Liberal MPs continue to attack Maurice Vellacott over some relatively innocuous things he said about abortion. (Andrea Mrozek points out that in the current culture his uncontroversial comments are likely to be viewed as outrageous by a certain brand of feminist.) Anyway, the silliness has seeped into parliamentary proceedings. From Hansard (House of Commons, November 25, 2009):
Mrs. Lise Zarac (LaSalle—Émard, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, the member for Saskatoon—Wanuskewin recently made comments about abortion that insulted and denigrated women. The member made statements that are medically incorrect to support his moral ideology. Will the Minister of health repudiate her colleague’s beliefs with respect to a woman’s right to choose?
Hon. Anita Neville (Winnipeg South Centre, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, it looks like the muzzles are off. The Conservatives are sounding like Reform Party extremists. The member for Saskatoon—Wanuskewin’s comments are completely degrading to women. He claims that abortion causes “a greater risk of breast cancer” and he asserts that abortion is “part of a male agenda to have women more sexually available”. His comments show an odious attitude toward women. Will the Minister of Justice stand up for women and denounce these vile comments?
These attacks are so lame, you would think that Warren Kinsella is still running the OLO war room. Unfortunately for the Tories, the response on the floor of the House, provided by Helena Guergis (Minister of State (Status of Women), was itself rather lame:
Mr. Speaker, I again will note for the member that each member of the House is able to have his or her own opinion. It does not mean it represents that of the government. What I will highlight is that this government, under the leadership of the Prime Minister, has made significant investments in Status of Women Canada. We have three pillars of focus: economic security, violence against women, and women in leadership roles. We also have the highest percentage of women in cabinet in Canada’s history, and the highest level of funding at Status of Women Canada in Canada’s history, with an increase in the number of grassroots organizations that are now able to receive funding to support the most vulnerable women in Canadian society.
Of course MPs have the right to their opinions. Andwhatever other accomplishments in advance of women’s rights the Tories can brag about are irrelevant to the issue of abortion. Vellacott has noted the link between abortion and breast cancer and pointed out that reckless men ‘benefit’ as much from abortion as feckless women when they are able to avoid the consequences of their sexual activities. Are those views really odious, vile, insulting and denigrating? Do pro-abortion zealots think there can never be any criticism, any questioning of abortion. (The answer is yes.)
What I find insulting is the notion that women cannot handle being more fully informed about abortion. What I find odious is that there can never be a discussion about abortion and what it is and what are its consequences. Hardcore abortion supporters should stop treating women like children who must be protected from any information that might discomfort them. That is denigrating.