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What comes to mind when people think of Saskatchewan? Socialism, of course. Other things too, but certainly socialism. But since Tommy Douglas left provincial politics, Saskatchewanians have wandered back and forth on the political spectrum. Saskatchewan has 14 seats in the House of Commons. There's not a single socialist bum in those 14 seats.
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.
Here's an age old riddle for you: how many old white guys does it take to editorialize on a subject that has to do solely with a woman's most intimate choice in life? Well, if you're the National Post, then four. The outrage radiating from the old white men commentariat ranges from "well, why can't we have this debate?" to "fetuses are people too, and they have rights just like you and me."
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?