by Marissa Poisson
I enjoy a good game of Taboo more than the next person, but I like to be able to speak freely outside of party games. Unfortunately, it seems as if much of our society is holding a Taboo card that looks something like this:Despite all the controversy about the decision to exclude abortion from the G8 maternal and child health initiative, much of Canada has had a proxy debate, a debate about whether we should reopen a debate that has never really been settled, rather than a hard look at the reality of abortion. Is it above our pay grade to even ask when human life begins? Why not look into how women who have had abortions are faring? What about valuing the act of love it is to choose adoption and questioning the incoherence of publically funding both abortion and fertility treatments? If women are solely responsible for exercising choice, are men not free to be irresponsible? Why can we kill a fetus when it would be viable outside the womb but not a baby born prematurely?
If abortion was covered in the Canadian edition of Trivial Pursuit, a majority of Canadians wouldn’t be able to answer the most basic questions. What protection does the law offer the unborn child? (None throughout all nine months of pregnancy.) How many abortions are carried out annually in our country? (About 100,000.) How can we begin to discuss sex‑selective or post-genetic-screening abortions without widespread awareness of basic facts like these? We need to wake up to the fact that abortion is anything but a trivial matter. Canadians need to know what it is they’re talking about and have an honest debate because we shouldn’t be playing games with human life.