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A few words about the A word

October 9, 2019

Excuse me, can you tell me what year it is, what century? That this issue is even raising its head during an election campaign makes me want to punch someone in the face. (And I know exactly who.)

I’m talking about abortion.

I wasn’t around for the Canadian general elections in the noughties, so I can’t speak to them, but I don’t remember the word being mentioned by anyone in the previous two elections. Maybe I’m wrong, misremembering, but I really don’t think it was.

Yes, in the early 1990s, Brian Mulroney, then leader of a Conservative majority government, did agree to hold an open vote on recriminalizing abortion. And to my horror a majority of (mostly if not exclusively male) MPs voted in favour. Thank god for the unelected Senate, who justified their entire existence by overturning the law. (One female Conservative senator in BC, who’d recently broken her back, had herself airlifted to Ottawa to vote against.) Mulroney, who’d only held the vote as a sop to the social conservatives in his party, did not demur at the Senate’s decision, saying the debate was now permanently closed. Oh, would that this were true.

For the record (and I am not kidding around here): If a woman chooses to terminate an unwanted pregnancy, it is nobody else’s business. Nobody’s. Period. Anyone who has anything different to say on the subject can just shut the fuck up. Period.

It’s 2019, yet, thanks to Andrew Scheer, the A word has been popping up during this campaign. Schemer’s thoughts on the subject are clear: He thinks abortion is murder. He has stated that as Prime Minister he would not personally bring forward legislation to recriminalize abortion, but would not prevent any of his MPs doing so in the form of a private member’s bill. And if that happened he would allow all Conservative MPs to “vote their conscience”.

Saint Elizabeth May got herself into some hot water during the campaign by stating that, as the Green Party does not whip its MPs, they would be free to reopen the abortion debate in Parliament if they wished to do so. That position was quickly clarified by Green Party Central in a statement saying “there is zero chance an elected representative of our party will ever reopen the abortion debate.” I should bloody well hope so.

Mealy mouthed Justin Trudeau has now weighed in, stating that, whilst he once believed (but apparently no longer does) that abortion was wrong, as a man he had no right to tell a woman what to do with her body. You got that last bit right, buddy.

That holier-than-thou phrase “vote their conscience” drives me insane. MPs have no bloody business allowing their personal opinions to be the basis of their votes. Their job is to vote on behalf of their constituents.

Anyone who truly believes that abortion is not a medical procedure but actually cold blooded murder must therefore believe that every woman who’s ever terminated an unwanted pregnancy is a murderer (or at the very least an accomplice to the murdering doctor). And anyone who truly believes that is not fit to lead a political party, never mind become the prime minister.

Am I saying that devout Christians (or anyone else whose religion deems abortion to be murder) should be barred from public office? Not necessarily. However, if, during the course of their vetting process, potential candidates said they would, in a free vote in the House of Commons, vote to recriminalize abortion, then yes, they should immediately be barred from running for office.

There is only one correct answer to the question of how you would vote if a private member’s bill came to the floor which would recriminalize abortion. And that answer is: “Are you fucking kidding me? No such bill should ever be allowed to come to the floor.”

Think abortion should be illegal? Fuck you. And the sanctimonious horse you rode in on.

From → Columns

One Comment
  1. nebulaflash permalink

    Those who wish to make abortion illegal should start a new political party called “They Should Party” and make their entire campaign based on arguments about what “They Should Do”. It might prove satisfactory for those who find democracy scary and are very uncomfortable with “human rights”. Also there’s an added bonus of fake virtue. In the meantime children are raped by old men, boys are conscripted into wars they don’t understand, and the climate continues to collapse.

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