A fine piece by Margaret Somerville in this morning’s Ottawa Citizen, debunking arguments against Bill C-484. Worth reading in its entirety, but if you only have time for a couple of paragraphs, it should be these two:
One pro-choice activist, Joyce Arthur, wrote recently that “when a pregnant woman is safe, so is her fetus.” In framing the issues that Bill C-484 is intended to address as being primarily, or even exclusively, one of the safety of pregnant women, Ms. Arthur is using a strategy adopted by pro-choice advocates to deal with one aspect of the bill that places them in a dilemma. In rejecting Bill C-484, they do not want to seem to be failing to empathize with pregnant women who are the victims of violence — indeed they strongly empathize — but they want to do that without in any way recognizing that a major part of the harm these women and their families suffer is the injury to or loss of the unborn child. In short, they do not want any recognition of the unborn child, or its worth and meaning to its family, realities that Bill C-484, if enacted, would affirm.
This strategy is employed because the pro-choice lobby bases its case that there should be no law governing abortion on the fiction that the fetus and woman are one “person.” They object to Bill C-484 because it contradicts that fiction in recognizing that there are two victims of a crime, although in doing so it does not affect the present law on abortion — indeed, for greater certainty, it expressly states that it does not do so. (As an aside, the need to rely on a fiction to justify abortion is a very weak stance ethically.)