Monday, December 29, 2008

Joyce Arthur Speaks for Herself

Canadians have the right to debate abortion, no matter how terrified the pro-abortion lobby may be

Despite numerous efforts by the pro-abortion lobby -- and by politicians too afraid to stand up to them -- it seems there are still MPs on Parliament Hill who want to debate the issue of abortion.

And Joyce Aurthur of the Abortion Rights Coalition of Canada doesn't like it.

For her own part, Aurthur blames it on the Conservative party. Most of the Conservative party's MPs, she insists are "publicly anti-choice" (buy which she actually means anti-abortion).

"It's something that the Conservative party is out of touch with because Canadians don't want to go back to the abortion debate," Arthur insists. "People are happy with the status quo. It's working well."

But what she must mean by that is that she and her cohorts in the pro-abortion lobby are happy with the status quo and don't want to go back to the abortion debate. Some of them steadfastly insist that there is no debate.

But they and Aurthur are wrong. There are a great many Canadians who recognize the necessity of finally having this debate in Canada.

Rod Bruinooge, the Conservative MP for Winnipeg South, is much closer to the truth when he notes that this debate hasn't really ended. No matter what individuals such as Aurthur may prefer, this debate is ongoing. "I think the debate is ongoing," Bruinooge said. "We need to have a starting point of debating whether or not abortion should be legal right up until the moment of birth."

Bruinooge notes that there are members of each party on what he describes as an informal Parliamentary committee, although we won't identify any of them, insisting that each member should "present their personal philosophy on this issue."

Not that such an act wouldn't be politically perilous for these particular individuals. One may recall the outrage directed at NDP Peter Stoffer when he voted in favour of Bill C-484 -- the Fetal Homicide Bill -- being referred to committee for discussion.

Some of the most fervent believers in the pro-abortion lobby insisted that Stoffer should be cast out of the NDP caucus -- and this was just for voting in favour of the bill in questions -- which actually contained protections against the bill being applied to cases of abortion -- should be talked about.

The mini-controversy that emerged when Macleans Magazine columnist Andrew Coyne wrote a column advocating the reopening of the abortion debate.

Coyne never really advocated a particular stance on the issue -- he only noted that democratic debate is necessary to establish a legitimate consensus.

Yet the response to Coyne's column alluded to a significant fear of an actual debate. Robert Baglow, for example, ruled debate out of the question because to do so would be to "gamble on a woman's right to choose".

As Coyne himself noted, a debate on abortion would be emotional to the point of sheer savagery. It would give the most irrational denizens of each side -- the pro-abortion and anti-abortion lobbies -- an opportunity to seize the spotlight and draw attention to themselves.

And it's almost certain that many from each side simply will not tolerate a "third-way" abortion debate.

But Canadians have the right to debate abortion -- whether it's under rational pretenses or otherwise -- if they so choose. That's part and parcel of living in a democracy wherein our freedoms of speech and expression are legally protected.

To allow the pro-abortion lobby -- who are so content to slur their opponents with meaningless and nonsensical epithets such as "anti-choice" -- to curb sucha debate out of simple fear of losing would be unconscionable.

Rod Bruinooge's courage in raising the issue should be recognized and saluted, just as Joyce Aurthur's intellectual cowardice should be recognized and condemned.

Other bloggers writing on this topic:

Nick Taylor-Vaisey - "Abortion: Why Not Open the Debate?"

Jesse Ferreras - "MP Wants to Put Abortion Back in Limelight

Justin Hoffer - "Abortion Debate Reopening"

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