In an age of instant information, the lack of widely-known facts about abortion is scandalous. To be sure, the mini-industry surrounding the brutal practice of prenatal infanticide is hardly transparent, but the real dearth of clear information about abortion proceeds from the public’s incorrigible lack of curiosity. It is not that such information is unattainable; instead, it is simply unwanted. While corrupt nations can now be brought down by embarrassing revelations and no celebrity’s secret is safe, abortion remains a blind-spot of our culture because whatever would be divulged by diligent investigation we would rather not know. What is done in the dark on this issue almost never sees the light of day, because we prefer to avert our collective gaze. About the child in the womb, we keep our head in the sand.
Such a resolute repression, however, is not easy to maintain because the abortion issue produces a prodigious number of paradoxes that must also be ignored. Ushered into Canadian law under the auspices of “the health of the mother,” we recognize that abortion is actually an elective surgery. And, while our lawmakers are eager to legislate the recognition of any form of sexual identity, the freedom of conscience for health care professionals who object to this brutality is not seen a human right to be protected, but is, rather, a threat to the so-called “right” to unfettered and guiltless access to abortion. But perhaps the most glaring contradiction produced by our nation’s quiet tolerance of abortion is that, despite Canada’s conspicuous commitment to national health care, this elective surgery is subsidized by taxpayers. If any other kind of private clinic received public funds, there would be a deafening outcry; but when the work of abortionists is covered by taxpayers, there is only silence.
Medieval logicians knew that “from a contradiction, anything follows” – and the many logical contortions that proceed from the abortion issue prove the point; moreover by letting nascent life be legally extinguished, we ensure the profusion of such paradoxes. Yet, the public funding of abortion is an especially odious contradiction, since it implies that there is no legitimate opposition to it; it puts the issue beyond the realm of debate as a fait accompli. By forcing taxpayers to fund abortions, the issue is given the appearance of being non-political, as if its morality was totally undisputed or the propriety of its being bankrolled by all Canadians was absolutely unquestioned.
In fact, however, about half of Canadians object to status quo of funding all abortions (for any reason). And, in a system that recognizes the power of political pluralities over outright majorities, such a clear level of opposition should make defunding an obvious and popular policy for our leaders to endorse. At the very least, there should be a party willing to represent this constituency. But few politicians have the courage to do this; they prefer to take a “soft” stance on slaughter: abortion, they believe, should be tolerated, permitted but not promoted, and so the topic is not even broached.
Yet the funding of abortions by taxpayers makes this kind of quietism not only intolerable but also untenable. If abortion is publicly funded, it cannot simply be ignored as a private choice. Every dollar spent on the elimination of an unborn child is one that is not spent on real health care. Thus, by dealing in death, Canada is less able to offer universal health care to those citizen whose life it does recognize. Abortion not only robs us of our children, but removes the means by which we could care for the sick.
Life and death, healing and harming, are not equivalent options, yet both are underwritten by the Canadian public. The economic effects of abortion are staggering, indeed, and they have certainly exacerbated the economic crisis in which we find ourselves mired. But the simple cost of the terrible procedure itself has become unfeasible by any calculus. Our indifference to the tax dollars spent on prenatal infanticide is a luxury we can no longer afford.
It is said that there are only two certainties in life: death and taxes. But when the one is used to subsidize the other, these two certainties become a single tragedy. There is no public interest served by the murder of the unborn, and its public funding paradoxically removes the issue from the realm of democratic debate by giving it greater legitimacy. Our politicians should boldly decry the use of public funds in the commission of this terrible practice;if they do not defend the dignity of the unborn, they should at least be responsible stewards of the public purse.