"We're here to protest against those religious groups that think that abortion should be banned," said Laurence Bergeron-Michaud, expressing her horror that in the 21st century there should still be so many people so backwards that they would be against abortion. “Women have the right to choose what to do with their bodies,” she said.Since none of the other media seemed inclined to ask Ms. Bergeron-Michaud any challenging questions, I thought I’d give her a try. “The pro-lifers here would say that it’s not your body, it’s a baby, and so abortion is killing a baby. What is FEMEN’s response to that?” I asked.“Well,” she hemmed, “what are we going to say next, that you can’t kill a fish? It’s absurd.”“Sure. But the activists out there,” I said, pointing towards Parliament Hill, “would say that it’s not a fish, it’s a human being, that human life begins at conception.”I thought this was a pretty basic point, but the notion seemed to take Ms. Bergeron-Michaud entirely off guard. She shifted about uncomfortably, “Where’s the evidence…” she said, waving her hands vaguely, then trailing off. I was about to suggest that she try reading just about any biology textbook, but before I could, she abruptly added, “I have to go.”And so she turned around and walked away.
I shrugged my shoulders. To me it’s pretty obvious that it's the only question that matters: is the fetus a human being, and if it is, doesn’t that change everything? But to Bergeron-Michaud the question seemed to be a distraction. In fact, she appeared so caught off guard that I wondered if she had ever even given the question more than a moment's thought. And so, sadly, it is with many professional abortion activists: at the end of the day, they want abortion to be right because their lifestyle demands it, and so they will have it, even if that means ignoring the most fundamental question of all...even, that is, if killing another human being, their very own child, is the price of their freedom.
As I turned around to walk away, I noticed Ms. Bergeron-Michaud about fifty feet off, talking with another reporter. I guess she didn’t have to leave so urgently after all.
I've often said it, in a sarcastic voice:
"If a baby has to die in the name of bodily autonomy, then tough luck, baby! Right feminists? Right!"
That is exactly the attitude feminists have in regards to unborn babies.
Another salient point that John may not know, and you in English Canada may not know is that Quebeckers are extremely ignorant of the abortion debate.
Now I know that seasoned pro-life debaters are used to ignorance from the masses.
But I say, as someone who engages in the debate in French, the ignorance in ten times worse in Quebec, which may explain why the hostility is ten times worse there.
Many people don't understand what the big deal is with abortion.
I really mean that.
Sure they have some notion that abortion kills a human being.
But nobody has ever presented the pro-life case to them. Ever.
So, like this Femen activist, they don't have a bloody clue what to answer. They think that opposition to abortion is mindless dogmatism.
When in fact they are the ones being dogmatic.
I remember one time, during the M312 debate, I was debating a Quebecker. I showed her the face of a first trimester fetus. And she got mad at me because she assured me that it was a third trimester baby, and that third trimester babies are not aborted.
To me, that epitomized the level of knowledge of the average abortion advocate in Quebec.
A seasoned American activist would know it was a first trimester fetus, and would have answered accordingly. ("Well, there is a distinction to be made between a biological human being and personhood" -- I I know all the talking points by heart.).
Abortion is often more about what is symbolized than the actual debate itself. Many Quebeckers are sure that criminalizing abortion amounts to returning women to the kitchen. It doesn't matter that millions of Canadian pro-life women lead productive lives outside the home (and inside the home, too, I might add!) they're sure that abortion would mean the advent of the take-over of Pat Robertson and the Religious Right. A slight exaggeration, but not much.
This is why I am so adamant that we need more voices from Quebec. Because I assure you that as long as Quebeckers remained uninformed about unborn children and the right to life there will never be abortion legislation in this country.