Well, today's treeware column is raising a ruckus over at The Star's main website.
Good -- although I notice that all the dissenters are ignoring the issue I raise: comparing abortion to all the millions and millions and millions of people massacred during the Holocaust, in Rwanda and Cambodia, and, well, we could go on and on. East Timor. Bosnia. Armenia.
Just last week, for example, half a dozen Campus Pro-Life students at the University of Calgary were facing trespassing charges after, on at least seven occasions, setting up displays that confronted students with images of lynchings of African Americans, butchered babies in Rwanda and Cambodia, and Nazi swastikas.
Understand: I am all for freedom of expression. And the university did not ban these displays from the campus. All it did was ask the club members to turn their offensive posters around so that only those students who chose to see them would.
This Abortion = Holocaust tack is part of an continent-wide campaign, organized under the banner of the Genocide Awareness Project (GAP), described on its host Center for Bio-Ethical Reform website as "a traveling photo-mural exhibit which compares the contemporary genocide of abortion to historically recognized forms of genocide. It visits university campuses around the country to show as many students as possible what abortion actually does to unborn children and get them to think about abortion in a broader historical context.''
GAP members liken themselves to abolitionists. They argue that no abortion, except in the case of ectopic (tubal) pregnancy, should be performed because it is murder.
Women should be forced to bear children and, if they don't want them, well, like human incubators, they can give them up for adoption to the millions of other people on baby waiting lists.
Otherwise, they are no different from the concentration camp I-was-just-following-orders commandants who oversaw the slaughter of millions and millions.
Totally justifiable, they say: "These pictures of genocide against Jews and African Americans are used all the time in textbooks and documentaries. Martin Luther King, in his letter from the Birmingham Jail, compared the brutalization of blacks to the brutalization of Jews during the Holocaust. Was that insensitive of him?"
So obsessed with lentil-sized cell collections, these people equate women with the most evil mass murderers in history.
Which says plenty, not only about their view of women but the real live victims of genocide.
Not much to add but:
1. One reader wrote to say that the column was misleading on one point:
A pregnancy that implants outside of the uterus, most commonly in the Fallopian tube, has about a one in a million chance of producing a live child, and a far greater chance of the death of the woman from severe internal hemorrhage. Removing the Fallopian tube, and yes, the embryo within it is NOT an abortion, rather a life saving procedure.
Anyone who had had a tubal pregnancy removed should be disabused of the idea that your column presented that the necessary surgery was equivalent to an abortion.
Here is the exact quote from GAP's FAQ page (pdf). It refers to the exceptions its absolute not-even-in-rape aim to ban abortion.
These conditions are extremely rare, with the exception of an ectopic or tubal pregnancy. In that case, the baby is growing inside the mother’s fallopian tube and as it grows, the tube may rupture (or burst) and that can threaten the woman’s life. Medicine cannot save the baby’s life at this point; only by removing the developing embryo from the tube can the mother have a chance for survival.
2. Also in my email was this from a Canadian born in the former Yugoslavia:
I was born in a socialist country where despite pretty high level of male chauvinism the abortion was legal and rarely challenged. The right-wing and extreme religious groups, they were more or less silent.
The people who ever read some historical documents in their life, they know that for the thousands years in every war the women were victim of the rape.
But in recent war in Bosnia it is for first time recognized that rape was a part of one genocide project and used as a weapon to destroy the people.
And we still are not saying rape=holocaust in Bosnia-Herzegovina (or Rwanda).
Can we ask pro-life extremists just one "what if". If their mothers or sisters were raped would they be "pro-life" or "pro-women's right to decide".
And one more thing I would like to ask male "pro-life" extremists, how many of them committed "sin of Onan".
(The above scene is from the award-winning film, Grbavica aka Esma's Secret, about a woman who survived the war and her daughter.)
For all their ''pro-life positions,'' I never hear a word about the horrors visited right now this minute on women all over the world, including Congo, about which I have repeatedly blogged. Indeed, when I wrote about how US President Barack Obama was lifting the ''global gag rule,'' all I got was criticism from ''pro-lifers'' about how birth control in the worst places on earth was murder.
As for the ''sin of Onan,'' well, let's just say I won't touch that one with a 6 inch pole.
So my bad. We're talking a lima bean-sized kidney bean-sized clump of cells.
UPPERMOST DATE: Great piece here on what women in Congo are suffering.
The disturbing stories that have come out of the Congo defy imagination: women and young girls being raped by militia men in front of their families; rape victims ranging from as young as six months to as old as 83 years; women and girls faced with unwanted pregnancies and raped intentionally by men known to have AIDS. There is also a devastating epidemic of women and girls whose vaginas and reproductive organs have been completely destroyed from being violated with guns, bottles and sticks, often resulting in a condition called fistula, a rupture that results in the uncontrollable leakage of urine and feces. The traumatized rape victims are then further stigmatized and ostracized by their families and communities. Says Mukwege, awarded the UN Human Rights Prize in December 2008 for his humanitarian work, “attacking women, the bearer of life, with this level of terror, I believe it has nothing to do with sexual desire. I think it’s about destabilizing society, trying to destroy society and bring about its complete destruction.”
Any thoughts from the fetus fetishists who feel that kidney bean-sized clumps of cells are going through the same thing as these women are?