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.