Monday, February 25, 2008

Countering the Blog Burst on the Fetal Homicide Bill

It could be said that nothing is more infuriating to unreasonable people than reasonable ideas.

That very thought has become thematic today as a number of pro-abortion bloggers have staged a blogburst in order to denounce Bill C-484, the Unborn Victims of Crime Bill, which will be up for debate -- and a vote -- in the House of Commons this week.

Various pro-abortion activists have been bending over backwards in order to denounce the bill.

The arguments have been somewhat predictable. They argue that the bill won't protect women or unborn children. First off, they argue that this is merely a "back door" attempt to recriminalize abortion, and is thus an attack on women's rights.

But is it really so?

Well, first off, these people have clearly forgotten the law's role as a deterrent. Certainly, no law will deter all crimes, but so long as it deters even one, it has served this role.

As it pertains to abortion, the bill explicitly states that it only applies in situations where a crime has been committed. Abortion is not a crime in Canada. It's been legal for decades. So on this count alone, this particular talking point is simply counter-factual.

So clearly, the objection to the bill really can't be about abortion. It may be an excuse to push abortion as an issue to the forefront for political gain, but it's really about something else.

This seems to be revealed by the argument that the bill is an attack on women's rights. This particular point seems to intersect directly with their objection to granting "legal personhood" -- or any form of rights whatsoever -- to unborn children, or "fetuses", as the pro-abortion lobby prefers.

But is it really so? Can rights for unborn children really only come at the direct expense of their mothers, or is this merely frantic demagoguery from the pro-abortion lobby?

Well, first off, never before in history has it truly been the case that granting rights to one particular group of people has come at the expense of another group's rights.

For Canada to suddenly take this particular stance would actually have negative global implications for the advancement of human rights.

If one were to take Michael Ignatieff's word for it, Canada is a global innovator in the language of human rights. The United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights was based largely on the kind of human rights language predominating in Canada.

Canada's human rights language has always been largely progressive in nature. But it's largely progressive in nature because it concedes that human and civil rights are not a zero-sum game. In other words, it was recognized that advancing the rights of particular groups did not come at the expense of other groups.

While agitation in favour of rights has been necessary from time to time, the advancement in the rights of women, aboriginals, homosexuals and other minority groups has not come at the expense of others.

Perhaps that is the greatest perversity of the insistence on behalf of pro-abortion activists: that unborn children (or fetuses, as they prefer in the language of dehumanization) cannot have any rights without damaging women's rights.

Women's suffragists never insisted their right to vote had to come at the expense of men's rights. Nor did Dr Martin Luther King and those who fought with him in the civil rights movement suggest that their rights had to come at the expense of white Americans' rights. Those agitating in favour of gay and lesbian rights ever would have dreamed that their rights would come at the expense of other Canadians' rights.

Furthermore, these groups have been granted equal (and in some cases, more than equal, but still appropriate) rights, which have never come at the expense of another group. History itself bears out the fact that human rights are not a zero-sum commodity.

So why is it that the pro-abortion lobby insists that the rights of unborn children (or fetal rights, as they would insist) can only come at the expense of women's rights, even to the point where they suggest that crimes of violence perpetrated against them should go unaddressed by law?

Never in human history have human rights (or any other progressive cause) been advanced by refusing to prosecute criminals for the crimes they commit. Never in human history have human rights been advanced by failing to seek justice against a criminal because their victim allegedly had no rights.

Truth Commissions in Rwanda, for example, did not decline to pursue charges against Hutu militants because their victims were Tutsis (or "cockroaches" in the parlance of the day). It was recognized that all human beings were human, and all were entitled to justice.

The inverse way of thinking has already written its shameful chapters of history. To allow it to do so once again under the guise of allegedly "progressive" thinking is an offense to progressivism.

But such has become the perversity of the most extreme pro-abortion activists in Canada: apparently their crusade to dehumanize unborn children so that they may do as they wish with them at any stage of their development up until birth has become so single-mindedly dogmatic that they have managed to conjure the audacity to insist that unborn children shouldn't be protected from violence. Moreover, they've managed to conjure the audacity to insist and that those who perpetrate violence upon them (vis a vis perpetrating violence upon the mother) shouldn't be brought to justice.

They've forgotten what it means to be truly progressive, to the extent that they embrace regressive means to advance what have truly become regressive causes.

Even so far as this issue could be argued to have anything at all to do with abortion reveals the increasingly regressive nature of their cause.

What they fail to understand is that law-of-the-jungle abortion (whereby no restrictions are put on abortion in terms of time or method) is no more progressive than the criminalization of all abortion was. Both are regressive in largely the same fashion. As is the opposition to the Unborn Victims of Crime act.

Would reasonable limits on abortion, that fairly balance the rights of both unborn children and their mothers be easy to establish? Certainly not. Would the legal status of abortion be easy to balance against the fact that fetuses very much are human beings? Absolutely not.

Clearly criminalizing abortion is not the answer: it's a demonstrable, historical fact that there will be abortions regardless of whether or not it's legal to have them. The only way to keep abortions "safe and rare" is to keep them legal.

Unfortunately, all too many pro-abortion activists refuse to recognize the need for reasonable constraints on abortion. And just because it won't be easy to determine what constraints would be reasonable doesn't mean it isn't worth the effort.

But "reasonable" has to be the operative word.

Whether the pro-abortion lobby is willing to admit it or not, Bill C-484 is a perfectly reasonable response to the recent rash of attacks on pregnant women and their unborn children.

It really all comes down to the simple, fundamental role of the law: deter crime and, failing that, punish and rehabilitate the offender.

There is absolutely nothing that is unreasonable about that, even if the pro-abortion lobby isn't willing to be reasonable about it.


  1. Patrick

    The problem isn't bloodthirsty abortion fanatics determined to abort up to week 38. The problem is that not all conservatives have your attitude -- you'd be happy to have an unborn victim law and leave it at that, never go anywhere near abortion, right?

    Not everyone agrees. No social conservatives do, and I guarantee you that the second there were any fetal "personhood" rights (which an unborn victims law is the beginning of), they'd be clogging the courts with all kinds of BS lawsuits against doctors and even pregnant women, with the ultimate goal of banning abortion. Just look south of the border, their unborn victims laws have opened up a huge can of worms. While providing no deterrent and no protection. Statistics bear that out.

    That's why we (pro-choice) are so unyielding about it. That's why we can't give an inch. If all conservatives were moderate and reasonable, there might be something to talk about. Unfortunately that's not the case.

  2. I don't know who's told you what about the United States and their fetal homicide bills, but that's simply untrue.

    There has not been a single case in which charges have been brought against a mother or abortion doctor. Not a single case.

    Furthermore, no court in the land would hear a case against a pregnant mother

    Frankly, statistics do not bar out the argument that fetal homicide bills offer no form of deterrent. For one thing, you actually cannot measure a deterrent, because a crime deterred does not happen, and thus is never statistically recorded outside of an individual self-survey (one of the statistical tools used by criminologists) -- and is likely unrecorded even then.

    And to your last point, no. Absolutely not. You are so unyielding because you've wrapped up the entire issue in an ideology that, by necessity, must insist that some human beings can be allowed to have no rights.

    "One person, one voice, one count" is an absolute logical fallacy because abortion deals with not one human life, but two. That is a simple, undisputable, scientific fact, no matter what lengths the pro-abortion lobby (pro-choice and pro-life are distortions, every bit as much as anti-choice and anti-life are) go to dehumanize unborn children.

    I would have thought that, by now, the fact that I've completely and utterly, in various forums, dismantled the anti-fetal homicide bill talking points would have sunk in. Apparently not.

    I suggest you stop distorting the issue.

  3. You're shitting me, right?

  4. No. Not in the slightest.

    I refuse to buy into the premise that the pro-abortion lobby has to hold all the cards because their opponents can't be trusted. Who says the rest of us trust you any more than we trust them?

    Maybe society needs to start holding the cards on this one.


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