Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Safe. Legal. Rare.

Can you guess what that refers to?

I suppose it could be a number of things.  But in this case it is my position on abortion.

Last week we had our monthly meeting of the Ministerial Association (technically this was the March meeting but because of Holy Week [our regular meeting is the last Tuesday of the month] we postponed to April 2).  One of the guest speakers was the president of Voice for Life.

During this presentation there was a story equating German churches who were silent about the holocaust and chose to not hear the cries of its victims with people of faith who choose not to speak out against the right of women to make choices about their own health -- because the right to choose is just the same as genocide you know.  Then there was a handout trumpeting how wonderfully successful the USan anti-choice movement has been recently because of the high number of pieces of anti-choice legislation that have been passed in the last two years (not mentioning that some of those pieces of legislation involve violations of women's rights, intelligence, and bodies).  Then comes the kicker in their argument.

Canada has NOTHING in the Criminal Code dealing with legislation.  Hasn't had for 25 years, as this link explains [yes I know Wikipedia is not the most academically sound source, but everything else that popped up in a Google search came from a clearly pro or anti organization].  And yes that means that legally abortions can occur at any point in a pregnancy.  Even up to birth.  Now most sources I have seen over the years point out that the VAST majority take place early.  And a miniscule number occur in the last trimester.  But apparently that is not the point.  The point is that they CAN happen, not whether they actually do.  And so the Canadian anti-choice movement is advocating for a new law to be written.

Not gonna happen.  Yes I know there are elements within the Conservative Party of Canada that would love that to happen.  Some of them draft motions in Parliament that are obvious attempts to bring abortion restrictions in through the back door -- such as decrying sex-selection abortion.  But for all the low respect I have for the current Prime Minister I think he is too smart to try and bring in such a law.  And frankly I am fine with that.

Which brings us to safe, legal, and rare.  I was really tempted to ask (but didn't-why stir things up needlessly) what people around that table were willing to do to get to rare in the continued absence of legislation.  Comprehensive sexuality education?  Increased access to birth control?  Guaranteed annual income?  Well funded and subsidized child care?  Support for adoption?  That is how you get to rare.  Not by making it illegal.  Not by making decisions for other people.  By ensuring there are viable other options.

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