I knew the pro-choicers were in trouble when I got a phone call recently from Dr. Morgentaler. “Is that you, Idiothead?” he asked.
“Morgy! My old friend, Morgy.”
“Skip the pleasantries,” he said. “I’m calling you because I’m desperate for some answers.”
“Please don’t use that expression.”
“Sorry. Go ahead.”
“What is this with all the candidates for the Alliance leadership race announcing that they are pro-Life? I’m having lunch with Michelle Landsberg and she’s having a fit. She wants to know why these politicians are not afraid to be known as pro-life? What’s gotten into those people? Now they’re saying, ‘I’m pro-life! I’m pro-life!’ Has something gotten into the water?”
“I don’t think so.”
Morgy interjected, “I’m coming to you because you’re the only anti-choicer who will level with me. Harper says the Alliance party should remain neutral on the abortion issue and then he says that he wants to have pro-lifers in his party. Is that neutral? It doesn’t sound pro-choice to me. And Dianne Ablonczy was using my portrait on the bottom of her bird cage. She claims the cleaning lady put it there. Yeah, right. When I asked her if she was pro-choice, she said, ‘Not so loud. The neighbours might hear.’ I’m a little worried about her position on abortion. Stockwell Day and Dr. Grant Hill wouldn’t even answer the door.”
“They both had the same sign on their doors: ‘No salesmen, pedlars or pro-choicers.’ It wasn’t so long ago when politicians were grovelling on the floor in front of me. And media people, too.”
“Don’t forget the judiciary,” I said helpfully.
“They still are. There certainly isn’t any politician running around proclaiming he’s pro-choice.”
“Yes, I’ve noticed that,” I said without a touch of sympathy in my voice.
“Even some of the Ontario Tories running for the premier’s job are starting to say, ‘I’m pro-life.’ And I hear that some candidates are running over to Campaign Life Coalition and are trying to get photographed hugging Jim Hughes. Only Ernie Eves is holding on to his principles.”
“I knew you’d say that. Tell me – what’s going on?”
“Grassroots democracy. No more Jean Crouton telling fellow Liberals who can and who can’t run for MP. Prime Minister Crouton wants to shovel thousands more ‘ghost members’ into the riding associations, who will vote to keep him in office. Crouton calls that ‘keeping the party open to the people.'”
“I don’t understand.”
“Yes, Morgy, every member of the Tories and Alliance gets to vote for the leader. It sure ain’t like the Liberal Party. For 10 bucks you can pick the next premier of Ontario and for another 10 bucks the next leader of the federal opposition. What a deal.”
“Are you trying to say that the anti-choicers outnumber the pro-choicers?”
“Yes. The pro-lifers just have to get out and vote. This is the reason for the deathbed conversion to the pro-life movement of many pro-choice politicians. I wish I could say that it was akin to St. Paul on the road to Damascus.”
“Where is their integrity?” Morgentaler asked indignantly.
“I’m afraid, Morgy, that in order to secure higher office some politicians would sell their mothers into the slave trade.”
“Michelle says the Liberals under Jean Crouton aren’t concerned about women’s causes. She rightly complains about the lack of women in places of power and influence in politics.”
“I agree with her. May I suggest you have a sex-change operation, Morgy, and you can redress that problem.”
“Not funny, anti-choicer. What was I thinking of when I abandoned the NDP and urged everybody to vote Liberal in the last federal election to keep out Stockwell Day? What did I get?”
“A Liberal government.”
“An anti-feminist government. I don’t know whom I can trust now,” complained Morgentaler.I’m confident that some day, Morgy will turn up at his abortuary with the sign: “Pro-life – the only way to go.” But in the meantime, don’t sell the farm.