[Abortion] isn't nearly as inflammatory now as it used to be. The general population, and the media, are way ahead of the politicians and the partisans who advise them. The war for abortion rights in Canada is receding ever further into history and, concurrently, the slogans and stridency necessary during that war seem ever more overwrought to younger generations when they're used against people who are, for example, simply uneasy about abortion.
Mr. Hudak's 1995 statement on abortion isn't particularly extremist, and it does nobody much good to pretend otherwise. The belief that politicians can't talk about abortion comes from the same font of conventional wisdom that says they can't talk about other important things - notably health care, immigration and First Nations issues. It's not true, and we'd be better off realizing it.
It's a good news, bad news scenario.
The good news is that we can talk about abortion now. Nobody is going to crucify you in the public square for opposing abortion, in and of itself.
The bad news is that pro-lifers keep voting for these do-nothing pro-lifers, in the vain expectation that this will somehow do the cause some good.
Only when we start demanding more of our politicians will advance the pro-life cause.
Now, you might be saying to yourself: if we vote for someone who might do something, then the voters might rebel.
Quebec has a very interesting perinatal policy, which was drafted by Phillippe Couillard, former Quebec Liberal Health Minister, one of the most pro-abortion politicians ever to seat in a legislature (he tried to recruit late-term abortionists!)
Here's another idea: what if the Ontario government bought airtime for anti-abortion spots.
For instance, something really straight forward like: abortion takes a human life.
And that's all they did.
Now a government ad doesn't change the world, but it would be culturally significant.
There are other things that could be done, too.
But nobody wants to do anything.
I suggest one of the reasons is that pro-lifers have allied themselves with people who are strongly supportive of abortion.
You can't fight abortion with people who support it. You can ally yourself with people who don't care about abortion, because they won't stop you, but you can't share the same party with people who support abortion, and expect there to be progress.
Pro-lifers, you have to demand more of politicians, and not just hope for power. If power is what it's all about, you might as well re-elect McGuinty.