We are on the precipice of voting in a new right in Parliament. A right that feminists have struggled for in the name of reproductive rights.
Feminists have struggled to actualize the phrase “my body, my choice.” Today, almost every reproductive choice is open to everyone: eugenic selection, sex-determination, gene selection from multiple parents, mass embryo creation to select the ones with the most potential, selective reduction on demand, commercial surrogacy. All these gains we have made to achieve reproductive freedom.
Today, Parliament will vote to eliminate all restrictions on infant euthanasia. The final gain we need to make to have absolute control over our own bodies.
What happens if you order a baby and that baby didn’t quite turn out? What happens if the baby is born with a debilitating disability or a facial deformity? Did you (or a surrogate) just gestate a pregnancy for nine months without getting what you want? Ultrasound doesn’t always catch everything. Neither do prenatal screenings. If parents create a baby to specifications and the clinic fails to produce them, are they to live with the results of someone else’s incompetence?
The anti-choice movement, those Charlie Browns of Canadian politics—who have lost every single battle they have ever fought—are setting themselves up against women yet again. They want to shame and guilt-trip women for making this often heart-wrenching and painful choice of euthanasia for their child. They want to make it sound like people are cruel for choosing what’s best for them and their baby.
Let me ask you this: should a child grow up unwanted? Because that's what will happen if the child doesn't meet the parents' specifications that they demanded at the clinic. The parents will always see in the undesired traits the wound of the injustice of not being presented with the baby they asked for, as is their right.
Parents should unconditionally love their children, but some don’t, and it’s unrealistic to expect them to. Should any child live have to live with the reality that their parents don’t love them? That’s cruel!
And people like to harp on about the right to life, but that issue was settled decades ago. Infants are not necessarily persons. What is the developmental difference between a third trimester fetus and a newborn? Nothing. Third trimester fetuses aren’t persons, so logically newborns aren’t either. They're developmentally identical. Besides, infants are often euthanized for their own good because of life-threatening defects. This would be the same thing, with the same goal: that of sparing the child a life of misery and pain.
It goes without saying that quality of life matters far more than biological life. Anti-choicers still haven’t understood this yet. What good is a right if it leads to a life of pain? You might as well not have it at all.