The last three months have been ones of unprecedented activity in pro-life offices and homes across Canada. Many people have put to one-side their other obligations and joined the campaigns to picket, to hand out leaflets in their neighbourhoods and to write or visit their MPs.
The focus is still firmly on Ottawa. However tempting it may be for each one of us to think we have done enough, this is not the time to relax. These next few months are even ore crucial than the months just passed.
Prime Minister Mulroney has confirmed that there will be a free vote on abortion in the House of Commons. This appears to be a calculated strategy to avoid taking responsibility of compromise legislation.
The classic Canadian political solution would be to polarize the issue and then choose the middle. No abortion, unlimited abortion, some abortion – choose the option calculated to offend the fewest voters. That’s the Canadian political game.
Not this time, however. The “no abortion” option is evidently a non-starter. Instead the options MPs will vote freely on will run like this: abortion for the life and health of the mother (sound familiar?); abortion until the baby is able to live outside the womb; or abortion until the mother goes into labour. Choose the option calculated to please the Supreme Court of Canada. And offend the majority of Canadians in the process.
Some MPs have remarked that their pro-life constituents are very polite people. Unlike our opponents, we do not make it clear that failure to represent our viewpoint will result in withdrawal of our support in the next election.
It is time to stop being the nice guy. It is time to take off the kid gloves and show our real mettle. We must let our representatives know unequivocally that we are serious, and that they will be held responsible – by us, by our children, by their children. They have to be made to realize that, where abortion is concerned, there is no “free” vote, no “solution” that get them off the hook, no political answer or escape hatch.
Some abortion , more abortion, unlimited abortion. The vote may be free, but the political cost will undoubtedly be high.