No, Canada’s abortion debate is far from ‘settled’
May 23, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – Let’s run a little thought experiment.
Suppose I told you about a social and political issue so explosive that it brings the largest number of people each year to Parliament Hill to protest, with more than 10,000 gathering in Ottawa this year to express their discontent with the government while thousands more rallied in provincial capitals across the country.
Suppose I told you that Members of Parliament and Members of Provincial Parliament walked out of government buildings to tell the crowds that they would work hard to keep the issue alive inside the halls of power, and promised to continue fighting to see these concerns addressed.
Suppose I told you that this same issue animated the passions of so many Canadians that dozens of organizations across the country exist for the sole purpose of electing politicians to take action on that issue, to talk to and persuade Canadians on the issue, to assist men and women impacted by the issue in some ways.
Suppose I told you that the prime minister himself constantly brings the issue up, condemning organizations that disagree with his position on the issue, insisting that members of his party have to vote with his conscience on the issue, and reworking entire federal programs to target Canadians who do not hold his position on the issue.
Suppose I told you that in response to the growing number of politicians willing to speak out on the issue and the growing number of Canadians doing the same, those on the other side of the issue started up a counter-protest organization based on a dystopian TV show and playing dress-up, launching twelve chapters across Canada and recently attempting to swarm a politician they fanatically dislike.
Suppose I told you that each time the issue came up, newspaper columnists from both the Left, Right, and Center remind their readers that this issue is still unresolved, and that politicians have not only the right but a Court-mandated duty to pass legislation on that issue.
Now, does any of that sound like an issue that is “settled”? As you might have guessed, every example I cited is a real one, and the issue I am referring to is abortion. Yet, abortion activists and progressive politicians insist that this issue, which still has the capacity to animate the passions of Canadians like almost no other, is a “settled” one that will not be “revisited.” They say this, of course, while revisiting it and appearing quite unsettled about it.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and others of his ilk go as far as lying about the issue, insisting that the Supreme Court found a Charter right to abortion (it didn’t) and that Canada’s lack of laws on abortion is due the 1988 R v. Morgentaler decision (it isn’t), when in fact the Supreme Court directed Parliament to legislate on abortion, something it has yet to do. In fact, the abortion issue is by very definition an unsettled issue in Canadian politics, as Parliament has failed to fulfill the directive of the Supreme Court some 30 years on.
But we are entering federal election season again, which means we will be treated to several fresh rounds of doublespeak about abortion being a “settled issue” even as it simultaneously becomes an “election issue.” We will have to again endure the spectre of politicians promising not to reopen a debate they are quite literally having in that moment, and others insisting that “Canadians don’t want to talk about” something Canadians are talking about.
We will see some politicians act out of malice, others act out of cowardice, and most refuse to recognize that the reason Canadians are still talking about abortion 50 years after its decriminalization is because it is a horrifying act of violence against the youngest members of our human family, and that every advance in science, medical technology, and embryology has confirmed that further.
Abortion is not a settled issue now, and it never will be – because the questions surrounding how a society is to treat its children will always be with us.