Last month, Stephen Harper decided that no foreign aid will fund abortions. He declared that he doesn’t want to reopen the abortion debate, but that is exactly what he’s doing while at the same time sending the message that Canadian laws don’t really mean much.
He’s also dictating who should and shouldn’t live.
From the Toronto Star, May 15, 2010: “In countries where access to abortion is permitted for a wide array of reasons, the procedure is generally safe. In South Africa, infection from abortion decreased by 52 per cent after the law was liberalized in 1996.”
Denying women the right to a safe procedure (the same rights women in Canada currently benefit from) goes beyond a political, social or religious agenda. It’s murder, plain and simple.
Tens of thousands of women in foreign countries die each year from unsafe or botched abortions while people who believe in virgin births and divine resurrection strut around Parliament Hill as if they wrote the book on saving lives.
According to Section 223 of the Criminal Code: “A child becomes a human being… when it has completely proceeded, in a living state, from the body of its mother, whether or not (a) it has breathed; (b) it has an independent circulation; or (c) the navel string is severed.”
Perhaps there should be groups on the Hill wearing sandwich boards declaring NOT UNTIL YOU’VE TAKEN A BREATH!
But again there’s a misunderstanding here. Read between the lines of the laws. It doesn’t seem very likely that a woman will carry a fetus nearly to term and suddenly decide it’s a bad idea. Putting up with swollen feet, a sore back and unshaven legs shows some dedication. But should a woman who’s put up with all that and much more be told her life may be in danger upon delivery, then the government steps aside to allow her to make a horrifying and painfully difficult choice between her own life and the potential life of her child without condemnation.
This is to say nothing of the majority who abort soon after conception when the fetus is nothing more than a collection of cells, a zygote, and nothing more. Which, I’ve been assured, is still a horrifying and painfully difficult choice to make.
It’s not likely many people know where to draw the line on when exactly a human life begins. There’s no fine line in this muddled grey haze. But no government and no organization has any right to tell anybody – no matter what the circumstance may be – that their own life is forfeit.
It’s no doubt that after years of side-stepping the issue, Harper’s decision not to re-open the abortion debate by re-opening the abortion debate is really just the tried and tested ace up the sleeve for Tories for gaining momentum at a time when their poll numbers are falling fast. And the only genuine thing about Harper is his insincerity, not only on the issue of abortion, but the laws he’s meant to uphold.
Just over 40 years ago, contraception was decriminalized in Canada. Before then it was illegal to sell, distribute or even advertise birth control because it was obscene, "tending to corrupt morals
According to the Canadian Encyclopedia, it was decided that “Birth control could free women from debilitating annual pregnancies and reduce the incidence of illegal abortion. It could improve marital relations, maternal and child health, and family welfare.”
It is now shown that legal, safe abortion procedures save tens of thousands of legally recognized “human beings” a year from death.
If Stephen Harper and the Conservative government, “pro-life” activists or Christian fundamentalists want to make themselves feel better about saving lives, then they should simply and without political pandering, or self-righteous religious conviction: Stop. Killing. Women.