Yes, I'm pro-life. Yes, I have argued here in the past there is a need to open up a debate -- not necessarily on banning the abortion procedure but how far along a pregnancy is before restrictions ought to begin, as well as to have enhanced criminal penalties for assaulting a pregnant woman (which is now the law in the case of the latter).
But a private member's motion to strike up a committee on when a human life begins? It is my opinion that this is not coming entirely from the mind of the MP in question, although he readily admitted he wants to have an "honest discussion" about abortion. Even more amazing, there'll be a second round of discussion on the floor of the House in June! To the credit of PMS, he said now's not the time to reopen the hornet's nest (although he claims his hands were tied on the tabling of the motion, saying an all-party committee randomly chose which private motions would come up for debate during this session) and he'll be voting against.
That's all well and good. But it all goes to what is sinister about social conservatism as opposed to conservatism of the progressive kind. Here's what gets my goat:
- Most of those of the political class who oppose abortion also oppose any alternatives for women in crisis. Specifically they oppose any increased social supports to make up for the fact a child is being carried to term. In fact, they already oppose taking away the social supports that currently exist -- including federal and provincial entitlement payments. This is beyond comprehension. I'm not the first to say this, but I have said it before and I'll say it again -- it's not enough to talk about family values, we need to value families.
- As well, it makes one wonder who the "socons" are appealing to -- is it their constituents (or the ones they prefer to hear from, to be more precise) -- or is it that brand of Christianity that wants to roll back the clock on women's rights, desegregation, fair labour laws and the like? It's not just the Canadian televangelists (many of whom are even worse than their American cousins in terms of financial hypocrisy); I've been in a few churches as of late where pastors have attitudes out of the paleolithic age. And I'm talking mega-churches in big cities with a large labour union history which goes to show how narrow minded some of the "little people" can be at times -- whether by choice (pardon the expression) or by being brainwashed.
- Finally, it's the good old whitewash all over again. Remember a few years back when an MP tried to reopen the abortion debate by introducing a private members bill (not just a "sense of the House" resolution as is the case here) saying that a person could be charged if he or she attacked a pregnant woman and ended up making a fetus nonviable in the process but somehow the pregnant mother survived. All pro-choice advocates, and even many conscientious pro-life people like myself saw right through it -- and thankfully the bill was withdrawn in favour of a government motion that dealt with the issue by protecting the right of a pregnant woman herself to be free from assault (which, as I note above, did in fact become law).
But an honest debate means exactly that -- discussing an issue that openly discloses what the discussion is all about and not using a proverbial Trojan horse. We know what they do to our desktops and notebooks. We certainly don't need them in our statute books or regulations.