Another letter to the SOW committee.
"Dear Members of the Status of Women Committee,
Rachael Harder, like all Canadians--and all Parliamentarians--has a right to be treated with respect. Walking out on her for holding views about abortion that are contrary to the views of a majority who sit on your Committee, is not only disrespectful to her as a person, but it is disrespectful to all women.
It is disrespectful to all women because it sends the message that women are not allowed to think for themselves, that they must conform to the views of the majority and those who hold power, and if they do not, then they shouldn't bother getting involved in political life. "Group think" is not healthy for society. I would have hoped that by the 21st Century, we would have adopted the view that disagreements--especially in Parliament-- can be settled with respectful discussion and dialogue.
As a woman, I would have especially hoped that women would be treating other women with the kind of respect they themselves have fought hard for. Is not the "Status of Women" Committee meant to represent all Canadian women? Is not Parliament meant to represent all Canadian women?
Like Rachael Harder--and importantly, like the Supreme Court in the 1988 Morgentaler decision--I too believe that preborn human life should receive some protection. While I do not agree with everything the Supreme Court said in 1988, I do agree with the unanimous opinion expressed by the seven SCC justices that Parliament has an interest in the protection of fetal life. And I am very concerned that some Parliamentarians (including our Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau) continue to misrepresent what the Supreme Court actually said in 1988. The Supreme Court did NOT recognize a constitutional right to abortion, as even pro-choice academics have acknowledged (see http://www.morgentalerde
cision.ca/notable-quotes/ ). And so it makes it all the more unfathomable why Members of your committee would display such disrespect and contempt for those who don't support an unrestricted "right to abortion."
While some of you, or maybe even most of you, may believe that the "right to abortion" is fundamental to women's rights, it is nonetheless an opinion. It is not a fact. Some women, including myself, don't hold that opinion. And Parliament is a place where our elected representatives should be able to work collegially together and debate the diversity of views Canadians hold. And they should be able to do so as respectful adults, not as schoolyard children who pick up their toys and walk away because they don't get their own way.
Can we not treat our elected MPs, and by extension, the Canadians they serve, with the dignity and respect we all would want for ourselves?
Walking out of the Status of Women committee meeting to protest Rachael Harder's nomination as Chair was not becoming of a Parliamentarian in the year 2017. And it was not becoming of a woman.
I sincerely hope that the Members of the Status of Women Committee who walked out will apologize not only to Rachael Harder but to all the Canadian women who were made to feel like second-class citizens by your actions."
BMWell it seems the bullies got their way. Today the SOW committee elected Conservative Karen Vecchio as chair. Vecchio didn't want to be chair. What a pathetic bunch of Liberals and one NDP.
I wonder if these women teach their children to be bullies also?