Friday, April 29, 2011

Should we count the deaths of wanted unborn babies who are stillborn?

C-FAM says (in relation to a new study by the Medical Journal Lancet) that:
"Nearly three million children die every year during labor and delivery or in the weeks just before birth, more than all deaths by HIV/AIDS. The UN does not even count them. A new study says abortion politics is one reason why"

C-FAM's Susan Yoshihara continues:
"One of the reasons stillbirth remains “in the shadows,” is because of pro-abortion sentiments, the report says. The World Health Organization (WHO) does not count unborn children who die before 28 weeks as stillborn, even though stillbirth of viable 22-week babies is common in the developed world. Shoring the data gap could lead to a 40% increase in the number of recorded stillbirths.

Lancet’s editor, Richard Horton, says not counting these children denies parents “the gravitas their grief demanded,” but “when one considers that in many countries abortion is allowed up to and sometimes beyond 24 weeks, one can begin to understand authorities’ reluctance to pursue the point.” Horton nevertheless finds no dilemma: “Every woman has the right to a safe abortion…but she also has the right to have the death of her [wanted] baby counted.”

One of Horton’s strongest adversaries in his quest to advance better data has been the pro-abortion lobby. They opposed him last year when he published an independent study challenging WHO data and methodology on maternal health statistics they had been using to promote abortion."
What I'd like to know is--would Joyce Arthur of the Abortion Rights Coalition agree with the Lancet editor, that these deaths should be recognized?

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Abortion, the election, and the newspaper editor

“Hey boss, I just received another letter about abortion. Do you want to see it?”

“For heaven’s sakes, do those pro-lifers ever take a break? Do they ever come up for air? No I don’t want to see it.”

“But this one makes a good point. She says that MPs who say all women voters agree with abortion--are wrong. That there are some women out there, who are pro-life and can speak for themselves, thank you very much.”

“Who cares? We know the abortion debate is dead. Why do these religious fanatics insist on talking about abortion all the time?”

“Well, she isn’t saying anything religious. She just doesn’t think people should appoint themselves as spokeswoman for her views. She wants to give her own point of view. And that’s what we are in the business of, discussing all points of view, right?”

“Of course we are, but everybody knows the abortion debate isn’t going anywhere. The feminists won’t give up their abortion rights.”

“But there’s no such thing as abortion rights. That is, no constitutional right to abortion anyway.”

“Whatever. This election is about real issues. The economy, jobs, Quebec. None of the politicians are talking about abortion.”

“Brad Trost did...I don’t know, but people who are against abortion believe that the unborn person is a human being. That it’s not just a bunch of cells. What do you think a fetus is?”

“It doesn’t matter what I think. I need to get a paper out, not debate abortion.”

“But if people can’t debate abortion in the newspapers, where can they debate it? Stephen Harper won’t allow it debated in Parliament. The Universities won’t allow it debated on campus. That pretty much leaves the media. That’s just about the only place left for them to have their say. You know like, in letters to the editor? That’s what we do, isn’t it boss? Discuss and debate all subjects, right? No other subject is off limits in an election. Why is abortion?”

“I don’t have time for this. Delete the darn letter.”

Monday, April 25, 2011

It's a funny world for the pro-abortions

Oh boy, the pro-abortions are at it again.

Joyce Arthur thinks that a Harper majority would threaten "abortion rights". First of all, as everybody already knows, there is no such thing in Canada as "abortion rights". Women simply do not have a constitutional right to abortion.

Second, (red herring alert) Stephen Harper has repeatedly stated he would never reopen the abortion debate. And he keeps on saying it over and over and over again. He even said it again last week.

Then Arthur goes on to say that the Conservative government:
"cancelled universal childcare and pay equity".

Say what? We never had universal childcare in this country. So how could the Conservatives cancel it?

As for pay equity, the Conservatives created the "Public Sector Equitable Compensation Act" which:
"For unionized employees, the Act makes employers and bargaining agents jointly accountable through the collective bargaining process for ensuring that compensation is equitable. Each and every time a collective agreement is negotiated, the employer and the bargaining agent will be required to report on how they intend to address equitable compensation matters. For non-unionized employees, employers alone will be responsible for ensuring equitable compensation and preparing equitable compensation reports proactively."

Nope, pay-equity wasn't cancelled. Just made more--equitable. Oh well never mind, just don't confuse me with the facts.

Then Arthur says:
"please consider voting strategically to ensure that the Conservative candidate does not win." and refers the reader to a site called the Catch22 campaign. This site identifies who one should vote for if they want to vote strategically against the Conservatives.

One of the candidates on the site is Paul Szabo, a pro-life Liberal MP. Good choice, Joyce.

At the end of her piece Arthur brings up the Conservatives refusal to include abortion in their maternal G8 maternal and child health initiative last year. She says:
" is wrong and hypocritical for our government to take an official position that denies the right to life for countless desperate women who risk their lives by resorting to abortion."

So let me get this straight. It's wrong to deny right to life for women, but it's okay to deny right to life for the unborn?

Welcome to the world of the pro-abortions' moral relativism creed.

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 Québec...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?

Friday, April 15, 2011

Quebec Minister shows political disrespect to pro-life groups

As reported in the Montreal Gazette, it is disturbing that a Canadian Provincial Health Minister would publicly state that he made a mistake in funding (from his discretionary budget) a pro-life group, and that he would not have done so if he had known they were pro-life.

We should all be outraged at this elitist behaviour, regardless of whether you are pro-life or pro-choice.

If the funding had come out of Minister Yves Bolduc own pocket, fine. But it didn't. And it may have been his budget, but it's our money. And it's not just the Quebec taxpayers' money, but all taxpayers because of transfer payments from the rest of Canada to Quebec.

Many of our politicians, including Mr. Bolduc, continue to insist that the abortion debate is closed, when it most certainly is not. They seem to enjoy ignoring the approximately 60% of Canadians who consistently tell us in polls that they want protection for the unborn. Protection that is offered by organizations such as naître ou ne pas naître.

Are pro-life people uneducated, uninformed, unimportant, or in some other way unqualified for inclusion in Mr. Bolduc's elite circle of budget decision making largesse?

This disconnect between what the people want and what the politicians will give us, shows a serious lack of democratic respect towards the voting public in this country.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

The Making of a Myth (or how the result of the election will "prove" Canadians don't want to debate abortion)

The result of this election will "prove" that Canadians don't want to reopen the abortion debate. Here's how:

As we get closer to election date, the opposition (as they do in every election) will smear the Conservatives with Mr. Harper's supposed "scary hidden agenda" to recriminalize abortion and send women back to the dark ages and back-alley butchers, despite Mr. Harper's repeated promises not to reopen the abortion debate (Peter Mansbridge interview and Charles Lewis article)

If Mr. Harper doesn't win his majority, he will blame it on the opposition's fear-mongering about abortion, thus "proving" Canadians don't want to debate abortion and are happy with the status quo (limitless and completely funded by the Canadian taxpayer).

The irony is, of course, that Mr. Harper could lose his chance at a majority precisely because he adamently refuses to allow a debate on abortion (i.e. enough social conservatives may just decide to stay home and not vote).

If Mr. Harper wins a majority, he will say this "proves" that he was right to promise not to reopen the abortion debate, because such assurances have attracted more "liberal minded" people to vote for him (taking for granted the social conservative vote because who else are they going to vote for, right?).

In reality, there will be no way to know whether Mr. Harper's promise not to reopen the abortion debate and/or the opposition's fear-mongering will have had anything to do with the final outcome of the election without knowing the reasons why people voted the way they did, or didn't vote. But that's not going to stop anyone who doesn't want an abortion debate from using the election results to "prove" in perfect post-hoc fashion that Canadians don't want an abortion debate.

To sum up: If Mr. Harper wins his majority, the story will be that it was because he effectively quashed any fears he'd reopen the abortion debate.

If Mr. Harper loses, the story will be that it was because the opposition was effective at scaring Canadians into believing he would ban abortion.

Either way, the mythology that Canadians don't want to reopen the abortion debate (and by extension that it's political suicide for any politician to try to) is strengthened and perpetuated.