Friday, April 22, 2011

Time to stop hiding from abortion

I don't know what all the fuss is about when MP Brad Trost thanked members of the Saskatchewan Pro-Life Association’s annual convention for their help in killing federal funding for Planned Parenthood.

Mr. Trost was in fact, doing exactly what the Prime Minister himself said we should do about abortion.

In January in an interview with Peter Mansbridge Mr. Harper responded about what he would do about abortion if he got a majority:
"I have spent my political career trying to stay out of that issue...if you want to diminish the number of abortions, you’ve got to change hearts and not laws. And I’m not interested in having a debate over abortion law."

Mr. Harper has indeed not discussed abortion in any way or attempted to make abortion illegal. Just as he has never done since he became Prime Minister. So no change there.

Mr. Trost, in talking to his pro-life Association about his petition to defund Planned Parenthood, has done absolutely nothing to make abortion illegal either. What he has done, is created a petition against Planned Parenthood, and advocated for their defunding.

Trost is attempting to "change hearts". Exactly as the Prime Minister said we should do.

The problem is that because we are not allowed to debate abortion in this country everybody gets all angsty when the topic comes up. This is ridiculous.

So why don’t we talk about abortion? Why don't we set up a commission to discuss abortion? Like Quebec did with their Bouchard-Taylor Commission to consult with Quebecers on Accommodation Practices Related to Cultural Differences.

In other words, let’s allow Canadians to have their say on abortion.

Let's practice some "civic engagement." Why don't we, as Wikipedia explains to us: "work with others in a community to solve a problem or interact with the institutions of representative democracy." Because we don't do this. Especially not in Parliament and especially not on University campuses.

All we ever have is stay-quiet-about-abortion-at-all-costs-especially-during-an-election-campaign engagement.

The purpose for the Bouchard Commission was to:
"...give rise to frank, open discussions that are tempered by reason and civility. ..We are convinced that we can make this operation a major demonstration of democracy, as we have already done on different occasions in the past... We have an opportunity to put our mark on a very important debate. It is up to us, i.e. all Quebecers, to display trust, moderation and mutual respect, imagination and daring...the public consultation is intended to...inform the Commission of the viewpoints of Quebecers of different generations, backgrounds and regions of Qu├ębec...All Quebecers are encouraged to express their viewpoints..."

Why not let Canadians, on a national level, have a public discourse about abortion? Why can't we open up the floor to Canadians so we can have our say?

All we ask is that our political leaders be the catalyst that enables us to have the debate.

Then like the people of Quebec, we too can have frank, open discussions on abortion that are tempered by reason and civility because we are convinced that we can make this operation a major demonstration of democracy and give us the opportunity to put our mark on a very important debate.

And just like Quebec, we too can say "it is up to us, i.e. all Canadians."

Mr. Harper, Mr. Ignatieff and Mr. Layton, will you simply allow us to have a commission where Canadians can discuss abortion?

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