Things in the abortion world in Canada are heating up. Progressives have re-engaged the public in Prince Edward Island, Canada’s tiny island province, with respect to the complete lack of abortion services on the Island. All women have to ship out for their abortion to either New Brunswick or Nova Scotia. The abortion is paid for if it is at a hospital, but not the travel costs. The current Liberal politicians (I use the word loosely…) have decided to chicken out keep the status quo rather than piss off the right-wing. I suspect we will hear from the new pro-choice group again soon.
Meanwhile in Ottawa, half a dozen (white, male) anti-choicers are screaming about Canada’s “400 year old law” (Newsflash: Canada is less than 200 years old!) and wanting to re-examine the discussion about the “rights for the unborn,” all the while expertly avoiding using the dreaded A-word. Canada’s current Prime Minister has promised not to re-open the abortion debate but everybody on the Left know he has something up his sleeve. Harper controls the Conservative caucus like Kim Jong-Il controlled North Korea. That is to say: nothing happens without his approval. The fact that half a dozen MPs have issued press releases over the past few months, decrying the state of “human rights” in Canada (ironic coming from the Government that happily handed over Afghan detainees knowing they would be tortured) because a fetus doesn’t become a baby until it is born and the umbilical cord is cut, means he is aware and tacitly approving. All these men are back-benchers, meaning they are not within his cabinet. As a result, I foresee Harper claiming his has no control over these men, which is utter bullshit.
If you are in the riding of one of these anti MPs, please send them a letter letting them know that women’s human rights are not up for discussion!
In other news, the Student Union at the University of New Brunswick in Fredericton has denied club status to a ‘pro-life’ group (Warning: Links to anti-abortion LifeSite) on the basis that,
…it would be a “single issue” club with “political will or intention,” that it would be “contentious” and “inviting debate,” and that it would be a source of “misinformation” regarding “post-abortion counselling.”
So long as the Student Union applies this criteria across the board and is not simply finding a reason to deny this group, I am okay with the decision. But if they are simply fishing for reasons to deny them status, I think I have an issue with it. While they are not technically government, I do not believe that driving this group underground will be of any benefit. I would rather this group be out in the open where their stance can be openly criticized. If they are in fact engaging in misleading women though Crisis Pregnancy Centres or showing up at the Morgentaler Clinic in downtown to harass women, then good, deny them funding. But if they simply want to have members, meet and enjoy the benefits for being a club, then I disagree with the Student Union. Disagreeing with their ideas is not sufficient grounds for denying them status; they must behave in a manner that violates some universal code of conduct for clubs.
I am a big believer in free speech. While every right has its limits, denying club status to a group just because you disagree is not appropriate; free and open discussion is important. It will be interesting to see how this progresses.