'Let's pass it unanimously' - Macleans.ca

‘Let’s pass it unanimously’


Conservative MP Mark Warawa explains his motion on “sex-selective” abortion.


‘Let’s pass it unanimously’

  1. An abortion is an abortion. It doesn’t matter what gender you think it is, or the eye-color or the hair-color….or what you think the woman’s motives are.

    If these MPs spent half as much time on jobs and the economy as they do on their personal SoCon crap this country might get somewhere.

    • Condemning sex-selective abortions is extra-appealing to pro-lifers because it gives them control over a woman’s body not just on a time basis, but on a motive one as well. “No matter what you say your reason is, we will decide for you and make your decision on that basis.” It must make them salivate to think about….

  2. If they spent ages working on the wording, they had absolutely every opportunity to confirm the right to an abortion in that wording. The fact they did not is telling, telling indeed…

    • Yeah, it`s only a matter of time that they will want to pass a motion to condemn more reasons for abortion other than the fact that the fetus is female.

      You and the other 8% can see that it`s a conspiracy to take away your hard fought rights.

      • But they aren’t even brave enough to say they want to restrict a women’s right to choose in this area. They had every opportunity to do it right and say “We unconditionally support a woman’s right to an abortion, but to the extent sex selection exists we ask that person’s considering it carefully consider all options.”

        They did not. As said before, this is telling. Just more pro-lifers acting like disingenuous sacks of excrement.

        • Yeah, I`m sure those 92% of Canadians will think those MP`s who vote in favour of a motion condemning sex-selective abortion are all ” disingenuous sacks of excrement “.

          • comparing these supposed 92% to MP Wawacrapsack is unfair. I would venture many haven’t thought it through, and most wouldn’t force a woman into childbirth over it.

        • “Brave enough”?!?!? It’s you so-called “progressive’s” who aren’t brave enough to stand up and simply say that sex-selection abortion is abhorrent.

  3. If there is such a problem, maybe they should ban the release of information on the gender obtained by ultrasounds amniocentesis. I had four children and I didn’t need to know before they were born if they were male or female.

    • Why even bother catering to the faux-concerns of the pro-lifers? Since there are practical benefits to knowing gender beforehand, it’s better to send a message to the bad guys that their wedges aren’t going to work.

      • I see no benefit to knowing the gender before birth – maybe painting pink or blue rather than yellow, etc.

        • I’m not sure whether or not there are more substantive benefits to knowing the gender of a baby before it is born, and I do get your point, but still. Do you realize that you just said that you see no benefit to knowing the gender before birth immediately before citing a benefit of knowing the gender before birth?

          • The benefit I cited – painting blue or pink rather than yellow – is of no substantive importance. That was my point.

          • Oh, I know. I was just being provocatively pedantic. My point was just a (largely meaningless, I know) rhetorical one, in that you didn’t say “I see no benefit of substantive importance” you said “I see no benefit”, followed immediately by citing a benefit.

  4. Y’know, if somebody told me “I only intend to have one baby, I really want it to be of a specific gender, and if I get pregnant and its the “wring” gender I will have an abortion and try again” I’m not sure how strongly I would condemn them, and I certainly wouldn’t rush to make laws to stop them.

    • I would. Perhaps condemn is too strong a word? I’m sorry but that is a red line for me. Aborting a child because you didn’t want the other gender smacks to me of the worst sort of middle class narcissism. I have the greatest empathy for a young person wrestling with whether to have a child for a host of different reasons – not least because it is her own body, but this crosses the old rubicon into something like decadence, for me at least.

      • So reasonable people can disagree on the matter then. Let’s leave it up to each individual. As long as you stick to condemning rather than legislating and forcing.

        Would you be angry about “I have four boys and I don’t want to endure another full pregnancy unless it’s the girl we’ve always wanted”

        • No i wouldn’t be angry. I might be depressed that it is even an issue of individual rights however.

        • Maybe you should look at adoption because how many times will you get pregnant and abort to get the right sex?

          • it would be a concern. THAT PERSON’S concern.

        • I would say you have absolutely no respect for the sanctity of life, and are probably an unfit mother to your 4 boys.

          • Your history of saying stupid things continues unabated.

          • Likewise

      • So isn’t the obvious solution to restrict knowledge of a fetus’ gender, rather than looking to restrict abortion? At least that would move the debate to a topic that can be considered rationally.

        Of course, the pro-life side would never accept that, since it would not advance their agenda.

        • I’m not sure I could look an adult in the eye and say “I can’t tell you the sex of the baby because you might run out and abort it if you knew”

          • Sure i get that. But apparently it happens. Perhaps we need some reliable data on how much of a real problem this is? I wouldn’t be shocked to find it is another tory wedge issue they have largely trumped up or magnified for their own reasons.

          • The CBC story was about a private clinic, not public, that was operated by people originally from India, and served basically women originally from India. They raised the point that women who refuse to get abortions because they are carrying females risk being beaten by their families. It is an awful practice that comes from a nation that does not typically offer equality to its females the way Canada does. This is NOT a large-spread problem, and indeed, the conservatives are just trying on different hats to try to reach into the abortion debate. You can google that and watch the segment on cbc.ca. No I do not agree with the practice but NEVER will I agree that women should not have access to safe, doctor-guided legal abortions in Canada. Maybe stop letting clinics tell people the results of their ultrasounds until we`re past 20 weeks gestation or something.

          • Does the proposed bill [motion? Sorry, you can see i haven’t got a handle on this story yet] specifically attempt to limit abortions across the board in some way? I’m playing devil’s advocate but what is the upside for the social con side other than stopping sex selection? Since abortion is not an absolute right in the sense that there are conscious restriction on third term pregnancies, it’s hardly likely the SCons can say: look we’ve shown this isn’t an absolute right so let’s get busy legislating in other areas.
            That said. It’s best not to let these guys get a foot in the door in the first place. The 20 week solution seems reasonable to me.

          • @GMFD: Neither could I. And I think if this debate were held on reasonable terms (ie. not about abortion) it would quickly fade away due to lack of evidence that it’s required at all.

            But this isn’t about sex-selective abortions, it’s about getting a toehold on what is today a decision between a woman and her doctor. This kind of incremental strategy is why nobody should give an inch to the pro-life crowd.

          • Yes! Exactly!

          • Don’t forget that humanity has survived for thousands of years without the knowledge of the gender of an unborn baby. The knowledge of the gender has no substantial benefit.

            I too would like to know how large a problem this is – another case of those ‘countless’ Canadians who were harassed in the middle of the night by StatsCan people, or a real problem?

          • It is all about the timing of when the information is disclosed. If the parents find out in the second trimester, it is highly unlikely they will be able to obtain a gender-selection abortion.

        • That seems like a sensible idea, even an unavoidable compromise. I don’t favour forcing anyone to do anything unless it is completely unavoidable. Perhaps, just perhaps as GFMD implies it could be left largely up to say the discretion of a medical body who can allow obvious exceptions, as in the case cited ie.,i have four girls i would like a boy?Isn’t that my right?
          Still, personally that offends me even as i recognize it respects the right to choose.

          • I can’t see any physician providing an abortion because you have “four daughters and desperately want a son”. You might feel it is your right but unless YOUR OWN sperm produce the right chromosomes, no son will be forthcoming. How many daughters will you abort until you get your beloved son that you THINK you deserve? This is public healthcare for goodness sakes. It isn’t the local restaurant where you put in your order. My aunt had 7 daughters before she got a son. Who told you that you were guaranteed a son? What happened to “I just want a healthy baby”?

          • Did you bother to read any of my other posts? Do you know what maybe, just maybe means???

        • Oh yeah, sure then you would have back-alley ultrasound clinics—-how dare gender info be withheld !

        • Um, isn’t that exactly what the pro-life side is ASKING FOR?

      • kcm2, nooooo! This is red herring stuff. To abort or not is between a woman and her doctor. Period. Her reason for seeking an abortion is not our business, and while you may feel judgy based on her reasons, that judgy feeling is simply not enough to start revisiting divisive legislation. Women who seek abortions for gender reasons are likely immigrants from countries where women are devalued, and perhaps also only allowed to have one child. The fact that other countries do not value females is nothing we can control, except we can keep trying for equality between genders here in our own nation. If I was stephen harper, I would spank Warawa, maybe even with a wooden spoon. This is a backdoor abortion debate, and it’s intended to make moderate and open-minded people like yourself pause. Please do not pause. This is not broke, and it doesn’t need to be fixed — but it surely makes a dandy and divisive way to keep people’s minds off the fact that our food supply is making us sick, and our government continues to deny its role in our sick food system.

        • I mean, it’s okay to feel judgy — I don’t agree with gender specific abortions either, but that’s because I am from Canada, and so as a female, consider myself to be of value, and also so is my daughter. But you know, people from the other countries that we immigrate new Canadians from, well they don’t necessarily have that benefit. Consider stopping that influx at the immigration file, but not on a women’s health file!

          • If they are coming to live in Canada, they now will learn to value women. What is the point of making the circumcision of women illegal and the beating of women illegal….things they are allowed to do in their country of origin…..if we are going to pay for them to use abortion to choose not have any baby girls. Afterall, these girls will be first generation Canadians. They certainly have the right not to procreate and we as a society have the right not to fund gender bias abortions.

          • Cultural adaptation takes generations, as I am sure you know, HI. This is a red herring and I would prefer it wasn’t being discussed anywhere. Abortion is between a woman and her doctor, and it’s none of our business why she wants one.

          • You are absolutely right and my guess is that NO physicians are knowingly doing gender-selection abortions. All you have to look at is the little two-year old girl who died this last week in Edmonton. We can’t wait years for cultural adaptation. We need to role model in this country that girls are valuable and I truly believe our physicians will do so.

        • Point taken.

        • patchouli – your argument – “women who seek abortions for gender reasons are likely immigrants from countries where women are devalued and perhaps only allowed to have one child’ – would be valid IF those women were not now living in Canada, a country that values women and allows them to have as many children as they want. I am all for women wearing their burkas and their nijabs but to embrace their views that girl children are NOT AS GOOD as boys by allowing them to use taxpayer-funded abortions as a gender-selection tool……NAW, I don’t think so.
          That “judgy” feeling I have has nothing to do with my pro-choice stance. It has everything to do with my “pro-girl” stance. If you don’t want to procreate at this point in time, FINE….have an abortion but if you don’t want to have a girl….don’t procreate because your chances of having one are 50/50.

          • I didn’t think, from your comments last week, that you are prochoice. And I agree with your last sentence here. I am making no argument for anything except that we have abortion laws in Canada right now that are working just fine, and any debate that purports to be about something else but is really about striking down abortion law is nothing but divisive. The battle was fought in 1968, when abortion became legal but required the consent of a panel of doctors; in 1988, that was changed to be between a woman and her physician.

          • I agree with you 100% that the abortion laws in Canada are fine as they are but I also believe that there are NO physicians in Canada providing gender-selection abortions. Apparently the a Canadian Medical Journal has warned that there are people looking for this service. I completely believe that Canadians are a empathic people. They want women to have the option of abortion to them when procreation is NOT a good choice at certain time in a wowan’s life for whatever reason. Having said that, I am not at all surprised that very few Canadians are in favor of women using publicly-funded abortion as a means of designing the perfect family in terms of gender. If you really can’t procreate right now for whatever reason, we get that but if you want a boy first and then a girl so you have to abort the one your carrying because you are carrying a girl and that isn’t what you planned for your “perfect” family, we don’t get that so much. That is not about pro-choice. That is about taking advantage of the system. My suggestion is you stick to designer puppies. You can pick their sex, their color, their size and their termperment. This isn’t an the abortion issue. This is a designer-baby issue that has gotten ahead of the science. As for cultural acclimatation….sorry we don’t offer the service of gender-bias abortion here…just like you can’t float your baby girl down the river.

          • Suggest all you want. DO NOT legislate.

  5. There was a pro-life rally on public grounds this weekend in Regina. Good thing the government did not want to reopen the debate. Good thing they remain focused on jobs and the economy, and don’t keep getting derailed from such important issues.

    Wait, what?

  6. So let’s recap. Requiring gun owners to register those weapons or requiring a response to mandatory census questions is an unreasonable interence with citizens’ freedom, but compelling someone to carry a fetus inside her body (for whatever reason) for nine months is okay?

    • Pretty sad commentary if we’re going to equate guns with humans. And, I’m not sure what Mr. Warawa’s motion has to do with “compelling someone to carry a fetus inside her body for nine months”. Why polarize the debate when clearly most Canadians are against the mysoginistic practice of killing girls simply because they’re girls?


      • Pretty sad if misogynists are disingenuously using this as a wedge to get abortion legislation in through the back door.

  7. I tend to agree that it is morally reprehensible to make the choice of whether to abort or not simply on the basis of the child’s sex. I don’t think I would have a problem with not revealing the sex to the prospective parents and letting them make their decision on some other basis.

    One does wonder, though, how big a problem this really is if only 8% of Canadians think sex selection is OK. How many of that 8% are actually getting pregnant and seeking out the child’s sex to make a determination?

    • A lot of people really like to know the gender of their child beforehand and I am concerned about restricting it to placate anti-abortionists (not that it would work…)

    • CBC made it pretty clear it was happening. Even so, just because it’s rare does that mean we just leave it alone? Like, child labour is pretty rare too. Should we get rid of child labour laws?

  8. These are all discussions that likely go on within the medical community, but that’s where they should stay. For this cpc MP to imply this is a problem is just plain more anti-choice rhetoric. It’s a misfire. It’s a red herring. There are endless numbers of reasons for having an abortion, and none of them are any of my business. Chip away at any reasons, and you chip away at all. Trust the statisics folks. In countries where abortion is a approached as a medical procedure, where education and support is strong, where issues of equality and gender are addressed head-on, abortion rates GO DOWN. Full stop. Saying there is no law on abortion in Canada is another misdirect, there is no law because it is a medical procedure. Canada’s approach to abortion lowers abortion rates. If you don’t know how or why, then you have some reading to do. If people don’t want to see this nonsense over and over, start either voting for parties that currently have policy that protects the repro rights of women (ndp, green) or demand that your party develop new policy (liberal, conservative).

    • Policy? We have legislation, hard-won legislation, that is being ignored.

  9. This is one of these issues where even the smart pro-choicer should be quiet and do not be seen to encouraging sex-selective abortions—it is obviously wrong and those that do it should be condemned.

    We will see how many smart pro-choicers there are in Parliament.

  10. I find it truly amazing that so many so-called “progressives” are unwilling to stand up and say that sex-selection abortion is wrong. Honestly stunning.

    • I’m surpised that so many so-called “conservatives” are willing to use the power of the nanny state to interfere in individual women’s decisions.

      • On what planet does DENOUNCING a barbaric practice constitute the “use the power of the nanny state to interfere in individual women’s decisions”? Why on earth would you support sex-selection abortion?

    • Fine. I’ll say it. Sex-selection abortion is wrong.
      Honest to god truth? I find most of the reasons for abortion to be shameful — though often that shame falls on us and the society we’ve built.

      Still, forcing a person, any person, to provide the use of their body in support of another — even if that support is vital to life — is even more wrong.

  11. the stats, in no uncertain terms, say that sex-selective abortion is not an issue in north america. i’m not sure where if canada has stats on this, but the states’ center for disease control actually shows that male to female ratio is showing a disfavour for males. in 1983, 1,052 boys were born for every 1,000 girls born in the us. in 2009, 1,048 boys were born for every 1,000 girls (i’m not sure if posting links here is allowed, but a google search will get you the source if you like it).
    so we’re willing to cut off women’s ability to control their own bodies and lives because of an imagined problem? nope.