Joyce Aurthur, the national coordinator of the Abortion Rights Coalition of Canada has come out with an interesting response to the University of Calgary Students' Union's decision to strip the campus pro-life (better described as anti-abortion) group of its student group status:
Serves the anti-democratic bastards right.
"The pro-choice view is more legitimate because it’s democratic," Arthur announced. "[The anti-abortion] view is fundamentally anti-democratic and anti-human rights."
Apparently, in Aurthur's mind, opposition to abortion isn't merely undemocratic. It's anti-democratic.
Unfortunately for Aurthur, nothing could be further from the truth.
To suggest that opposition to abortion is anti-human rights to overlook the nature of one of the key elements of the abortion debate: namely, whether or not the unborn child is human.
Some, such as Suzanne Fortin, believe that the unborn child is human and should be afforded human rights. Others, such as Rational Reasons' Mike, insist that it isn't.
So long as any debate over the extent to which an unborn child should be considered human and thus should enjoy the protection of some of human rights is ongoing there's nothing undemocratic about debating the concept of reproductive rights. Especially when the question regarding the extent to which that concept potentially preempts someone else's human rights is still very much in question.
It would, in fact, be undemocratic to suggest that no debate should take place on an issue that very much does deal with the termination of human life. What is very anti-democratic is the pro-abortion lobby's expressed desire to shut the abortion debate down altogether.
Consider this particular polemic, published in the University of Alberta Gateway, in which Bobbie Briggs suggests that the U of A Pro-Life (better described as anti-abortion) club should be shut down merely for existing:
"Open debate over this issue is shocking to me not due to the subject matter of abortion itself, but because it’s a total disregard of women’s rights.It's been said that dissent and debate are the languages of democracy.
For a liberal atmosphere such as a university to be so saturated with images and arguments that retract the woman’s right to reproductive freedom is unbelievable, especially when one considers that it’s now 2009. It’s hard to believe that the Students’ Union would allow any organization that embody and promote the refusal of homosexual or aboriginal rights, and it’s equally unacceptable for the SU to authorize a group which exists only to overtly deny women’s reproductive freedom."
To demand that any groups that would debate the topic should be summarily shut down is truly and distinctly anti-democratic.
Briggs' ill-conceived notion of how to foment a liberal atmosphere on a University campus isn't the only distinctly anti-democratic idea in play, either. Joyce Aurthur's own ARCC insists that it should be entitled to public funding while their opponents should not.
Their rational is, essentially, that anti-abortion groups seek to rally public support on a political issue, distort the issue, use propaganda and appeal to emotion.
Yet when debating Bill C-484, the ARCC and its supporters did all of these things. They insisted that the unborn victims of crime bill wasn't about crime, but about abortion -- even though the bill expressly prohibited it being applied to cases dealing with abortion. They ignored the fact that similar bills in the United States have failed to produce the criminalization of abortion that they insisted would occur. (Ironically, they distort the issue within their very own position paper when they insist that the pro-abortion cause is "not political".)
Joyce Aurthur insists that it's "ironic" that anti-abortion activists would complain about their freedoms of expression being curtailed.
What's really ironic that Aurthur would be so quick to denounce the anti-abortion lobby as anti-democratic when she and her ARCC are themselves knee-deep in undemocratic and anti-democratic practices.
But there's absolutely no question that the irony is entirely lost on them.