Tuesday, November 30, 2010

MP: Bring on the abortion debate

Stephen Woodworth, MP for Kitchener Centre:

I support efforts to encourage a calm and respectful discussion about abortion law reform in Canada, as Canadians have passionately differing views over whether our existing abortion law, which declares that a child is not a human being until fully born, should be reformed.

Many Canadians have decided that this question is too unpleasant to think about, much less talk about. This is because people on both sides have made it unpleasant with heated rhetoric. Until we convince Canadians that it's not a burden to deal with this issue, people will continue to recoil from what is really a healthy discussion. There is plenty of medical and scientific evidence that can help us to answer the question whether or not our law is correct to say that a child is not a human being before birth, and therefore not deserving of human rights. There are modern principles of human rights which can be brought to bear. Difficult truths can always be tempered with sensitivity.

The alternative is to perpetuate a chill on national dialogue that will serve to perpetuate the status quo. Whose goal is that?

While it's true that heated rhetoric can make the abortion debate unpleasant, I think the nature of the debate is such that people will feel a personal stake in it and emotions will run raw.

That doesn't mean we shouldn't be grown up about it and try to have a respectful discussion.