Every activist probably wonders at some point whether she is doing the right things. Whether she is doing enough.
Lorne Gunter has a fine piece in today’s National Post about pro-life clubs on campus and how difficult life can be for them. The open-minded and tolerant, we are now discovering, are only open-minded and tolerant of opinions they already agree with. The same is happening all over the United States, as Evan Maloney has documented in his splendid Indoctrinate U (the film is playing in Ottawa Feb. 18).
But what really got my attention in Lorne’s piece is the advice to pro-lifers at the end of the column.
I have read scores of anti-abortion pamphlets of the kind given out by campus pro-lifers, and while I passionately defend their right to distribute them, I have a friendly word of advice: Get new tactics.
Your efforts to use graphic photos of mutilated fetuses and claims of “genocide” aren’t winning you any mainstream supporters.
INDEED! While I would encourage people to see those pictures at least once – it’s important to understand what it is we’re talking about – I really don’t like the way some activists display the pictures without warning. These are deeply offensive and disturbing images (as offensive and disturbing as the procedure itself), and as such should not be thrust in anybody’s face. If pro-lifers want to hold such exhibits, they should have the right to do so. But not right where people (including children) will just stumble upon them.
As the late Madam Justice Bertha Wilson wrote in the judgment, a woman has a right to continue or terminate a pregnancy, free of state interference
Hello incomplete reporting in this Globe article today. Justice Wilson was the only justice to say that. One of seven. It wasn’t the majority view, although, thanks to reports like this, many Canadians think it was the majority view. What we need to know about the Morgentaler case is this:
The court was not asked whether or not the Charter recognizes a constitutional right to abortion and therefore has not rendered an opinion on this specific question.
Margaret Somerville in the Globe and Lorne Gunter in the Post today on a similar theme: We don’t have real freedom of expression on abortion. Therefore, we don’t have real choice. Especially appreciate Margaret Somerville saying the risks of abortion are routinely downplayed–this is something I’ve heard from medical doctors as well.
In talking with people I find they don’t quite believe me when I say freedom of speech on abortion is severely curtailed. Two articles in one day goes at least a little way toward proving my point.
This has been a major beef of mine: silence on abortion. Have a read of Barbara Kay in today’s Post. Only I’m not sure pro-life zealots deserve the blame….
…In today’s second instalment, Barbara Kay argues that most Canadians believe abortion should be restricted in some cases –but have been silenced by pro-life zealots.
In my experience, the blame lies with pro-choice zealots. Then again, I grew up in very pro-choice social circles. Perhaps if you grew up ensconced in the pro-life side of things you might feel your freedom of speech was curtailed in a different way. What’s your experience? And if we need to lay blame for the silence–where should it go?
My opinion? No need to lay blame, just break the silence.
There’s a gala event next week to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the “decriminalization of abortion in Canada.” Didn’t that happen in 1969? And “celebrate” is an odd choice of words. Women don’t celebrate abortion. We can only imagine what fun this gala will be. What do you wear to an abortion party? Go with black, I’d say. All black.
The Honourable Senator Lucie Pépin is hosting the event, alongside the usual suspects: Abortion Rights Coalition of
If you think about if for a minute these are people [pro-lifers] who really believe that abortion is murder. So if you believe that you would be a fanatic about it. Because you would think there is mass murder going on all the time in this country and what could be more important than that, to stop that. … so it is important to understand where they are coming from. …but the thing about that is that just like other elements of the right they have a very powerful story to tell which is that a fetus is a human being and they walk around with these big mangled fetus pictures…
Rebick must be very, very sure that the fetus is not a human being. Otherwise, that would be a bad mistake to make.
Cross-posted to The Shotgun.
I should go see Juno. Look at the Oscar nominations it received. Yay!
polls dating back a decade show that 18- to 29-year-olds are consistently more likely than the general adult population to favor strict limits on abortion. A Pew survey over the summer found 22% of young adults support a total ban on abortion, compared with 15% of their parents’ generation. Pew Research Center
Brigitte adds: I have to say I find the idea of kids “spiritually adopting” fetuses growing inside unknown women more than a little creepy. But yes, I’m glad teenagers are starting to oppose unrestricted abortion. I guess the Roe Effect was more than just a theory. Egad!
If you have not heard of McCorvey v. Wade, that’s because the case is called Roe v. Wade. Jane Roe is Norma McCorvey, who in 1973 would fight the case that would give a “moderately pro-life nation the most anti-life abortion law in the West.”
Anyway, Norma McCorvey, aka Jane Roe, is now a pro-life Christian. Norma McCorvey, then and now. How much would have been different had Roe v. Wade been fought by the woman Norma McCorvey is today.
I am also developing a theory–that many 1960s feminists were raised by intact families and never partook in the activities they now recommend. This develops further when you consider McCorvey never had an abortion.
I began thinking about my theory when Margaret Wente published “Summer of Love was the best of times.” In the article she describes that wonderful 1960s zeitgeist… You know, free love and all that jazz. Only that she didn’t experience any, er, free lovin’ herself.
Susan was the only girl I knew who might not have been a virgin, and I envied her audacity and her carnal knowledge. I invited a boy named Jack, a romantic, sweet-natured redhead who seemed to be madly in love with me. I was filled with equal parts of hope and fear that something dangerously illicit might happen…
I wish I could tell you that Jack and I had sex. We did not….A few weeks after my trip to Expo, I started university. To my amazement, almost everyone in my class was still a virgin.
So how many of our mentors and elders went on to advocate for dangerous behaviours they themselves never experienced? The irony.
Rebecca adds: I’ve noticed this “do as I say, not as I did” attitude a lot among the boomers. I’m thinking of some well-intentioned women I know of that generation who see no disconnect between the choices they champion for children writ large (unrestricted access to abortion, with of course no parental consent or notification, freedom to have sex from an early age, and so on) and how they raise their own children (often providing them with religious education that specifically discourages premarital sex, encouraging, if not abstinence, at least waiting until adulthood, and in horror of the prospect of ever having an unplanned pregnancy.) If you’re horrified at the thought of your own teenager having sex, or an abortion, why is it good enough for other people’s children? If you had more self-respect than to behave that way, why shouldn’t young women today?
I’m not going to review Juno, as it has been in the theatres for weeks. It’s a fun movie, well worth seeing. But my favourite line comes not three minutes in: “I’ve wanted this for a long time,” says an extremely young male voice, as Juno makes her move. You’ve wanted to have sex for a long time? Really? Like ever since your large slurpee this afternoon, right after training for track and field?
On a different note, having seen the movie, I now understand why the pro-choice crowd doesn’t like it. They’ve complained it is unrealistic. I’ll believe that when the complaints roll in over Gray’s Anatomy. Is anyone’s doctor that good looking? No, I’d say they don’t like it because Juno draws a straight line from sex, to pregnancy, to a baby. In that regard it is very–what’s the word I’m looking for–realistic.