This opinion editorial is worth a read. It represents a fringe view, dressed up in moderate clothing. The author believes that access to abortion and contraception have propelled women to be successful in life and therefore that maternal health initiatives in developing countries ought to include access to abortion and contraception:
…It has been decades since Canadian women were denied access to contraception and abortion. The ability to decide when to have children is directly linked to women’s physical and financial wellbeing. It is the reason women now dominate law schools and medical schools in Canada and are an increasingly powerful force in the business and professional worlds.
This isn’t true, as women have been successfully balancing kids, schooling and power since before biblical times. A little longer view (prior to the 1970s) really is called for. Women are not “successful” because of abortion or contraception. (As a side note, both of my grandmothers had only two kids. This prior to the existence of “The Pill.” How did they do it? Not a question I’d ask, in particular because it would have happened via translation by my parents, but apparently without taking a daily dose of hormones. But I’m getting off topic here.)
Now I’d agree with her that Canadians are apathetic about abortion. If pressed about it, Canadians might conclude that if a woman has to have an abortion, they’d like it to be safe. But as recent polls show, Canadians are entirely unaware of our abortion-friendly culture. They don’t know that abortion is permitted for any reason at any time throughout the nine months of pregnancy.
This reality occurs when apathy and extremism hold hands. Canadians who don’t care on the one hand have tacitly partnered with an extremely small group of pro-abortion fanatics on the other, those who believe abortion constitutes care. These fanatics also believe that gender equality means being exactly the same. Ie: women should have the unilateral right to wipe out their offspring, all the while having as much sex as they want. This is the “unfettered copulation equals women’s rights” point of view. Most Canadians reject that, too.
And taking the whole thing abroad, well, most of us with even a passing familiarity of life in the developing world are aware that women in Canada don’t die in childbirth because of… modern health care, not because of access to abortion. This thing called modern health care is something women in developing countries don’t have.
Abortion is not basic. It’s not a right. And the idea that it helps women achieve anything has always been, is now, and always will be just a point of view.
It’s one this writer is free to hold. But to claim it represents anything more would be as foolish as if I claimed “I’m pro-life, therefore all women are pro-life.”
Abortion is not care. Not here, not abroad. The Conservatives should just keep repeating, as they have, that they’d like to help improve maternal health. And leave these swooning fringe feminists in the 1970s section of a women’s studies textbook, where they belong.
For the Canadian government to avoid the issue because it is politically unpalatable, would be both unjust and irresponsible. To stop funding international organizations that offer abortions would also represent a major policy change for Canada — one that would represent one standard for domestic health care and another standard for our support of international health care. If that is what motherhood means to this government, Canadians have a right to know.
Ah, yes. Because nothing says motherhood like killing your own babies.