In February 2007, 24-year-old Roxanne Fernando was brutally beaten and left in a snowy ditch outside Winnipeg; she died from extensive blood loss. Roxanne’s murderer was not a violent stranger, but the man who had gotten her pregnant. She was killed for exercising a right which abortion proponents often invoke, but seldom defend: her “right” to choose. Roxanne was violently murdered because she had refused to submit to her boyfriend’s depraved demands and abort their child.
The pro-abortion movement wrapped itself in the rhetoric of choice. They disguised their crusade to legalize prenatal infanticide with the wonderful word “choice” so that they would appear to be simply expanding the sphere of free decisions for pregnant women. Of course, there was only one decision that these advocates actually cared about; they were arguing only for a woman’s right to make, in their minds, the “right” choice—that is, to have an abortion. Although abortion advocates claim to stand up for women and their freedom to choose, if a pregnant woman chooses life, she stands alone.
Now, however, one MP is seeking to remedy this deplorable imbalance. In April, Rod Bruinooge tabled Bill C-510, a private member’s bill to amend the Criminal Code of Canada to outlaw the coercion of women into having abortions. This is not only a common-sense bill that will protect vulnerable women, but it is a rare piece of legislation that can be supported by pro-life and pro-abortion MPs alike.
Pro-life MPs should not hesitate to support this bill, because the polite fiction that there is “social peace” on the issue of abortion has been discredited. In this space last month, we noted several trends that should encourage pro-life Canadians: abortion coverage in the media is no longer fiercely one-sided, free speech for pro-life campus groups is expanding, a pro-euthanasia bill was soundly defeated, and Parliament affirmed that abortion is not part of the “maternal health” aid Canada provides women in the developing world. The days of fear-mongering about “hidden agendas” are over; public opposition to abortion is no longer the taboo it once was.
But Bruinooge’s bill should also be supported by those who have for decades styled themselves defenders of a woman’s right to choose. Bruinooge has crafted a bill that makes good on the pro-abortion propaganda of choice: his bill offers women who choose life the protection of the law. Defenders of the grisly practice of abortion should live up to their own rhetoric and defend women who choose life or they should give up the charade and admit that they are not really pro-choice, but pro-abortion.
Roxanne Fernando was murdered because she chose life; because she would not consent to kill her own baby, she herself was killed. Politicians on both sides of the abortion debate — those who defend unborn children and those who claim to defend “a woman’s right to choose” – can support Bruinooge’s laudable efforts to protect pregnant women in Canadian law. Expecting mothers who choose life in difficult, and, indeed, dangerous circumstances should have their brave choices, and their innocent children, protected.