Prime Minister scrubs WeWantTheDebate links from Facebook page
Six months have passed since the launch of a campaign challenging the myth that Canadians do not want a debate about abortion. The “We Want the Debate Campaign” began on October 18, 2011 with the goal of challenging the pro-abortion side to an open and fair debate about the issue. The group had planned to “expose the systematic distortion by the overwhelming majority of the media of the facts of abortion” and “denounce the federal government’s disregard of the wishes of most Canadians to allow a discussion on the future of abortion,” according to its press release.
The debate did not seem to be so welcome on Prime Minister Stephen Harper;s Facebook page. Glen McGregor of Postmedia News reported on Nov. 11 that among the 300 comments deleted from the prime minister’s page over the previous few months, dozens were links posted by viewers to wewantthedebate.ca, the campaign’s web site. “These comments were purged, apparently because the page administrators block those that contain addresses of other sites,” McGregor resported.
Jackie Jeffs, the campaign director, told The Interim that the “We Want the Debate Campaign,” geared primarily towards the federal government and the Ontario provincial government, was established because she and other pro-lifers noticed, including during the run-up to the last election, that Stephen Harper and other leading politicians made it clear that they would not have a debate about abortion. To Jeffs and her campaign, there is no reason why elected officials should be telling Canadians that there is any topic about which they cannot speak. From polls, Jeffs said, it is clear that “there is a real discomfort with abortion… now more than ever.”
The campaign wants viewers of the site to also ask themselves and their MPs why the debate is forbidden. One of the problems, according to Jeffs, is media bias: “we have a minority point of view magnified by our media being imposed on the people of this country.”
The campaign is still in “its very fledgling state” Jeffs admitted. The site is updated with weekly articles and; the National Campus Life Network has taken an interest in the initiative and a British Columbia group will be taking the campaign into the campuses, with the participation of Stephanie Gray, the executive director of the Canadian Centre for Bioethical Reform. “We Want the Debate” is looking into a possible partnership with Gray’s organization. Furthermore, the Christian Heritage Party noticed the campaign and the two groups are in contact.
“The other side will not debate,” Jeffs said. “They think they can keep the status quo… without telling the rest of the country why. And that’s not good enough.”