OpinionThu Jun 14, 2012 - 3:30 pm EST
The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms is anti-abortion, so why are we still killing babies?
June 14, 2012 (Unmaskingchoice.ca) - With the arrival of The New Abortion Caravan in Winnipeg, Manitoba, home of the construction site for the Canadian Museum for Human Rights, the time is now to demand that the museum let the pre-born children in. With over 3 million of our country’s most innocent slaughtered, supported by our tax dollars, and through all 9 months of pregnancy, Canada is guilty of its own human rights violation. And what’s bewildering is how we even got here when our country’s Charter of Rights and Freedoms is unequivocally anti-abortion.
Most prominently, Section 7 guarantees “everyone” the right to life, liberty, and security of the person. Who falls under the category “everyone”? Considering that killing a dog, while perhaps outrageous, isn’t a Charter violation, but killing a toddler is, it seems reasonable to deduce that “everyone” refers to all members of the human family. After all, that’s how the United Nations defines everyone in its Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
To exclude some members of the human family from basic rights like the right to life, is to permit discrimination, thus violating Section 15 of the Charter as well: “Every individual is equal before and under the law and has the right to the equal protection and equal benefit of the law without discrimination…based on…age.”
To deprive the pre-born their right to life because they are inside of, and dependent on, their mothers’ bodies, or because they may not feel pain, or because they cannot think and reason, is to discriminate against them based on age. After all, the pre-born are where they are because, in our species, at that age, that’s where you should be. They are as dependent as they are because, in our species, at that age, you are dependent on your mother’s body. They have a low level of development because, in our species, at that age, that’s the developmental level you should be at.
Why should those of us who are older be allowed to kill those who are younger?
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The Charter not only condemns such age-based discrimination, but it stipulates in Section 12 that “Everyone has the right not to be subjected to any cruel and unusual treatment or punishment.” Last time I checked, decapitation, dismemberment, and disembowelment were cruel and unusual treatment.
But perhaps all of this is moot—if the pre-born aren’t human beings, then none of this applies. So the question is, are the pre-born members of the human family? As long as we aren’t going to call into question the humanity of a pregnant woman or her male partner, it is illogical to call into question the humanity of their offspring. After all, how can two members of one species produce anyone but someone of their same species?
And yet, there is no denying that our Criminal Code, in section 223, says, “A child becomes a human being within the meaning of this Act when it has completely proceeded, in a living state, from the body of its mother.”
If that is true, then it would follow that an abortion at 8 months and 29 days would not be a Charter violation of the pre-born’s right to life. Yet most, if not all, would be instinctively outraged that merely the location of that almost-born child could justify her homicide. Indeed, it seems intuitive that if we want to determine what something is, we do not ask where it is, but rather, we ask what its parents are.
Women and men are human beings; thus, the pre-born are human beings. At fertilization the pre-born are growing; thus, they are alive. Sperm and egg are human parts, but at fertilization the zygote is a whole human. No adult can claim ever having once been a sperm or egg, but all adults can claim having once been a teenager, pre-teen, young child, toddler, infant, fetus, and embryo — all of which are mere labels for an age-range.
Now what of the argument that the Charter supports abortion on the grounds of a woman’s right to liberty? Well, the Charter clearly stipulates that those rights are not to be deprived of except “in accordance with the principles of fundamental justice.”
Core to principles of fundamental justice is that it is wrong to directly and intentionally kill an innocent human being. Further, we would never grant a man license to beat his partner on grounds that he is exercising his liberty — for we may not end, or even hurt, an innocent person’s life on grounds that we were exercising our liberty. This is echoed in Section 26 which says, “The guarantee in this Charter of certain rights and freedoms shall not be construed as denying the existence of any other rights or freedoms that exist in Canada. The concept of being “free to kill the innocent” does not exist in human rights doctrines.
In one last feeble attempt, some may claim that to deprive a woman of abortion is to violate Section 15 and discriminate against her based on sex. But for that to apply, it would mean she be denied abortion because she is female. But that is not correct. A woman would not be denied an abortion because of what she is, but rather, a woman would be denied an abortion because of what abortion is — an act of violence which kills a human being, thus violating that human’s Charter right to life.
As NDP leader Thomas Mulcair said only a few months ago on the anniversary of our Charter, “Today the Charter stands as an example the world over. It reminds us that respect for basic human rights is a vital part of every modern society, and that any threat to these rights constitutes a threat to society as a whole.”
Indeed, it’s time to live up to the language of the Charter and ban abortion.
Reprinted with permission from Unmaskingchoice.ca