So while the main stream media dance around the F35 debate as the press fight to stay one step ahead in the fight to win the 24 hour news cycle, the cons and their supporters have opened the abortion debate and try to reframe this issue.
Some progressives believe that it is ok to engage in the discussion about abortion, the cons are proposing, they are wrong. Those who think that by having this conversation they are being open minded and supporting the right of free speech, don't be fooled, this is part of a long term strategy to outlaw abortion in Canada. Having the convesation allows the right to start to re-frame the discussion in the way they want to frame it, and that reframing cannot be allowed.
We have laws that limit free speech for a reason and we are not allowed to yell fire in a theater or a closed space if there is not a fire. There are times in a democratic society when we limit free speech, this is one of those times.
Others have written on this topic and I urge you to read them (links are included here. First start by reading the following which is from the abortion rights coalition of Canada website. Their message is important for all of us to listen to and to act upon.
The Woodshed, Dammit Janet, Creative Revoluton, Dr. Dawg along with many others, all have great posts on the issue of choice and abortion, which I found interesting and useful. .
A dangerous motion has been accepted for debate in Parliament. Motion 312 (see full wording on Conservative MP Stephen Woodworth's website) calls for a Parliamentary Committee to examine whether the Criminal Code definition of "human being" should be expanded to include fetuses. This threatens to give legal personhood to fetuses and allow the re-criminalization of abortion, as well as deny the constitutional rights of all pregnant women.
Creative Revolution said on April 5th:
Harper has sworn, up and down. Sideways. That the abortion debate will not be opened again in Canada.
But his MP's, members of his party that he has such control over in everything else have other ideas.
It's time to pay up the debt to the religious right, the fanatics who have helped them get into power.
And part of that would be criminalizing abortion.
Dammit Janet said on April 4th:
Wanna fight back?
Here is ARCC's action page opposing Woodworth's Wank, aka Motion to Strip Women of Hard-Won Rights, with everything you need to fight back.
There's a link to the petition, which has just zoomed past 6900 signatures.
Link to downloadable and printable postcards to send to MPs, complete with link to an MP finder.
And there's a link to a Facebook page called 'Wombswarm Parliament' (that I can't get into because I hate Facebook), based on this US website that we blogged about here.
I also agree with Cathie from Canada and Orwell's Bastard who said on April 5th:
I am not going to "debate" about the notion of fetal rights or when life begins or whether or not women have the right to control their own bodies. That's done. Anything that purports to "reopen" such a question needs to be seen for exactly what it is: a transparent attempt to reassert patriarchal control over women's sexuality and reproductive autonomy.
Anyone who wants to have that "conversation" can go fuck themselves.The Woodshed said on April 7th:
As my esteemed colleague Dr. Dawg has put it, there are can be nuances in the abortion debate - things like the role of public funding in a private health care system and parental notification for underage girls come to mind - , but there are no grey areas in a woman's right to choose. Not to get all philosophical on you dear reader, but She either has it or She doesn't, and I defy you to prove any human does not have the right to make a choice, even, or perhaps especially, if the choice is between life and death.
Forget about abortion for a moment and consider the principle of choice more generally. We may not have a legal right to choose what we choose, whether it is the choice to drive over the speed limit, smoke marijuana or machine-gun a bus load of nuns, but we can make a choice to break the law. Some people make a choice to give up their own lives to save others (we call them heroes), others make the choice to defy or obey the law for all sorts of reasons.
We know that women will make a choice about abortion whether the law allows it or not. When it comes to abortion, other than providing an iron-clad absolute legal recognition of this right to make a choice (and thereby rendering the consequences of the choice legally valid), the only possible role any law can take is to restrict the innate right of choice.
In the case of abortion, we know that choice will be made - one way or another - by women every day. So to recognize reality and mitigate possible harm and generally promote the common good, I would argue that the progressive position should be that the state must support the right to choose -- and recognize that it is an absolute right.
Simply put if you have a moral objection to abortion - and I recognize that many do - then by all means don't have an abortion. That is your choice.