It would be absurd and misleading to call it an anniversary. That word is indelibly linked with celebration, joy and the marking of an achievement. It is 40 years since the Omnibus Bill was passed, decriminalizing homosexuality and allowing abortion and contraception. Interestingly enough, it also imposed stricter gun control and harsher laws for animal cruelty. In other words, it effectively legalized abortion in Canada, leading to a situation today where human life has become so devalued that a cat or dog enjoys more legal protection than an unborn child.
It was the then-justice minister Pierre Trudeau who framed and introduced the legislation. He did so with the oft-repeated phrase that the state has no place in the country’s bedrooms, but then proceeded to politicize sexuality and infect moral issues with government interference in a manner considered impossible just a few years earlier. Trudeau himself, of course, possessed a beguiling moral code and seemed particularly happy in the company of international dictators and warlords.
In those four decades since Trudeau’s arrogance triumphed over popular will, more than three million babies have been killed in what is supposed to be humanity’s safest place, the womb. It has also cost more than one billion public dollars, in that for many years now the taxpayer has been obliged to finance this elective surgery. In that same period, numerous necessary medical procedures have been de-funded by governments that would not dream of removing a penny from state-funded abortion, no matter how wealthy the woman who demanded the procedure.
The last 40 years have also seen a curious twisting of the debate around the issue and a monumentally successful campaign to marginalize pro-life opinion. Politicians are told that to even discuss the policy would lose them votes – though polls repeatedly show Canadians as being divided on the subject. Opponents of abortion, whatever their views on other issues, are portrayed as wide-eyed zealots.
The discussion itself, of course, is seldom heard. In the past year alone, several university student unions have banned pro-life associations and a city council in Ontario has removed all pro-life literature from its property, even though the space was legally purchased. It is the love that dare not speak its name. The genuine love that dare not speak its name. The love for children, from their earliest and most vulnerable.
The reasons for the pro-life position are many and obvious. The unborn child is unique from the point of conception, with its own DNA and a genomic character that is entirely separate from any other person. A woman has the choice to do whatever she wants with a tuft of hair or an appendix, but not with a distinct person within her. The unborn child cannot survive outside of the womb, but then a fully developed newborn child will similarly die if left without care.
The word “fetus” merely means “young child” and, anyway, after three months of growth, nothing new develops. At nine months, the unborn child is more mature, but then a five-year-old is more mature than a two-year-old. We know instinctively that this is a child, witnessed by how we would react if we saw an obviously pregnant woman smoking or drinking. We’ve been programmed to think differently if we see a pregnant women opting to end the life of her powerless child.
The reasons for abortion have been explained myriad times – particularly through television dramas, where there is no journalistic obligation to even pretend balance. (More abortion doctors have been killed on episodes of television police shows than have ever been killed in real life.) Most of these arguments are entirely spurious.
Abortion in the case of rape and incest? These tragedies provide less than a fraction of one per cent of the reasons for abortion and they are mentioned by abortion advocates simply to make pro-lifers appear extreme. We should ask if those who support abortion is these rare cases would oppose it when rape and incest are not the causes of pregnancy. It would, of course, be a rhetorical question.
Before the Omnibus Bill, enormous numbers of women died in backstreet abortions. This is mostly propaganda. Of course such horrors occurred, but there are no reliable figures and informed sources dismiss most of these claims as nonsense. We do, however, know just how many babies now die in front-street abortions.
Only women have a right to comment on this issue. Men are fathers, men are taxpayers, men are citizens. Men are also abortionists. But surely it is the nature and quality of the argument, rather than the gender of the individual, that should inform our position. Gender bias does, however, lead to far more baby girls being aborted than baby boys. Rather a bitter paradox for feminist ideology.
At the very least, we should agree that after 40 bloody years, the debate must be resurrected, for the sake of freedom and for the sake of proving that old fraud Trudeau to be so utterly and completely wrong.