A consensus on abortion?

by Paul T

There is a striking distinction to be made in recent political developments. The opposition parties are standing in full contrast against the government in regards to the funding of abortion in the G8 Maternal Health Package. The government, much to the relief of pro-lifers, is not backing down from its announced stance on rejecting funds for abortion in developing countries. These opposition parties are calling on the government to remain true to the “consensus” that has remained in Canada for 25 years. This “consensus” is supposedly pro-abortion, according to Liberal leader Michael Ignatieff.

I don’t think I could be any clearer; never, in the last 25 years of politics in Canada, has there been a “consensus” on abortion, for or against. Never has there been legal ground to promote or demote abortion services in Canada. The House of Commons had passed a bill intending to offer some legal framing in regards to abortion services shortly after the R. V. Morgentaler decision, but this legislation died in a Senate tie vote, effectively promoting a free roam on abortion services, for anyone who wanted them, at any time. What does this mean for pro-lifers and pro-choicers alike? More importantly, what does it mean for women, and their unborn children? It means a woman can receive an abortion at ANY stage in her pregnancy, even the moment before birth. The unborn child has no recognized status in the eyes of the government until it has FULLY exited the woman’s body.

Even more striking, there is no legal framing to protect women who may be coerced into having an abortion by their family, their boyfriend, or significant other, their doctor, or any person of influence in their lives. The result has been effectively a battleground over the woman’s body for anyone who wants to take part. We as a society have been so keen to give women this right to abortion, that we have completely looked past any commitment to protect women from the implications that this brings on to them by people of influence in their lives. Pro-choice activists are vehemently against any attempt to protect women in these vulnerable situations. This can be great ground to build off of as pro-lifers in an attempt to care for the woman and her unborn child at the same time.

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