causes such distress that it can’t be had for 50 metres outside the clinic.
So which is it?
We pay for abortion. We fund pro-choice groups. We don’t give real medical information to women considering abortion (Watch the movie Hush, please). And in this climate, we say that pro-lifers need to be Even Further Stigmatized?
I think pro-lifers are more effective than we give ourselves credit for. I also think the inclination of Canadians is more pro-life than even pro-lifers realize. The stats show the mushy middle leans toward wanting restrictions on abortion in certain circumstances. Only 16% of Canadians think abortion is acceptable at any time. That leaves a whole lot more Canadians who are conflicted. And that is a scary thing for pro-choice people–got to ramp up the propaganda campaign.
The spice of life is cinnamon, by the way. Here’s a story in which I recount a fun Costco encounter, leading to a discussion of defending life in the womb. Published in Convivium.
A slightly re-written version of the Convivium article by Faye Sonier and myself posted on Huffington Post. I’m grateful for their willingness to engage both sides of the Canada Summer Jobs
There are many hostile thoughts below the piece. Few of them constitute an actual argument, however. Very few engage the thinking in the piece, or mention the concept of competing rights. And God bless the lone man for stating over and over that abortion is killing and therefore not a choice. Wouldn’t you know it–he gets slandered for being backward because he is Muslim (which incidentally, the rude commenters are guessing at. It may be a reasonable guess, because he comments under the name Muhammed, but we don’t know this for sure.)
Witness the grosteque face of “diversity” among those who pat themselves on the back for being “progressive” and “tolerant.”
There are, in fact, numerous democratically legitimate arguments against declaring abortion a right. In the early days of the abortion debate, “the clump of cells” argument worked. Not so in an ultrasound era. In the early days of the abortion debate, stigma was attached to having a child “under the wrong circumstances.” Not so today. Surveys and polls today consistently show more women than men lean pro-life. Abortion, an issue that was supposed to be “settled,” is as hotly contested as it ever was.
Just not to our bold “women’s rights” campaigner of a prime minister, surrounded by “yes” women in an apparent echo cabinet. Saying a falsehood over and over doesn’t make it true. Naming abortion as a right doesn’t make the choice any better.
Faye Sonier and I explain why abortion is not a right.
“Let that sink in for a moment. In Morgentaler, the Supreme Court stated that the Charter itself justifies the legislature limiting abortion access. This is a far cry from the claim that the Morgentaler decision established a right to abortion or that advocating for legislators to develop laws to protect the pre-born child is somehow anti-Charter.”
Frederica Mathewes-Green calls abortion violence and likens it to foot binding and the other ways in which we force women to conform in painful ways. Yet she is very kind and conciliatory to those who are pro-choice. You can watch her talk to a group of us yesterday on YouTube. Her story is fascinating. Today is the 45th anniversary of Roe v Wade.