At the University of Waterloo last week, Conservative MP Stephen Woodworth was scheduled to speak to a group of students at an event organized by the Students for Life campus club. Unfortunately, a group of students shut down Mr. Woodworth's speech by shouting him down, until he was left with no choice but to cancel the event.
A considerable number of attacks on freedom of speech and freedom of thought suggest that we are a much weaker country than we believe ourselves to be. We no longer value diversity but prefer assimilation. If you disagree with the consensus, you will suffer the wrath of the despotic majority.
The word "abortion" seemed to cast a hypnotic spell over MPs who spoke against Motion 312 in the Parliamentary debate, causing them to suspend thoughtful analysis and abandon time-honoured Canadian values and institutions.Canadians across our land are beginning to realize the damage to our democratic institutions and principles being done by those whose single-minded, intransigent and extreme preoccupation with protecting our abortion practices leads to abandon essential Canadian ideals.
Wednesday evening was a perilous moment for every person with a uterus in Canada and elsewhere. In a country where we are applauded for not having legal restrictions on abortion, Parliament voted on M312, which was defeated 203-91. Though the motion claimed to be in the interest of equality for everyone, nowhere did the word woman, womb, fetus, uterus, or (heaven forbid) vagina appear in the motion. The person who should have been fighting the hardest Wednesday night was the Minister for the Status of Women, Rona Ambrose. Instead she sucker-punched everyone in this country who hopes and expects to be treated in accordance with their charter rights and as a person, by voting yes.
Many saw Rona Ambrose's vote as the opening salvo in an effort to unwind the long-established principle of a woman's right to choose, and a terrible betrayal by Ambrose, who should now be called the minister in charge of turning back the clock. None of this was terribly surprising, since women seem to have been coasting on autopilot when it comes to protecting the rights we have gained, much less advancing the cause of equality and fairness going forward.
A lot has been made of Rona Ambrose's support for Motion 312, and her justification that she has concerns about sex selection abortion. I admit that it's difficult for me to support the abortion of an otherwise healthy fetus, simply because it has XX chromosomes. But I don't think that limiting womens' access to abortion is a productive answer.Why not look at the root of the problem? Health Canada's hastily-enacted policy, which prevents sex selection during artificial insemination. If Minister Ambrose truly cared about both a woman's right to choose and wanted to prevent sex-selective abortions, why wouldn't she try to remove this restrictive policy instead?
One of the most contentious issues facing the 41st Parliament is Motion 312. My feelings on the abortion issue are complex and have evolved over time. I have come to the conclusion after years of deliberation and inner debate that I am both Pro-Choice and Pro-Life.
The Prime Minister himself has said he will not open the abortion debate. This goes as far as the PMO working to strongly encourage members of parliament to vote against MP Steven Woodworth's bill -- that asks our government to review the definition of when a child become a human being -- though that doesn't look to be stopping some members. If Prime Minister Harper is not interested in opening the abortion debate, and if this was only a private member's motion to create a committee -- the least threatening and most common of all government workings, then what makes Motion 312 important?