Modern feminist philosophy is full of contradictions. It decries male violence against women and children, yet insists that it is not an act of violent to abort a child. It refuses to acknowledge that a father has any say in whether or not the child is aborted, but insists that if a woman chooses to have the child the father be held financially responsible. It downgrades the ideal of marriage to just another choice of lifestyle (antiquated, at that). Having won an aggressive campaign for no-fault divorce, feminist leaders decry the poverty which follows for women and children.

A new group, calling itself Men for Women’s Choice, recently appeared before the parliamentary committee studying Bill C-43 and showed how modern feminism has addled men’s brains. This group was formed following the Chantal Daigle case last year and is supported by such high-profile men as Pierre Berton, Stephen Lewis, and Bruce Kidd.

Gordon Cleveland, the group’s coordinator, demonstrated an awesome ability to muddle logic. He asserted, “When we talk about abortion we are not discussing the killing of live babies nor of fetuses viable if they were separated from the mother’s body. Rather we are discussing woman’s decision in the early stages of pregnancy that she is not prepared to have a child at this time.”

How cute. If a woman decides she does not want a child, we can just say that he or she is not a live baby – not even a fetus – and that gets around all the distressing implications of killing. Just what it is that Cleveland believes is being disposed of here is unclear, but whatever it is of less important than a peanut. Using a Criminal Code to control abortion is, he said, “to use a sledgehammer to crack a peanut, even if a peanut exists. You may believe it exists; I do not necessarily believe it does.”

Under questioning by MPs, Cleveland said that medical evidence is “unclear” about when life occurs: “There is no medical, scientific evidence which tells us that life commences at conception or that life commences at birth.” Clearly, Men for Women’s Choice would benefit from a cursory reading of any medical textbook. But this type of verbal gymnastics is understandable really. After all, who would want to come out publicly and say he’s in favour of killing babies, no matter how tiny?

In their brief, the group apologizes for commenting on abortion because they believe that men really have no say in the matter. They cite male violence, an unwillingness on the part of men to give adequate financial support to women, their abandonment of women, unfavourable social and economic conditions and the difficulties faced by women who work outside the home while raising children, all as reasons why women seek abortions. (Interestingly enough, they do not once claim that abortion is a necessary medical procedure to save a women’s life.)

They “reject the stereotype of men presented by boyfriends who seek injunctions to compel their former partners to bear unwanted children,” and they “speak against the men in parliament who believe they have the right to impose their morality on the intensely personal decisions of women about their own bodies.” In other words, the only men who have the authority to do anything about abortion are men who support it. They have a whole list of situations which they claim would be unacceptable reasons for abortion under Bill C-43.

One is, “Your daughter, a girl of 16, who despite your best efforts at moral counseling and sexual education, becomes pregnant. This bill would compel her to bear the child. Her psychological health might not be threatened by the prospect of having a child, though her social, educational, job and economic prospects and her relationships with peers and adults would be profoundly affected.”

Another is, “A young couple, one of them perhaps your cousin, unmarried, in high school or university who don’t want children yet are careless with birth control devices would not be able to obtain an abortion. She would be compelled to have the child. She might leave school to care for it; he might leave school to earn the necessary income. In too many cases, he would drop out of sight, not pay support, and (perhaps with a heavy burden of guilt) continue his life in some other town.”

Men for Women’s Choice totally misread the intent of Bill C-43, which will allow abortion in all the circumstances they say it will not. They don’t acknowledge that the 16- year-old daughter is entitled to more support from her father than a surgical procedure which could scar her for life and which kills their grandchild. They don’t understand that the boyfriends seeking injunctions are not trying to stop “unwanted” children from being killed; these children are fought over in court because their fathers want them.

They don’t want a new law criminalizing abortion. They believe that men are responsible for a pregnancy in a “biological sense” only, not acknowledging that this should be a lasting responsibility until the child is grown. While they say it is a “man’s world,” they don’t advocate men behaving like adult human beings. They merely state, “we support changes that allow women and men to comfortably integrate work and a healthy family life to the extent that they so choose.”

It seems to me that there has been some really heavy duty manipulation going on here for many ears now. The pro-abortion feminists have tried to persuade men that they have no personal or moral interest in women’s health and children’s lives. They have managed to terrorize many men into silence on these issues, except those who can speak in feminist-approved jargon. But I wonder if it has occurred to the radical feminists to wonder if the have not themselves been manipulated quite cleverly by men.

Abortion always has been a great convenience for men. It enables them to cater to their sexual appetites without having to assume responsibility for those appetites. To put it bluntly, it saves them money because an abortion is much cheaper than raising a child. It saves them social embarrassment. It enables them to live smugly in their “man’s world” because the yare not forced to grapple with instituting and funding new policies to help women and children live in dignity.

If Men for Women’s Choice is representative of the “new” man, I am glad we do not see them in the pro-life movement.