It ain't over until it's over
The Star, in an editorial yesterday, said the abortion debate is over:
But a group of MPs seeks to change the status quo. By forming a "pro-life caucus," they hope to put the issue back on the national political agenda, apparently by focusing on late-term abortions. "We need to have a starting point of debating whether or not abortion should be legal right up until the moment of birth," said the caucus chair, Conservative MP Rod Bruinooge (Winnipeg South), in an interview with The Canadian Press.
Bruinooge, heretofore best known for launching an Internet game called "The Stone,'' said the pro-life caucus includes members of all parties. He would not produce a list of names. But Joyce Arthur of the Abortion Rights Coalition of Canada says that a majority of the Conservative MPs are "publicly anti-choice." And many Liberals MPs are known to be in the same camp.
Despite their numbers, the pro-life caucus is unlikely to have much of an impact.
A similar group – calling itself the "family values caucus" – was formed at Queen's Park in the late 1990s but failed abysmally to get its issues on the agenda of the day. That's because then premier Mike Harris wanted nothing to do with them.
Similarly, Prime Minister Stephen Harper has said before that he was uninterested in reopening the abortion issue. Now, with an economic crisis on his hands, Harper has even more reason to avoid such a distraction.
The abortion debate is over in Canada. Move on.
But the abortion debate is NOT over, not from where I sit.
2008 started with the 20th anniversary of the Supreme Court decision which gave Canadian women the right to control their lives. The pro-forced pregnancy types noisily protested. When Dr. Henry Morgentaler was awarded the Order of Canada, the pro-forced pregnancy types angrily protested. When Bill C-484, the so-called Unborn Victims of Violence Act, was terminated, the pro-forced pregnancy types protested yet again.
This year we even saw a major Maclean's feature demanding that the abortion debate be reopened. (The piece, by the way, misrepresented Bill C-484 as protection for the ''fetus.'' That despite the fact that the bill never contained the word and only referred to the ''unborn child.'')
Not a day goes by when some pro-forced pregnancy activist doesn't complain to me, via email or some other medium.
Every week it seems as if the National Post runs another op-ed calling for the end of women's reproductive rights -- and always makes it seem as if far more than a teeny tiny fraction of abortions are late term, usually performed to save the mother's life.
So the debate is on ... and on ... and on ...
My work in 2009 is cut out for me.