Friday, March 07, 2008

Sobering Thoughts: A right to abortion, but not a right to have a child

From Sobering Thoughts:

Canadian Cynic criticizes Liberal leader Stephane Dion for being absent from the vote on C-484, a private member's bill that, if passed, would recognize the unborn child as a second victim of crime when he or she is harmed during the commission of a crime against the pregnant mother. This is common-sense legislation and it is long overdue. Nearly three-quarters of Canadians support such a law. Canadian Cynic says:

"This Bill is an insult to the intelligence of Canadians and a blatant attempt to undermine the ability of women to maintain the right to bodily self determination and personal autonomy ... Mr. Dion, while I sincerely hope this Bill is killed in committee, your inaction and abandonment of Canadian women's rights has defeated any faith I might have had for your growth as a leader."

What a strange attack on C-484. Despite the bill's explicit statement that criminal sanctions only apply when a crime is committed against the mother (and abortion is not a crime in Canada), critics continue to claim that it imperils a woman's right to choose. What C-484 does in fact do, is protect the right of women who have chosen to keep their child. Canadian Cynic complains that the bill would "undermine the ability of women to maintain the right to bodily self determination"; it is not the law, but the criminal who attacks a pregnant woman and kills her unborn child that has violated her 'bodily self-determination'. Not recognizing what the mother recognizes -- the humanity of the unborn child she has chosen to keep -- abandons women's rights.

Many of the dozen pregnant women who have killed in Canada since 2000, have been targeted specifically because they were pregnant. The child was every much a target of the assault as the mother, yet Canadian law only recognizes one victim. Feminists, especially pro-choice feminists, insist the best way to deal with this is through tougher spousal abuse laws (despite the fact that not all the assailants were husbands).

Still, it seems odd that in the extremist defense of abortion rights, the pro-choice crowd feels that it must not protect the right of women who have chosen to keep their child. They do not seem to care about that choice, betraying their self-chosen moniker and proving that the term pro-abortion is much more accurate portrayal of their views.

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