Abortion: Harper's vigilant global audience - Macleans.ca

Abortion: Harper’s vigilant global audience


The CBC is reporting that the federal government is providing funding to Planned Parenthood Canada, after a delay of a year and a half, and only for projects that do not advocate or provide abortion, and only in countries where abortion is usually illegal.

LifeSiteNews, a leading social-conservative website, isn’t assuaged. LifeSite figures any money to Planned Parenthood is money for an “abortion giant,” and that’s enough to make it worth criticizing. Note that the “contact information” at the bottom of the story doesn’t tell you how to contact the reporter, as is the case with, say, Bloomberg. No, it’s addresses and numbers for the Prime Minister, his CIDA minister and for social-conservative MP Brad Trost. LifeSite is telling its readers where to apply pressure to make sure its transgressions against anti-abortion politics go no further.

There’s a lot of that going around, I discover after a morning’s reading. Harper has faced controversy since the run-up to the 2010 Muskoka G-8 summit over his plan to lead a push among G-8 countries to support maternal and child health projects in Africa. The controversy was over the absence of any provision for abortions in international-development programs. There’s a school of thought, to which U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton clearly belongs, which holds that unwanted pregnancies are a huge danger to women’s health in the developing world, and improving access to abortion is a necessary part of the solution.

Michael Ignatieff’s opposition to the absence of abortion from the government’s plans led him to introduce a motion criticizing the government — one which failed in the Commons, thanks to the Liberal caucus’s own substantial anti-abortion faction.

Now the Harper government has clearly brought Planned Parenthood to heel, blocking any proposal that included abortions for so long that Planned Parenthood finally submitted a proposal with no mention of abortion. In a marked departure from the practice under Liberal governments, Canada now has a government that actually does a lot to promote the health of mothers and their children in the developing world — but only on the condition that mothers carry their fetuses to term and raise their children. In effect, the Harper Conservatives have outsourced their pro-life politics to the developing world.

But here’s the thing. I can find no criticism from any G-8 government of the Muskoka Initiative, including from Clinton and the Americans, or from the Brits or French. All of those countries currently include funding for abortion where it’s permitted abroad (“currently” because the issue is a classic political hot potato in the U.S., with Republican and Democratic presidents usually reversing their predecessors’ policies within days of taking office).

That’s worth repeating. The Muskoka Initiative faces no prominent international criticism for leaving out access to abortion services, even from governments whose own policies include such access. The Muskoka Initiative does provide for other useful services, and Canada’s neighbours are content to take half a loaf. Even non-governmental observers who noticed the absence of abortion were more inclined to focus on the Muskoka Initiative’s other “pleasant surprises.” “Cause for celebration,” the European Pro-Choice Network wrote.

But on the other hand:

I found a lot of international interest, attention and wariness about the Muskoka Initiative in particular, and about the place of abortion in Harper’s foreign-policy agenda, from anti-abortion activists around the world. Here’s some laudatory coverage from an anti-abortion group in France called En Marche pour la vie. Here’s the German pro-life website aktion-leben.de sounding a wary note: by not mentioning abortion, does the Muskoka Initiative do too little to limit it? And from Peru’s Provida, a newsletter expressing deep worry about the influence of “pro-abortion activist” Bev Oda on the otherwise sensible Harper government.

So the world is watching as Harper builds a development-assistance regime built on programs for mothers and infants but not for abortions. And the loudest voices I can find are the ones urging Harper to more social conservatism, not less.



Abortion: Harper’s vigilant global audience

  1. Paul, I don’t why this should be particularly surprising.  In my observation, as a general rule, most anti-abortion types are more vocal and motivated than most pro-choice types.  A lot of pro-choice people have their opinions, but they hold them quietly and aren’t about to write emails to MPs, never mind go out picketing or marching or anything like that.

    • There are plenty of obnoxious militants on the pro-choice side too – they just tend not to hang around Parliament Hill with giant signs, or threaten violence, damnation or property damage. Despite being pro-choice, full stop, no limits, I feel they’re nearly as tediously strident as the pro-lifers.

      • I take your point.  What I specifically meant by my comment was that as a general rule, I think anti-abortion people are more likely to politically mobilize, and be politically mobilized, than pro-choice people.  And this was in response to Wells’ point that in terms of publicity and international response, the Harper Government’s initiative was “noticed” more by anti-abortion activists than by pro-choice activists. 

        I can think of two main reasons for this.  First of all, anti-abortion activists see abortion as equal to murder.  That alone means that they feel EXTREMELY strongly about the issue.  It reminds me of that adage that people feel negative emotions more strongly than positive ones.  Secondly, anti-abortion activists are well and widely organized, and to a very large extent they enjoy the considerable organizational platform and resources provided by several organized religions (the Roman Catholic Church being a shining example, but also a huge number of evangelical churches).  Anti-abortion activists are often working directly out of church organizations, who themselves are often well-organized, well funded and already in the business of participating in politics (particularly in the United States).  The pro-choice movement really has no equivalent supporting organization like that.

    • The reason abortion advocates don’t picket or protest is that they have nothing to protest about. We have no legal restrictions on abortion in Canada, taxpayers pay for almost all the abortions performed in this country through the publicly funded health care system, even though public opinion polls have repeatedly shown that Canadians don’t support paying for all abortions. There isn’t a political party represented in the House of Commons that will talk about abortion because they are all afraid of the subject. Despite the claims of abortion advocates, we all know that abortion is a very divisive issue. Canadians are not at all settled on the question and we’ve never been given the opportunity to vote on the issue of when abortion should be legal, if ever, who should pay for it. whether it is actually a healthy option for  women, etc. If we weren’t paying for over 100,000 abortions every year, that money could go to legitimate health care services.

      • I actually don’t think that most abortion advocates would claim that abortion is not a divisive issue.  E.g., I’ll bet you that any doctor who has provided abortions and been shot at as a result would acknowledge that it’s a rather divisive issue.  Anybody who works in an abortion clinic that’s been picketed, bombed, deluged with hate mail, covered in pungent anti-abortion graffiti etc., would certainly acknowledge that it’s a divisive issue.

      • “Abortion advocates?”  I don’t know of anyone advocating for abortion; they are advocating for women to be allowed to choose when they have babies.  Pro-choice is a very different idea than advocating for abortion.  Really.

        • “Pro-choice is a very different idea than advocating for abortion.”

          Women choose when to have sex,  they just don’t like consequences of their decisions. 

          Maybe to you, and other vacuous people, but semantics does not change fact that mothers are killing their babies and the rest of us are forced to pay for infanticide that is occurring in Canada. 

          It is too bad we can’t ask the millions of dead babies if they understand the difference between being pro-choice but not advocating for abortion.

          • Everybody sing!

            “Every sperm is sacred
            Every sperm is great
            When a sperm is wasted
            God gets quite irate.

            Let the heathens spill theirs
            On the dusty ground
            God will make them pay for
            Every sperm that can’t be found!”

          • Hmm, I wonder why you are so offensive with your opinion.  It seems to me that men are involved in causing a pregnancy; what a shame women are supposed to bear the brunt of your brutish urges as well as for the pregnancy and of course, raising the children you believe should result from your disgusting ejaculation.  Is there any equivalent of women pushing for decisions about men’s bodies and reproduction?  You may think you are one holy kind of guy but you’re really just an offensive pr!ck.  As are all vacuous people like you.

          • TonyAdams, I am trying to think of a nice way to put this….hmmm, I can’t.  I don’t want to call you a bad name so I won’t.  However, I will caution not to make assumptions that…women ALWAYS choose when to have sex – if you are in a marriage, you know that no happy, healthy marriage of youngish people is maintained without a sexual relationship.  Women often use the birth control method AVAILABLE to them – meaning ones that they are medically able to use – men need to take ownership of birth control as well – sometimes birth control fails and pregnancy occurs.
            Now, before you begin making your assumptions about women not “liking the consequences of their decisions” and apparently glibly using abortion as birth control after they choose to have sex, you should really volunteer at one of the hospitals where women go to have abortions and see how really affected and torn these women are.  Many are devestated that they have to make this choice.  It is not one anyone wants to make.

          • PJ O’Rourke ~ The second item in the liberal creed, after self-righteousness, is unaccountability. Liberals have invented whole college majors–psychology, sociology, women’s studies–to prove that nothing is anybody’s fault. 

            No one is fond of taking responsibility for his actions, but consider how much you’d have to hate free will to come up with a political platform that advocates killing unborn babies but not convicted murderers. 

            A callous pragmatist might favor abortion and capital punishment. A devout Christian would sanction neither. But it takes years of therapy to arrive at the liberal view.

          • In 1988, the Supreme Court of Canada struck down all remaining restrictions on abortion. Statistics Canada recorded 70,868 abortions in 1988. That number jumped 29% over the next two years to 91,476 in 1990. By 1992 it had risen to 101,726, a 44% increase in four years.

            Abortions continued to increase annually to a recorded high of 111, 526 in 1997—in the nine years following the Supreme Court decision, the number of abortions in Canada increased by a total of 57%.

            On Sept. 6, Kienan Hebert, a blond, plump-cheeked three-year-old with seven siblings, was tucked into bed in his home in Sparwood, a coal-mining town in B.C.’s southeast corner. When the family awoke, Kienan was gone. Suspicion quickly focused on 46-year-old Hopley, a local handyman with a record of property offences and an apparent unnatural interest in children.

          • Tony, one problem with your quote from P.J. O’Rourke…I am a Conservative.  I don’t think that people who practice birth control which then fails should be denied their choice not to procreate.  What it comes down to is a disagreement about when a fertilized egg becomes a “baby”.  You choose to believe it happens at fertizlization; the rest of us choose to believe it happens when the fetus becomes able to sustain itself outside the womb. 

          • “You choose to believe it happens at fertizlization …”

            I ‘choose’ to believe a baby is person when zygote is created because it is true. It is only people who are keen to murder their children who engage in sophistry about when is a baby a baby. 

            There actually is no confusion at all when a person’s life starts. 

            Wiki ~ zygote: 

            ….. is the initial cell formed when two gamete cells are joined by means of sexual reproduction. It is the earliest developmental stage of the embryo. A zygote is always synthesized from the union of two gametes, and constitutes the first stage in a unique organism’s development.

          • No; what you believe that the organism only becomes worthy of being recognized as “human” and being endowed with rights when it reaches a given stage of development.

            It is alive and has its own, distinct, human DNA from fertilization. The zygote is just the earliest stage of development that, if luck is with it, will end some decades – maybe as long as a century – later. To say it is not alive is akin to saying a caterpiller is not alive because it can’t yet fly; it’s just at a stage of development which requires it to live in a different environment from the one it will ultimately occupy.

            As for “being able to sustain itself outside the womb” [my emphasis], it won’t be able to do that until well after birth, without the assistance of another. From a purely biological perspective, it is as dependent on others for the first year or so outside the womb as it was on the mother’s placenta while in the womb. Replace “sustain” with “survive” (which I suspect was what you meant to say) and your argument makes more sense. ;-) Sorry, but I couldn’t resist the opportunity to play with semantics.

            The biology is clear; it’s the moral values we layer upon it where the debate exists: i.e. when is it “human enough” to be granted rights that supercede that of its host (mother)?

            As I’ve stated publicly many times, I personally have a hard time with abortion under most circumstances, but understand how others can have a different view. And so I advocate for a Primacy of Rights law wherein we simply skip the debate of where life begins (as there will always be those whe deny the biology I set out) and say simply that until the fetus reaches the stage where it can survive outside the womb, the rights of the woman take priority. This will continue beyond that point if the woman’s life or long-term health are in jeopardy. However, once that point is reached, the fetus then has essentially the same rights inside or outside the womb – i.e. there is an expectation that no deliberate harm will be caused to the fetus/baby, and the penalty for causing harm would be the same.

            Society puts age restrictions on a wide range of rights and privileges;  Primacy of Rights law would be an extension of that. However, I know the anti-abortion side will oppose this, as it does not give them what they want. And the pro-choice side seems to be opposed whenever I raise this idea because they see any recognition of life prior to birth as starting down the slippery slope to recognition that life begins at conception.

            The reality is this: abortions will continue to occur, legally or illegally, until such time as contraception is perfected and cheap enough for all to afford.

            Finally, those who oppose abortion while simultaneously opposing sex education and contraception are fools. If they don’t want abortions, they should allow people to make informed choices that prevent unwanted pregnancies in the first place. They can’t force their morality down others’ throats any more than they’d want to have a different morality shoved down theirs.

          • Well Tony if a fertilized egg is a baby, then I am afraid that using an IUD is tantamount to performing abortion because it makes it impossible for the fertilized egg to implant in the uterus.

          • Same deal with the “morning after” pill.

          • Without weighing in on the rightness or wrongness of abortion in this comment (as I have done so elsewhere), I will point out that women can get pregnant from rape – and there is definitely no choice involved there.

            Also, the article is about funding overseas, not “infanticide that is happening in Canada.”

          • Actually Keith, when said the fetus could not “sustain” itself, I did mean sustain…not survive.  We have fetuses “surviving” as young as 23 weeks gestation but they are not breathing on their own or eating on their own…most will never grow to be self-sufficient adults. 

      • ” that money could go to legitimate health care services”

        Providing safe legal abortions to women who need them IS a legitimate health care service.

  2. “LifeSite figures any money to Planned Parenthood is money for an “abortion giant,” and that’s enough to make it worth criticizing.”

    I was surprised to read this morning that Cons went ahead with funding for odious Planned Parenthood. I wonder if Con base – -particularly SoCons – are feeling used today. 

    What a coincidence that Oda had funding proposal on her desk for more than a year but only now, after election, do Cons make decision. 

    Money is fungible, more money from Canadians allows other nations, and PP, to murder more babies with their own money. Clinton et al. are not complaining because babies are still being murdered, no reason for them to worry, just not with Canadian money. 

    A few times a year I send email to PM, and a few other Cabinet Ministers, to let them know they are wankers. I will be emailing a bunch of public employees later to let them know they are degenerates and that it is not at all clever to fund the largest baby killing org in world.

    • Abortions for some, miniature flags for others! Yay!

    • What does the abduction of a 3 year old have to do with the question of abortion?

      • Not a thing. Tony has a hard time staying focussed.

  3. That’s because Harper is temporary….politicians come and go as Sir Humphrey pointed out.

    Meantime money is being supplied, and while in the field it goes where it’s needed most.

    • LOL! Gotta love the Onion…

    • Ha! I read the Onion a lot but hadn’t seen that one :^)

  4. “That’s worth repeating. The Muskoka Initiative faces no prominent international criticism for leaving out access to abortion services,”

    Why should it? Wouldn’t fewer funds to abortions mean fewer abortions? Why criticize a good thing?

    • The death of thousands of women and little girls is a good thing to you eh?

      • Not sure where you’re going there, Emily. Are you saying it’s better to kill ’em in the womb where they are easier targets?

        How about something with substance instead of a nonsensical drive-by? You may have a worthwhile poiint, but from the above comment it’s hard to tell…

        • Hundreds of thousands of women and little girls die annually from botched abortions in the third world….many more die in childbirth because they shouldn’t have been pregnant in the first place. Even more are maimed for life.

          The govt shouldn’t pretend to care about women’s health…because it doesn’t. It’s just running on the religions of cranky old white guys.

          • There, that’s what I was looking for – a coherent argument that one can follow! Thanks for restating your point so those of us who don’t read minds can follow along.

          • Another amazing fact from Emily — apparently no women belong to any religions that oppose abortion.

          • I’m fully aware of Prairie Muffins and Quiverfull, thank you.

        • The problem Keith is that they’ll be “killed” (I only use that word because you do) anyhow– and then take down the carrying women with them, due to unsafe, botched, underground procedures. The idea that abortion will vanish if you hide it is silly. But double down on death if you like…

          • Emily has a habit of making blanket statements that are not very clear in meaning (at least not to me). Her statement could be read to mean that if they aren’t aborted they’ll face a miserable end later. Not the most likely interpretation, but as Emily likes to bait people so much, I sometimes return the favour. :-)

    • Abortions in third world countries are mostly of the amateur, very dangerous type.  Desperate women do dangerous things. 

  5. Wells  I forgot to mention in earlier comment that your tweet about Globe and whether it can match Fox News standards of fairness made me laugh. Is there a similar word for masochist without sexual meaning? If there is, that’s you. 

    Your desire to bring Cons/cons to masses is admirable, if also a bit quixotic, because I bet you are irking many left wing colleagues and acquaintances.

    • There was once a proposed masochistic personality disorder that didn’t involve sex at all, just self-defeating behaviour, but it never made it into the DSM.

      • Interesting. Looked up masochist in dictionary, then tried thesaurus option and it had no suggestions. 

  6. This is almost a non issue. It is true that the more money that Canada gives, regardless of where it goes, means that other monies can be used elsewhere. I do think though, that as far as a symbolic gesture, it is good. First of all, abortion is not illegal in Canada, no politician has had the guts to create a low to govern it. It is still a debatable issue here, so why should our tax dollars go to fund it in other countries? Also, the more that I read about sex selection abortions, the more I think that we should just be flying over the countries dropping condoms. :)

    • Parliament won’t pass such a law.  The PCs tried it last, and it failed

      This issue is not debateable here….the public has made that quite clear…nor would the constitution allow it.

      Condoms are freely supplied by numerous groups to third world nations….they just don’t use them.

      • Careful Emily, we are close to agreeing here. . .

        • I don’t see what on.

      • The issue is quite debatable and a genuine hot-button topic – which is exactly why politicians steer clear. No matter which side they choose, they lose a huge chunk of voters, because it’s an emotionally charged issue and most people have strong (and usually unchangeable) opinions on it, whether they express them or not.

        • It’s not debateable to anyone outside a group of religious fanatics.

          • de·bat·a·ble

            1. Being such that formal argument or discussion is
            2. Open to dispute; questionable.

            Just because you, in your infinite wisdom as (in your own eyes) the world’s most enlightened being, refuse to acknowledge alternate viewpoints, it doesn’t negate the fact that more than one viewpoint exists.It’s true that YOU can’t (reasonably) debate the issue, but that doesn’t make it “not debateable”.

            Ironically, many of those religious fanatics you mention would also likely say it’s not debatabe – but for the exact opposite reasons.

          • Yawn…yes, but you would argue about whether water was wet.

          • As if there aren’t times you’d argue until you turned blue that it’s dry, just to get under someone’s skin! LOL!

          • @KeithBram:disqus 

            Project much?

          • KeithBram…Emily always has the last word…just so you know.

          • I’m a very polite person, so I always respond to someone who writes to me.

          • Oh I know; I do …eventually… just let her.

    • Yeah, good luck getting a lot of men in these third world backwaters to agree to wear condoms. Women practically have no rights at all in these countries and rape is rampant. In fact its often just one more tactic of war in these countries.

      Many of the women getting abortions there are either very young girls or women who already have half a dozen kids they can’t take care of. We’re not talking affluent women after all.

      Abortion simply isn’t the same issue here as it is in many of these countries.

      Without the freedom to choose much else in their lives, at the very least we can give them control over their own bodies to some degree.

      • RIGHT ON:  I don’t believe in abortion as birth control but in circumstances, rape,
        being able to care and feed a child, deformed fetus, ‘age of pregnant mother, an act of agression in war, etc.etc.  It is not better for them to have unskilled abortion and put their lives at risk when they are desperate or may have other children at home.
        Wake up and smell the coffee organized religion.  Look at the famine right now – it’s been largely unfunded – is it better to see children dying a slow death -especially those in poverty and disease than to give a woman the right to choose in the pregnancy?
        How many of the men who impregnant women over eons of time feel an obligation to look after a child for 20 years.  It is usually the mother who has to…and she may not be fully capable.
        But I am totally aware there will always be contraversy…….it’s been over 20 years that it was legalized in Canada and we still have pro life demonstrators and public support from a Mayors office in Kelowna for a whole week of recognition.  Only in a perfect world should abortion be ruled out.  And we sure as hell don’t have a perfect world.

        • A little nit-picking: abortion was not “legalized” in Canada; the laws making it illegal were struck down by the courts. No political party has since had the spine to take up the challenge to pass new laws. So strictly speaking, abortion is not legal, it’s just not illegal.

          For the most part, this semantic difference has had little practical impact on most issues surrounding abortion procedures, but it does mean that one’s “humanness” under the law is under certain circumstances a matter of geography: two babies conceived at exactly the same time, one of whom has been born and the other who has yet to exit the womb, have substantially different rights (as in the one in the womb has none). If someone were to kill them both, he could only be tried for the murder of the one that had been born.

          I think it’s time we had a proper law.

          • Keith,
            since we’re nit-picking, an action can be legal even if there is no law
            explicitly making it so, fortunately.  Did you look over your left
            shoulder today?  It was perfectly legal to do so.
            Just picking the nit.  As to your second paragraph, I have no problem
            with that “geographic” distinction resulting in different views under
            the law.  The current situation has made birth the de facto dividing
            line, and that’s as good a line as any that’s likely to result from a
            law.  Of course others will prefer that line be drawn otherwise, but
            that doesn’t make their preferred line location any better – and I do
            doubt that a majority of Canadians would agree on any particular,
            earlier line.


      • I want to be careful to say off the top that I am NOT disputing that women get raped in 3rd world countries, however, often as not, the women who require birth control measures are married women and as Bill Gates is finding out in his fight against HIV, men do not approve of any sort of measures ….so we must look for measures that target women that women can use without men’s knowledge. 
        I believe, as I am sure others do, that these other countries, have accepted the restrictions that Canada has put on the money it donated because that means they will just target other money for abortions.  The US did the exact same thing, insisting that only brand name drugs be used for AIDS treatment in third world countries – their donations were used to buy brand name drugs at 3x the cost – everybody else’s money went to buy generic drugs.,

  7. I can picture Paul shaking his head as he is writing this, thinking,  “just how the heck have the conservatives been able to tip-toe through this minefield without stepping on one yet?”

  8. Ok i’m not too proud to ask a perhaps foolish question, since i’ve never fully understood the furor around the MI anyway. Does this mean we are not providing any funds for maternal programme to countries where abortion IS legal? What is the split here between those who do allow abortion and those who don’t – apparently the PPC’s projects will only go in 5 countries. Needless to say i find it perverse, bizarre and hypocritical that, as PW says, the so-cons  are out – sourcing  their pro-life politics when abortion, while still controversial, is still legal in Canada and is funded by this govt – the irony is mindboggling; but then they pulled off something just about as bizarre with asbestos.

    • Irony: China forces abortions on women who already have one child; India and China allow wanted – or unwanted – abortions if the fetus is female. Canada has trade relatins with these two countries.
      Soldiers in some African nations use rape as a weapon. Girls who are raped are unmarriagable and any babies born are thrown away by male family members.
      Asbestos: Canada does not have a good track record, for sure, but doesn’t anyone in India know that handling asbestos without protection is stupid? Surely someone there can write some regualtions.
      But back to the abortion issue for developing nations: the point is, women must have a choice, plain and simple.

  9. I understand why Harper wants to focus the money on Expecting mothers and their babies.  Cause he wants to help Expecting mothers and Babies, and Abortion is a seperate issue.  The issue around women surviving and feeding their children is a real issue seperate from Doctors giving Abortions.  Clean water, proper food, Economic development etc all will improve the life of these vunerable people.

    • It’s supposed to be about maternal health, and every expert on the topic agrees that in third world nations, one aspect of maternal health surrounds the need for safe abortions, because a lot of women are dying from botched ones.

      We’re not talking about affluent women here. Most abortions in third world nations are had by very young girls who were raped and women who already have half a dozen kids and don’t want anymore.

      Contraception only goes so far in these places. Women have virtually no rights, rape is rampant and good luck getting these guys to wear condoms while doing so.

      Honestly, it’s a world apart from our society altogether, and ignoring this major factor is going to undermine progress in other regards.

      • Abortion is another issue.  So is the rule of law.  Of course the rule of law, safe streets etc. will help women.  So will good governance and Jobs, moral fiber etc.  But its no excuse.  Killing someone cause its not someone you were planning for isn’t an excuse.  IF the money spent on abortions was spent on Morality and Police work the rate of Rape would drop.
        here is an example If a rape is proven, there is damage etc, and lets say the baby is proven to be that mans, then have is parts cut off.  It wouldn’t take long for Men to change their actions.

        Again, Rape, Abortion and the rule of law is a seperate subject.  Maybe there needs to be funding to deal with other issues, but that is not what Harper is on about.  He is focusing on Mothers and Children so that they can live after the birth.

        • Wow, you’re really Old Testament, aren’t you? Cutting off body parts?

          In most of these countries, there is no decent judicial system; DNA testing is too costly and therefore out of the question. How do you propose to make the determination of guilt?

          I’ve always found it hard to come to a clear and unequivocal position on abortion. From your tag line, you probably don’t care much about the science, but genetically we are distict humans from the moment of conception and have the potential for long, full lives. So I agree with you that abortion means the death of a human life.

          On the flip side, if a woman is pregnant as a result of a rape, isn’t making her carry that child to term a further form of victimization? Is the society she lives in goingto care for that child if she is so repulsed by it that she decides to abandon it?

          There are times when I’ll agree with you that abortion is flat-out wrong, such as for sex selection. And there are those with differing moral standards who will disagree with us both on even that.

          There are too many variables for me to come up with any kind of cut-and-dried formula. Abortion is one issue that genuinely leaves me torn.

          In an ideal world, there would be no unwanted pregnancies, and so abortion would be moot. But that’s not the world we live in.

          One question before I go: As a Born Again Christian, do you believe in sex education? Contraception? Both of these are proven methods to prevent unwanted pregnancies, and thus abortions. I’m interested in your take because I find that most who oppose abortion on purely religious grounds also oppose the very things that could prevent the conditions that create the demand – a hypocrisy that would be funny if it weren’t so serious a topic.

          • I get a bit bent out of shape when people kick christianity around.  The Problem with the Church is People.  Heck, the problem with Humanity is Humanity.  Your always going to find problems when people are Involved. (getting that off my chest.)

            The Bible is a collection of 66 books, 39 Old Testament (before Jesus) and 27 New Testament (after Jesus.) (that guy born 2011 years ago give or take.)

            There is no mention of Condoms in the Bible.  There is mention of every thing else from Fornication to rape.  And there is a huge difference on how Law was carried out when there was a Theocracy vs. a Occupying Dictatorship.

            I think the world under estimates the Sin problem.  And the Bible is the ONLY book of History that plays out the conflict between Man an his Sins, God and Man.  IF we spent more time learning to be better humans according to Gods plan of Love toward our human friends, we would have less problems with Rape, Murder, Abortion, etc.

            Unfortunately, good old “Respect” for God and Leaders is at a all time Low because people fail and make a mockery of everything good and holy.

            The other problem is the false Science theory around Creation that has cast doubts into some who don’t think much about this stuff.  But thats another story. 

          • I’m hardly kicking Christianity around (I’m Anglican & spent many years in the church choir), but there are sects of the faith that I have problems with.

            Faith came before the bible. The bible is man’s record and interpretation of a group’s collective faith and their struggles with it over time. The writings are divinely inspired, but they are not the literal words of God. Anyone with a familiarity of how the bible was created knows this.

            There are no condoms mentioned in the bible, nor are there aircraft, or cars, and so on – but there are multiple wives; handmaidens; in fact, all kinds of behaviours that were once acceptable but are no longer considered so.

            Re the Creation story: When your young kids have come to you asking a question whose answer would be way above their comprehension, what do you tell them? Do you give them a pared-down, over-simplified version? Stop and think about it: that’s the Creation story. Jesus used parables to teach greater truths; the Creation story is similar. The “days” are eons.

            I assume as well that you believe in prophets and revelation. Do you think all that ended? Can’t God be continuing to reveal His creation to us in the discoveries of science? If He has stopped talking to us, what does that imply?

            I could go on, but we’re way off the topic of the article here, so I’ll stop now.

  10. The Best way to help the poor and Sick is to have a strong economy that can supply a job, good food, healthcare education ect.

  11. “…but only on the condition that mothers carry their fetuses to term and raise their children” Why omit adoption? It’s the logical choice for most of these unfortunate circumstances.  The child gets to live, and the woman doesn’t have to be a mother.

    • Oh yes. Because taking on the risks and expense of pregnancy, the social stigma of being pregnant outside of wedlock, the missed employment opportunities and loss of productive work hours, not to mention having to carry and give birth to a baby you do not want is absolutely no big deal, right?

  12. 1. Men make women pregnant, politicians and clergy, mainly men, write laws that force women to deliver babies, male warlords and terrorists prevent western medical and food aid from reaching sick and starving women and children. Is there a pattern here? Whatever happened to human rights and equality?  If access to safe abortion were a male medical need, you can be darn sure that no one would oppose it.
    2. The “pro-lifers” prefer to see women die in childbirth rather than terminate a pregancy that will kill the mother and newborn baby. BIrth control is seen as against some god’s law. And these people say that abortion is murder? Remember folks, these are the same people who would rather see their daughters die from cervical cancer than take them to the doctor for a vaccination, because they believe that the vaccination will make their daughters have premarital sex.Who allows these people to run the world?

    • Ummm…. the people who elect them? I’m just sayin’.

  13. All these comments prove that Pro choice is forgetting about the Mother and Child who want to have a life.  They are so focused on the freedom to cause the death of a child that they are throwing the Baby out with the Bath water.

    Wake Up.  Get behind this Plan and help mothers and children or are you all just that stubborn.

    • No one who wants access to safe medical abortion would deny women the right to safe pregnancies and delivery of healthy babies. Planned Parenthood and other NGOs would never insist that a pregnancy be terminated. On the other hand, they should not be forced to deny medical care to a woman who cannot continue with a pregnancy.

  14. I think that Mr. Harper should respect the wishes of the Canadian people and the Superior Court and get his nose out of the abortion/birth control issue. He should not be spreading his gospel to the world and claiming that it is the Canadian view, nor should he be deciding to spend my tax money in a manner of which I do not agree. The Third World needs birth control more than any other area – just look at the faces of the millions of starving children shown on tv continuously. Why continue to have these children if the parents and the society in which they live cannot afford to feed them? They need help in planning their families; they need birth control and not Harper’s view of the world.

    • Patricia, I am definitely pro-choice but I don’t know if I want to use my tax dollars to support abortion as “birth control” because men in third world countries won’t wear condoms.  Surely, women there could use other forms of birth control that we could fund.

  15. If I f****d her and she’s pregnant, she and I should have the child.
    If she doesn’t want it, I would happy to tell all of our friends she doesn’t want the child.
    I agree, it is her choice.
    I would be happy to raise the child in a world of choices.
    She may not want to give life to me.
    That is her choice.
    I can live with it if she can.