Thursday, June 05, 2014

Does Justin Trudeau Know What He’s Supporting?

Picture by  Joshua Sherurcij

Justin Trudeau’s decree excluding pro-life candidates from running for the Liberal party nomination has provoked a lot of reaction, but curiously, few pundits have wondered about the substance of the policy he is supporting. Only Sun News journalist Marissa Semkiw bothered to ask Trudeau a question on abortion. She asked him what he would say if he were faced with a case of sex-selection abortion. "I will leave discussions like that between a woman and the health professionals that she encounters,” he said. "I don't think the government should be in the business of legislating away people's rights.”

You get the feeling this is what Trudeau might answer to any question on the subject, so as to avoid giving the politically wrong answer. Sex-selection abortion is a horrific act but there are practices that are equally disturbing, and many Liberals would recoil if they knew some of the things being done in the name of “Choice” in this country.  Would he?   Does he know, for instance, that second trimester abortions— known as Dilation & Evacuations or D & E's— involve dismemberment? Is he not bothered by the fact that unborn babies have their arms and legs ripped off in the name of bodily autonomy? Does he realize that fetuses in the late 2nd trimester— after 20 weeks— can feel pain? These questions are all the more troubling because second-trimester abortions are not marginal phenomena in Canada, like female feticide is. Thousands of these procedures are performed in clinics in Ottawa, Toronto and Montreal, and in hospitals across the country.

Even more galling is the issue of post-viability abortions—after 24 weeks gestation.  In my opinion, their single most gruesome aspect— besides the fact that they are done at all— is that they involve injecting potassium chloride either into the umbilical or into the baby's heart. The standard rebuttal is that these babies suffer from lethal anomalies anyway, so it doesn't matter— as if that's an excuse to induce such a cruel death. The reality is that while perhaps most babies who are terminated after 24 weeks suffer from a serious anomaly, not all do. Renowned ethicist Margaret Somerville related to me in an email two late-term cases for which she had been consulted. One involved a graduate student from another country who wanted an elective abortion at 32 weeks. Another concerned a couple whose 34-week-old baby had a cleft palate. Both pregnancies were terminated.

Normally, women seeking elective late-term abortions are sent at taxpayer expense to clinics in the United States to have the procedure done. However, certain categories of women for whom travel is difficult, such as teenagers and women with criminal records can have them done in Canada if they are persistent and talk to the right people. We know, for instance, the CLSC des Faubourgs and Ste. Justine Hospital, both in Montreal, do service those populations.

In the fact of these horrific facts, it has to be asked: is this part and parcel of his Liberal values?  Must every Liberal candidate have to be willing to vote against every restriction? Is this what Justin Trudeau really stands for? Dismemberment. Late-term abortions. Fetal pain. Sticking needles in babies' hearts.