Pro-choicers have long tarred opponents as mostly Catholic and fundamentalist bigots. Two magnificent women don't let them get away with this.
The National Post's indispensable Barbara Kay cites facts, figures, Danish and Finnish studies, too much for this space. Her major point: Abortion clinics (like Henry Morgentaler's money-spinners) resist giving Canadian women seeking abortion plain information. In her Oct. 4 column, she writes that she once sent a woman posing as unsure about having an abortion to three facilities, asking about the dangers. She was told to fill out a form and have the abortion the next day.
She insisted on seeing a doctor. "Each time the doctor emphatically assured her there was no downside or risks to a future pregnancy, even after multiple abortions. They lied, and they could lie, because there are no regulations around informed consent." Denmark, Finland and New York State have compulsory induced abortion registries. "That's the route we should be going" in Canada, Kay writes.
Margaret Somerville is the founding director of the Centre for Medicine, Ethics and Law at McGill University. She's long written thoughtfully on abortion. I'd sum up her Globe and Mail commentary as: Woodworth lost the battle. But he advanced the war. Strategically, pro-life moved far beyond anything since the 1988 Supreme Court of Canada decision left this nation without any abortion law at all.
"So where do we go from here?," Somerville asks. "The answer came almost immediately when B.C. Conservative MP Mark Warawa filed another motion (408): 'That the House condemn discrimination against females occurring through sex-selective pregnancy termination.'" Warawa used evidence documented in a Canadian Medical Association Journal study and confirmed by a CBC sting investigation of "recreational ultrasound" businesses.
Warawa moved the debate into a space where abortion-righters can't use the "religious (code: Christian) bigots" shtick. Or duck that some cultures, read especially East Indian, disproportionately abort female babies because they want boys. Somerville cites a study from India that followed 8,000 consecutive abortions: "Three were of unborn boys and 7,997 of unborn girls."
As I've said in the past, the conversation about women is as important to the pro-life cause as the conversation about the unborn.
As long as feminists have the monopoly on the subject of women: who they are, what they support, what's good for them, what they think and want-- then pro-lifers are at a distinct disadvantage. Because it is human nature to side with those whom you see and not with those you don't.
I've said it before, I'll say it again: we have to change the conversation about women in this country. We can't have feminists have all the space about women's rights. We can no longer allow feminists to define the parameters about what is or is not acceptable as it pertains to women. We must break their ideological monopoly.