Here’s a Canadian story about a young couple “struggling to get by.”
The young couple is planning to marry in six months and, within a couple of years, start their own family. Before long, they’ll want to move out of their cramped, eighth-floor apartment and buy their first home. Unfortunately, they won’t be able to do it on their own. With a combined annual income of $80,000 and zero savings, they simply don’t have the means to qualify for the $200,000 mortgage they’ll need to get into a starter home.
These are our North American standards; house first, then kids. Until all our financial ducks are in a row, we are “struggling to get by.” I blame these set standards for many of the abortions conducted in Canada for financial reasons. In the US, 21.3 percent of women having an abortion state they “cannot afford a baby” as their main reason. We often closely mirror their stats. (No one knows the exact figures in Canada because “StatsCan doesn’t collect data on the reasons for termination.”)
I am not turning a blind eye to poverty in this nation. I do, however, refuse to believe that one fifth of women seeking abortions in Canada are truly poor. In Nigeria, where nearly three quarters of the population lives on less than a dollar a day, 11.4 percent of women having an abortion claim it’s mainly because they cannot afford the child. In Mexico, 15.9 percent. Honduras: 5.3 percent.
Gandhi said, “We have enough for everybody’s need. But not enough for everybody’s greed.” If StatsCan ever does start collecting data on reasons for abortion, I think they should include “too greedy for baby” as a possible answer.
UPDATE, Saturday: Governor General Michaelle Jean is not turning a blind eye to poverty in this country either, as she prepares for her visit to Canada’s North.