What we're not talking about - Macleans.ca
 

What we’re not talking about


 

The realities of abortion in Tanzania are brutal. Canadian aid groups are confused and concerned. And a Liberal MP says a vote on abortion is inevitable.

The Abortion Rights Coalition of Canada apparently figures there are 124 “pro-choice” MPs and 120 “anti-abortion” MPs in the current Parliament, with 64 votes unaccounted for (a “pro-life” rally on Parliament Hill last week drew approximately 20 MPs). Though given the divergent views on the topic—as noted by Chris Selley—those titles might be overly simplified.


 

What we’re not talking about

  1. Abortion is legal (and funded) here. Abortion is legal in the places we would fund it with foreign aid dollars. Access to safe abortions has been demonstrated to improve maternal health.

    Those three facts are really all that matter in this discussion. If the Conservatives don't believe we should be funding abortion abroad, then either they'd better demonstrate why it doesn't improve maternal health, or for consistency, they should opening up the issue of whether abortion should be legal and funded here.

    • "If the Conservatives don't believe we should be funding abortion abroad, then either they'd better demonstrate why it doesn't improve maternal health … "

      Why isn't it enough to demonstrate that not aborting a child improves its health? Not killing vulnerable and defenseless babies seems like a good thing to me but who can understand the liberal mind.

      Many liberals seem to believe they are on the side of angels while championing policies that murder the weakest members of society (abortion and euthanasia).

      • "Why isn't it enough to demonstrate that not aborting a child improves its health?"

        Well simply because if they believe that abortion's damage to the fetus is overriding to other concerns, then they should be discussing the legality (and morality) of abortion here. There is an inherent inconsistency in the positions taken by the Conservative government before even touching the actual abortion issue, namely that they are applying a different set of moral rules to those in other countries than to those here.

        There are only two ways this inconsistency can be legitimately sidestepped – either abortion is illegal in the countries we are assisting (and we can't interfere with their sovereignty) or abortion is ineffective in achieving the stated goals of the funding (making it not immoral, but wasted aid dollars). In the absence of those considerations, the Conservatives must either agree to fund abortion in other countries, or open up the debate on abortion in Canada (or continue in their hypocrisy).

      • Perhaps you need to look up the word "maternal"

    • Maybe what we choose to focus on is WHY there are so many abortions to start with. Why don't women have a say over their bodies, why are they abused by generations of men, why are they deemed property to be dealt with as animals. Change those situations and you won't need so many abortions. Lets get to the root of the problem, not the manifestation of it. What outcry would there be if we offered free vasectomies to the men? What if we worked at making women equal in power rather than doormats to their men. There are much more important things to work on than everyone putting all their money into abortion.

      • Well, why are there so many abortions here? It's hard to get stats on it, but a cursory google search shows that the abortion rate is lower there than here. If abortions are because of root problems in their society, what's the explanation for our higher rate?

        The whole point of this initiative is to improve the health of women and children, hopefully to move them towards what Canadians enjoy. As such, that doesn't mean we need to reduce the number of abortions (because we get more and have good overall health), nor that any other efforts to improve women's health would result in a net reduction in abortions (because we have good overall health and get more).

  2. Good, let's talk about it. Let's talk about what abortion is as well, about how we're discussing killing unborn Tanzanian babies, against Tanzanian law. Let's show ultrasound video of these babies prior to the abortion. Let's also show pictures of some of the corpses of these babies after the abortion, and compare to babies delivered by C-section at the same stage of development. Let's spell out exactly what stage of fetal development will count as "too late to provide an abortion".

    Perhaps then we can resolve to help women who are desperate for abortions in Tanzania not by helping them kill their children (illegally), but rather by giving them excellent pre-natal care, obstetrical care, post-natal infant care, helping them link up with the many couples eagerly waiting to adopt a baby in Canada (if they so choose) or helping them get back on their feet and care for their young children if that is their preference.

    • Sure. Let's also show some videos of pubescent girls bleeding to death, or dying of infection. Let's also get some footage of filthy rooms and instruments used in backalley abortions, and the charlatans who perform them.

      You wanna appeal to emotion? Fine.

      "Perhaps then we can resolve to help women who are desperate for abortions in Tanzania not by helping them kill their children (illegally)"

      Who has put forward a serious proposal that the G20 fund abortions in countries where it's currently illegal?

      • Who has put forward a serious proposal that the G20 fund abortions in countries where it's currently illegal?

        Nobody has. So why do guys like Glen Pearson point to sad stories in countries where abortion is outlawed, like Sudan or Tanzania, saying some variation of: Why won't Harper help these poor women get safe abortions? when in fact there's nothing that Harper or any other G8 leader can do if it's illegal there.

        • It isn't completely illegal. There are legal abortions in these countries (like when a mother's life is at risk and when a pregnancy has terminated of natural causes and the fetus must be removed). Very narrow circumstances but they exist and because there is such a taboo around maternal health generally, abortion particularly, women are seriously at risk even in these cases because of lack of hygienic facilities, lack of medical education and lack of funding.

          Now, it is a fully legitimate debate to have over whether helping make better and healthier the few circumstances of abortion in these countries is the most effective use of the funds, or whether it would be better to focus all money on other things than to spread the funds out too thinly. Unfortunately, Harper refuses to consider even that debate.

          But at least you are conceding that it is a fabrication by supporters of Harper's new policy for Canada to say that anyone is trying to push abortion on Africa.

          • "….when a pregnancy has terminated of natural causes and the fetus must be removed"

            That's not the issue. No one objects to removing a dead fetus, pro-lifers included. What people object to is helping to kill the fetus, i.e. "elective abortions". Let's not confuse things.

          • I'm not talking about who is objecting to what. I am talking about a tangible real results of Harper's policy, whether objectionable or not.

            In other words, by singling out and banning any funding for abortion so pointedly and exclusively, Harper has cut off funding to a number of maternal health needs that no one objects to, in addition to cutting off funding for needs a minority of Canadians object to (and according to polls and shrinking minority).

          • Removal of a dead fetus is not considered an "abortion", since the pregnancy has already ended (i.e. aborted) once the fetus is dead. So no, this policy does not affect it.

          • The medical procedures are the same. It is very technical and difficult and requires specialized training. Botched medical practices very easily result in losing your ability to become pregnant, infections, sickness and death.

            The funding for this training will not come from Canada. Just like the funding for safe legal abortions when the mother's health or life is at risk will not come from Canada. Nor will funding for abortion come from Canada for fetuses with severe genetic defects (eg no lungs) who will not survive even an hour outside of the womb but could harm or kill the woman if she is forced to go full term and deliver.

          • Yes, and how can we best help improve legal medical procedures in African countries where abortion is strictly illegal? By training doctors, providing medical supplies and facilities, and improving access to health care generally. Fortunately, the Canadian PM chose to spearhead a new multinational initiative to help women and children in the world's poorest countries, which will hopefully end up saving thousands of lives.

          • But no abortion training. Harper has singled that medical procedure out from all others and ruled that women in developing countries should not get the same kind of assurance of properly trained doctors and safe hygienic facilities that women have in Canada.

          • But no abortion training

            Trained physicians can perform abortions, just as they would any other other medical procedure. It's not like Canada will somehow fund medical training, but tear out the textbook chapters that relate to abortions.

          • There is no "textbook" that covers all medical procedures. That's not how doctors learn.

            There is specific funding, for example, for heart clinics that will perform heart surgery and teach how to do heart surgery.

            Abortion procedures are highly technical. Any surgeon can perform an abortion just like any surgeon can do heart surgery. Without specialized training and funding for that training, you will have poor service.

            Harper decreed Canada will not provide that funding. I accept that funding for training for safe legal abortions in cases of health/life of the mother may or may not be the most efficient use of limited health funding. But Harper ruled out that discussion altogether by deciding no funding for anything to do with abortion.

            You can say general funding will still help women in this situation but that is not true since the funding he will permit is not general funding but specific, targetted funding for maternal health initiatives that do not include anything to do with abortion.

            No amount of sugar coating will make that pill go down easier.

          • If you're saying that Harper has ruled out targeted Canadian funding for specialized "teaching" abortion clinics, then you're probably right.

            If you're saying that general funding, improving standards of medical care, providing sterile medical supplies and antibiotics, etc. won't help improve survival rates for one particular type of procedure, then I disagree. It will help improve survival rates for all medical procedures.

          • I'm saying:

            He definitely won't be approving funding for specialized teaching of abortion practices and procedures.

            But also that he won't be funding it indirectly as you suggest either, or at least I don't see where that funding fits in. The maternal health funding won't fund improving standards of medical care generally or providing sterile medical supplies and antibiotics generally. It will be targetted funding to specific maternal health initiatives.

            We really have no idea what that means because the Conservatives continue to refuse to talk about details, but it clearly doesn't mean they'll be handing money over to general purposes or to general hospital funds. Everything they have said about what they are planning – when it hasn't completely contradicted their own prior statements – indicates that it will be highly targetted funding and so they will know the specific uses of their dollars.

          • Highly targeted funding is good, because it is probably the most efficient use of limited funds. For example, If Canada provides targeted funds to vaccinate millions of mothers and babies, we can probably save thousands more lives that way.

            The details will be worked out in cooperation with our G8 partners. I'm sure there will be dozens of targeted initiatives like the vaccination program example.

        • "why do guys like Glen Pearson point to sad stories in countries where abortion is outlawed"

          Yup, fair enough. But 1) the G20 could lobby to make abortion legal in these countries and then fund it, and 2) I suspect (though I have no data) that the situation isn't much better for most women in countries where abortion is legal, considering the shoddy state of health services there.

          Oh, and 3) of course, I was replying to Gaunilon's claim that unspecified people wanted to fund abortions in countries where it is not legal. This is not part of any serious policy proposal I've ever heard of.

          • Gaunilon was replying to Wherry's introduction of abortion in Tanzania to the debate…on which we're all commenting.

          • But neither Wherry nor the author of the Globe piece advocate funding abortions in Tanzania or anywhere else that they're currently illegal.

          • the G20 could lobby to make abortion legal in these countries and then fund it

            I don't think it's really that simple, but you have a point that rich countries can use their influence to change regressive laws in third world countries, much like that notable gay rights hero, Stephen Joseph Harper, recently did in Uganda.
            http://www2.macleans.ca/2010/02/25/harper-hero-to

            Thank goodness that we have progressive leaders like Harper who are willing to use Canada's influence to defend persecuted minorities abroad, and who use their G8 clout to launch multi-billion dollar international initiatives to help the world's poorest and neediest.

          • honest question CR: have you come out of the closet yet as being fully in the CPC camp? cause with posts like that it is hard to believe otherwise.

          • Perhaps you just didn't get my dry sense of humour? I thought the "gay rights hero" quip was rather droll, but it didn't come from me – it came from Ugandans. Credit where credit is due.

            Obviously I'm centre-right, and in debates on these boards I often find myself filling a useful ecological niche by making the case for the Government side. Based on my moderate conservative views, I tend to support the Conservatives, but that doesn't stop me from criticizing them when I feel it's warranted. For example, I slammed Harper when he decided to prorogue a second time. I've also been critical of many Conservative backbenchers and cabinet ministers.

            I have no involvement with any political party.

          • well, the Ugandans were indeed wry in that case, and your humourological bonafides are served by having the good sense to pick it up CR. and by no means was i suggesting that you were not willing to pick up on suitable criticisms of the party. most often i see you as an honest broker. and your expression of your moderate conservatism views are well appreciated in contrast to the type of support for the party offered by others here. the point was only that in not picking up on the Ugandans jest, it was impossible to read that statement without seeing 'a party man' formally or informally.

          • The larger point I was making is that Harper really did a fantastic job supporting persecuted gays in Uganda, and he deserves praise from all quarters for his efforts there. He also deserves praise for spearheading the maternal and child health initiative, because it has the potential to do a lot of good in the world.

            The Marci McDonalds would have us believe that Harper is some kind of scary ultraright theocrat, ignoring the evidence that shows that he's really quite moderate.

          • "The Marci McDonalds would have us believe that Harper is some kind of scary ultraright theocrat, ignoring the evidence that shows that he's really quite moderate."

            This from a frog who's pointedly ignoring McDonald's evidence, which can hardly be dismissed by the single example of Harper (quite rightly) telling Ugandans they shouldn't kill people just for being gay.

          • I knew you couldn't resist, TJ! Thanks for taking the time to thumb down my comments, too. I appreciate little gestures like that.

            By the way, loved your "evidence" from a few days ago. For example, as evidence of "regressive policies for homosexuals", you posted the following link:
            http://www.cbc.ca/canada/saskatchewan/story/2010/

            You get an "F" for this one, TJ. The Saskatchewan Court of Appeal case you link to is not evidence of regressive government policies, and I think it's bizarre that you would claim that it is.

            Surely you can do better, TJ. Do your homework and resubmit. I'll be back here at 10:00 MST to check it out.

          • Nice diversion – you're still cherry-picking minor points and making big,declarative statements like "[Harper] is really quite moderate" and this whole debate is "nothing but pathetic fear-mongering based on exaggerations and outright distortions."

            I realize you just like stirring up sh*t, but this is really weak stuff. You're dodging everything of substance. Are you going full ConFrog on us?

            But hey, as long as we're redoing our homework, here's my original post:http://www2.macleans.ca/2010/05/14/hey-look-there… How about – for the first time – you address the substance of the post. Was there a weak reference in there? Maybe. How about all the others?

            Or at least try again at responding to Dee's points: ""funding religious organizations over those that promote women's rights…" or ""taking a mindless pro-Israel stance instead of the previously more balanced approach to Middle East foreign policy… " You pretended not to see those last time you declared victory.

            You went out of your way to insult Dee, at least have enough respect to address what she said. Let's all hold our breath for an honest response from the frog.

            BTW, I don't bother with thumbs up/down, too petty. But I did this time!

          • Odd, that. Are you suggesting that "really quite moderate" is a compliment for an allegedly conservative politician?

          • But in this case Harper is drawing the line at using his/their influence to change abortion laws in third world countries; lobbying for changes would help to distinguish him even more clearly from a scary ultraright theocrat.

            It is certainly his right to decline to do that lobbying – a lot of people would be very surprised if he did, and others would be upset – but there is room for him to try to be even more progressive if he desired.

            At some level some of the frustration surrounding the maternal health thing is that Harper won't just come out and say "I'm strongly against abortions (anywhere in the world, or with whatever other qualifiers he wants to add) and I will not encourage other countries to decriminalize it or provide access."

          • I do think if he is moderate because he has to be, not necessarily because he wants to be.
            Uniting the right into a viable alternative involved blunting some of the more socially conservative views of the base in order to appeal to the center – where the votes are/were. Fair enough and mission accomplished. But given his druthers, I wonder just how moderate he might be?

          • TJ:

            We're on the same side on this issue I believe, but just to clarify one point: no one is suggesting that the G8, or the G20 or Canada should be encouraging countries to change their laws to permit abortion.

            Canada, along with the UN and most/all developed countries, signed the UN Beijing Declaration on women's health including reproductive health which clarifies that, where legal, abortion should be safe but, while clearly indicating that it is of fundamental importance to women and their rights to control all aspects of their sexual and reproductive health, it does affirm that it is the local sovereign jurisdiction that determines its own laws.

          • That's a good clarification, and it's too bad that the distinction is often blurred by partisan rhetoric on this issue. What percentage of the world's annual deaths from botched abortions occur in countries where abortion is illegal?

          • Most countries allow abortion under certain circumstances. So if you want to know about countries where it is always illegal, go and find out which ones they are and give us a list.

            But stop lying about how abortion is illegal in most countries.

          • But stop lying about how abortion is illegal in most countries.

            I never said that, Holly. Logically, this means that YOU are the one who is lying.

          • So what countries do not allow abortion under any circumstances?

          • Malta, The Holy See, and probably Saudi Arabia, Yemen, and a whole host of others.

          • Or you could just check wikipedia. The first two I know are true… the others are conjectures based on their a$$ backwardness.

    • Sure, and let us also discuss the life of the mother who should never have been a mother, and her child after there was no abortion. Let's discuss the cost of living and how much welfare pays for mother's allowance. Let's discuss the statistics of what happens to those un-aborted children when they hit the teen years.

      I do agree with you, though, about a "when its too late to provide an abortion" date.

      • Yes, let's go around killing "troubled teens". Actually, why not just walk into some low-income high school somewhere and announce "you're all worthless pieces of sh*t who would have been better off dead! If you can't be an effette Annex-dwelling Liberal, you'd be better off dead, bitches!".

        • Well I can certainly see where you got the idea that that's what I was saying, my apologies.

          No, what I meant was that while various strangers will come around to a woman contemplating an abortion in order to talk her out of it, they all mysteriously disappear when it comes time to raise the child she was talked into carrying and couldn't bear to give up. Many of those same strangers are also the ones who bitterly complain about their tax dollars going to support uneducated women who think the way to make money is have children and get the country to pay for them. And many of those same strangers are the same people who, while complaining about the amount of tax dollars going to support these women, have not actually discovered how much money these women get–and what that money can buy in terms of safe and clean housing, sports and club opportunities and the like.

          • You wrote:

            "Let's discuss the statistics of what happens to those un-aborted children when they hit the teen years."

            The obvious and in fact only implication of this statement is that "high risk" populations ought to have been aborted. But if you know that certain people's lives aren't worth living, why ask them how they feel about living once they're out of the womb either? And why not use this as a general principle of population control: if you know what the "statistics" about "un-aborted children" born to poor black families are, say, just make it illegal for them to born; only rich white bitches in the Annex should be giving birth – not that they'd want to.

          • Right now, for instance, I'm off to slaughter "un-aborted children" who have "hit the teen years" on aboriginal reserves, because, after all, I know what their "statistics" are.

          • Oh Jenn, now look what you've unleashed.

          • "Let's discuss the statistics of what happens to those un-aborted children when they hit the teen years."

            Yes, indeed, let's discuss it so we can see how they'd be better off dead. In which case, it's pretty easy to see which portions of the population should be having forced abortions right now. And, given that you people claim to know what makes other people's lives not worth living, there is no logical reason to prevent their mass mercy-killings "when they have hit the teen years". What with the "statistics" and all.

          • Incidentally, while you may defend Jenn, she effectively admits the outrageousness of her original statement by declining to mention it in her response. She goes into detail about her first several statements, but says nothing more about the "discussion" she had called for about what should "happen" to "un-aborted children" once "they hit the teen years". So my guess is her original post let slip more than she'd like about how she sees the issue.

          • Hey Zaphron, did you get the apology? The one that was sorry for the unclear language used in the first post? Ah yes, I see that you did.

            Well then, just so we understand why nobody apologizes for anything anymore. Thanks for your graciousness.

          • Actually, I never the first line of any post.

          • "read"? "understand"? "complete"?

            "allow my rhetorical momentum to be in any way affected by"?

          • I actually would call it a Freudian slip!
            Zaphron has all of you pegged!

          • Pegged as what?

          • Do you believe that Jenn is actually advocating that parents be allowed to kill their teen-age offspring if they become too burdensome? Or that she believes that society should take that course of action?

          • "Sure, and let us also discuss the life of the mother who should never have been a mother, and her child after there was no abortion. Let's discuss the cost of living and how much welfare pays for mother's allowance. Let's discuss the statistics of what happens to those un-aborted children when they hit the teen years. "

            Read it AGAIN Einstein! She is JUSTIFYING abortion on these grounds! If we can be branded as folks who would like to jail women who have aborted their fetus (a lie perpetrated by the likes of tedbutt) we can do the same. As MOST of these women Jenn is refering to are women of colour, I'll throw in the good 'ol racist charge for good measure.
            Boy, Isn't smearing people fun!
            I can see how the left gets off on this!

          • Thanks, Gary. I agree with you…I believe that Jenn is justifying abortion, and I believe that she justifies it on the grounds that mothers should have the right to control how many children they have, and that that right extends for some length of time – how long I'm not sure – into a pregnancy.

            My comment was trying to get clarification from Zaphron, who took Jenn's statement and extrapolated it into this: And, given that you people claim to know what makes other people's lives not worth living, there is no logical reason to prevent their mass mercy-killings "when they have hit the teen years". I was, and still am, curious if Zaphron believes that his characterization of Jenn's comment was accurate. What do you think about Zaphron's extrapolation?

          • I don't realy want to comment much on what Zaphron's intent was with that comment, but I giggled a bit thinking that his response was a bit of tongue in cheek cynicism. I employ that tact as well when I find people are dismissing things as if the ends justify the means. As for the "right" to control how many children they have…………..there is a WHOLE host of far less disgusting options, like say, KEEP YOUR PANTS ON!

          • …that his response was a bit of tongue in cheek cynicism. I employ that tact as well….

            What result are you hoping for when you use that tactic? Do you usually get the result for which you are hoping?

          • Really don't care what the result is. I just call them as I see them. I'm not here to sway opinions, but to comment on a message board that is discussing issues important to me. I find it amusing that someone who tries to justify a gruesome act with such flimsy reasoning gets a pass and even a pat on the back, and someone who points out the hypocrisy of it all is asked things like what do you think is the reaction you will get for your efforts.

          • I'm just trying to understand your point of view. At the same time I'm also trying to understand your approach. Hopefully you are OK with that.

          • If we can be branded as folks who would like to jail women who have aborted their fetus…

            What would you suggest that society should do with women (and the doctors, I suppose) who have aborted their fetus? Any exceptions that come to mind?

          • UMMMMMMMM not sure if you THINK I actually want to jail women (more tongue in cheek cynicism)……………………..Make them pay……………like ALL of my posts have asked for.
            UNLESS in the small chance that it would be a REAL medical necessity, then an abortion is the right procedure. Simple as that! And I would put money on the fact, that if the question to Canadians was if they would like some restrictions as to the availability of abortions, they would be OK with it. Why is it that there is funding for killing unwanted babies, and couples that CAN'T concieve are forced to pay for procedures out of pocket that will make this a reality. Groups like Planned Parenthood (misnomer of the year) are more likely to go to bat for the act of killing a child that the manufacturing of one! They must be proud!

          • Make them pay…

            Can you be more specific?

          • If a woman feels the need to terminate a pregnancy for the reason, say, "I have too many and can't afford another mouth to feed", I DON'T want to fund their CHOICE! They want the abortion, they can find the funds to do so. I'm not fussy where that money comes from, welfare cheque withholding, mom and dad, husband/boyfriend or a garnisheement of (future) wages, picking bottles in ditches, I don't care. I refuse to be held accountable/responsible by someone elses lack of planning. I'll stay out of mother/doctor decisions if they stay out of my wallet!

          • Thanks!

            I chuckled when I read this reply, but maybe not for the reason that you might think….in your previous comment I had mistakenly interpreted "Make them pay" as make them pay some type of criminal sanction, which is why I was asking.

            And that demonstrates why I ask for clarifications here and there – because written communications are so easily misunderstood (at least by me), and I would hope that you at least want you posts to be understood.

            Thanks again.

          • Jenn, I have over the years migrated to pro-choice. It's the individual freedom thing that finally sealed it for me. So I get uncomfortable with the social engineering arguments you are making here, even in the clarified state you have helpfully offered.

            Which some (perhaps including yourself) will no doubt find curious, since you are advocating (if I am following you, and I think I am) for less waste of taxpayer dough on people who could have saved society the trouble by not existing in the first place. But the ending to that sentence makes me very queasy.

          • Yeah, me too. I think you missed an important part of my thought (which I'm obviously expressing poorly and while that is a normal phenomenon for me, I do regret it). I don't think I'm socially engineering anything because I am only speaking about women who are contemplating an abortion and are being talked out of it. The ones who are having a hard enough time surviving by themselves financially, working their full or two part-time jobs, and would be emotionally damaged permanently if Ithey couldn't be part of the life they gave birth to. Every woman doesn't make a good mother, and some of us know it. Some of us know it, and have kids anyway (sorry, kids!)

            I'm trying to say that people who would intrude on that woman's choice to not have the child are often the very same people who resent helping her pay for it. I'm also not saying that all women who don't have an abortion are "sucking at the teat of the welfare trough" so let's not go there, either. I am saying that if these people are requiring a woman to have a child she is not emotionally or financially capable of raising, there are two choices: First, we could require (as in force) her to give the baby up for adoption. (Great! Now we have the poor and unstable forced to bear children for the wealthy! There is slavery, and then there is something even more evil, like that.) Second, we could help her raise the child by giving her the resources she actually needs to do the job. Which would cost more than we are providing now, and which many people complain about at the current levels.

          • I don't know where this Zaphron guy is coming from or why you felt you had to apologize, I understood exactly what you were trying to say. You are making the "Freakonomics" argument (at least when you talk about the statistics of when the "unaborted" children reach the teen years). Which in my opinion is a very good argument.

    • I imagine the Liberal Party of Canada would love it if the Conservatives would start that discussion.

      • I imagine the Liberal Party of Canada is not an entirely monolithic entity when it comes to that discussion, as recent events have made abundantly clear even to the Ignatieffs of the world.

        • Iggy really did seem to be surprised when his own motion was defeated thanks to his own MPs. As Kady O'Malley said: "Must agree with other observers: that was a stunning example of utter Liberal disorganization in the House."

          • Another feather in Michael's crap

          • Was it really just disorganization in the House? It seemed like Mr. Ignatieff had badly misjudged his caucus on the substance, not that his House leader fumbled the voting instructions.

          • You're absolutely right – it was first and foremost a bad judgment call by a leader who isn't really "in tune" with members of his own caucus. I believe this was Gaunilon's point.

        • Even the ones who might favour restrictions on abortion would love a return to being the majority government, though.

          And if the cons make it an election issue, the Lib party will respond as one, at least to the extent that party policy will be clear. It beat Stock Day, it could beat Stephen Harper.

        • to the Ignatieffs of the world.

          OMG, there's more than one?

    • really Gaunilon, you want to chat? I asked you some questions a week or so ago after reply to your observations and i see you still haven't responded.

      • I have no idea what you're talking about. If you have an honest question specifically directed to me, please put it forward. Unless I get the sense that the question is disingenuous or complete gibberish, or that the reply would only feed ad hominem insults, I always try to respond.

        Also, I generally post several comments per day – sometimes tens of them. That is one unfortunate side-effect of being a foolish man with a high degree of confidence in my misguided opinions. The other unfortunate side-effect is that it gets easy to miss a reply someone made to some discussion that ended days earlier.

        • the question was part of a back and forth that involved you, PhilCP and I. you were active in pressing your point but when i posted a question in retort you never responded. I have noticed Dennis F takes much the same task in 'discussing' abortion. it was here:http://www2.macleans.ca/2010/05/07/on-not-shuttin

          the question was simple and not disingenuous:

          if the mother;s life is in jeopardy do you consider it to be acceptable or appropriate for that woman to have an abortion or are you taking a hardline position that child birth should be proceeded with, and while all should be done to help the mother, that her life being at risk is acceptable?

          • I think I did answer that question on that thread, in response to someone else. Also, I think I was a bit repulsed by your admission in that thread that the unborn is indeed a child after 20-25 weeks or so, but you simply didn't care that one to three hundred late-term abortions are performed in Canada every year. That kind of callousness never fails to disgust me, no matter how often I encounter it.

            Anyway my answer comes in two parts:

            (1) In my opinion it is never ok, under any circumstances, to deliberately kill a child. Full stop. Like torture and rape, it is always wrong no matter what lives might be saved by it.

            (2) In cases where the pregnancy really does threaten the mother's life, I think the only non-evil course of action is to try to save both lives. For example with ectopic pregnancy, a doctor might remove the fallopian tube containing the child. This saves the life of the mother. Then the doctor does everything in her power to save the life of the child. Some would say "how is that different from an abortion?" The answer is that in an abortion, the goal is to kill the child. An abortion in which the child survives outside the mother is considered a failed abortion. In my view, doctors should try to save both patients, not kill one to save the other.

            And of course, these cases are extremely rare. Most abortions have nothing to do with saving the life of the mother, which is why the abortion lobby is so keen on not having that restriction in any abortion legislation….which of course is irrelevant in Canada anyway, since we have no restriction on abortion whatsoever.

          • "And of course, these cases are extremely rare." Liar. Provide proof, not from some rightwing whacko site.

          • Can you direct me to the sentence/paragraph/whatever where s&m says that he doesn't care about those late term abortions? I reviewed the thread and I couldn't find it. Thanks.

          • I don't know how to link to the comment itself, but the pertinent part was this:

            "i think it has the potential to exist unto itself at about 25 weeks or so. but truth be told that is not the only factor i feel is important is considering how i view abortion. …oh. and on a side note… I am a big boy. i can decide what i should be bothered by."

            You might recall that this was in response to the observation that there is no law in Canada restricting abortion, regardless of how late in the pregnancy or for what reason the mother wants to abort, and that this should bother people who agree that at least late in the pregnancy the unborn is a child (as had just been admitted).

            It took me a good 10 minutes to dig that up. Ordinarily I'd assume the question was intended to be a gotcha in which the questioner knows how difficult it is to sift back through these threads, and I'd ignore it. In your case I'm hoping that wasn't it.

          • Thanks for doing that sifting. No, its not a gotcha. While I suppose that I'm not immune to the use of the occasional gotcha I do try to avoid that type of response as much as I can. OTOH, if forced, I would have wagered that that was the post from s&m to which you were referring.

            I'm a little concerned that you have condensed a four paragraph reply into a single paragraph; your ellipsis leaves out two full paragraphs. Now I don't know s&m at all, other than where our paths have crossed on the macleans blogs, but I'm pretty confident he (she?) isn't anywhere near as callous [edit] as [eoe] your quote makes him out to be.

            Thanks again for taking the time to reply.

          • thanks Phil. I don;t tend to self ID as callous. I do think as per below that G has misrepresented my remarks and characterized my feelings on the matter.if you will recall, that conversation was linked to my efforts to add a bit more nuance to the issue than the binary characterization G was attempting to force on how we consider abortion (i.e., "the debate hinges on whether the unborn is a child or just part of the adult.")

          • man, you are a tad hypocritical aren't you G? you started by saying that you try to avoid responding to questions where the "reply would only feed ad hominem insults", yet you have no issue engaging the ad hominem in completely misrepresenting my views in a personal attack.

            You say that you are "repulsed by [my] admission in that thread that the unborn is indeed a child after 20-25 weeks or so, but [I] simply didn't care that one to three hundred late-term abortions are performed in Canada every year. That kind of callousness never fails to disgust me, no matter how often I encounter it."

            Please indicate exactly where I say do not care. The two things I did say, in answering to your earlier post, was that 1) i do not consider the ability of the fetus to survive unto itself as the only important factor in determining whether or not a woman should have access to an abortion; and, 2) "I am a big boy. i can decide what i should be bothered by".

            If you read this two statements and comprehend them, you will note that neither states whether or not I care whether late-term abortions are performed in Canada or not as you contend. the first merely points out that I don't share your simplistic world view that allows you to define the manner in black and white terms; and, that I reject your holier than thou attitude in attempting to impose that world view in telling me what I should care about, especially when you don't comprehend what I care about.

            as you should be aware, we try to avoid ad hominem attacks here Gaunilon and I would appreciate if you could make a contribution to that by not misrepresenting my comments and characterizing my feelings on this or any other matter.

          • The combination of "yes it's a child after 20-25 weeks" and "don't tell me that I should be bothered by the fact that we have 100-300 abortions after 20-25 weeks every year in Canada" strikes me as very callous.

            If I misunderstood what you meant, I apologize. Perhaps you could clarify. In the meantime, perhaps you could also adhere to the distinction between "misunderstand what you meant" and "ad hominem attack", which are two completely different animals.

          • While Gaunilon combines the idea that we should not have 100-300 abortions after 20-25 weeks with the idea that we should instead allow 100-300 women in Canada to die painfully because we will not save their lives with a late-term abortion.

            Why don't you just shoot the woman in the head, cut out the fetus and shove it into a differen disposable container, Gaunilon?

            You prove over and over again that you consider women to be things and that you have some kind of right to control women's bodies.

          • the idea that we should not have 100-300 abortions after 20-25 weeks with the idea that we should instead allow 100-300 women in Canada to die painfully

            Do we definitely know that each of those 100-300abortions is done as a result of exactly that "one or the other" choice? Not saying that I know otherwise, just trying to confirm. Possibly some of those abortions are done on the advice of medical professionals as the result of some test that identifies an extreme birth defect?

          • I don't definitely know that. It is possible that some of them are for extreme birth defects, such as a fetus with a pinhead which cannot survive on its own, or others; or some other defect which would presumably be painful, or life-limiting, or require massive medical intervention throughout their life.

            What I object to is that Gaunilon NEVER tells the whole truth about late-term abortions, but lets people assume that they are provided to women who simply selfishly decide not to have babies at the very last minute. It is the basic dishonesty of his arguments that I find sickening. No one who identifies as a Christian should be so dishonest.

          • i find this often helps in not misunderstanding people, not misquoting them to your liking.

            i also find apologies to be more sincere when you do not continue the exact same behaviour while you offer the apology.

            I never wrote "yes it's a child after 20-25 weeks" and i also never wrote "don't tell me that I should be bothered by the fact that we have 100-300 abortions after 20-25 weeks every year in Canada" which you are using quotation marks to imply that i have said. in both cases you are misquoting me, and misconstruing what i intended by what i actually wrote. after i asked you to not misrepresent or mischaracterize what i said. now the we are in the realm of just making things up as to what the other person said, i don't see how it can possibly be worthwhile continuing the conversation with you.

            and ps, when you misrepresent what I have said to intone, and substantiate your allegations that I am a callous individual, you are indeed engaging in an ad hominem attack.

            i do take somfort inknowing that you are full of it on matters too. for instance you tell Phil it took ten minutes to find the quote. i had already post the link above. so it should have take 30s. and you continue to misrepresent the frequency with which a woman's lie is imperiled by pregnancy.

          • Ok, to tie this off, here's my final comment on the subject.

            (1) Again, if I've mischaracterized your statements, it was unintentional and I apologize.
            (2) I thought it was clear above that I was paraphrasing, quotes notwithstanding, but I should have said so explicitly.
            (3) Here is what you actually said, exact quote:
            " I don;t consider it part of the mother – the mother offers it essential requirements (that change over time) but it is a distinct entity. that being said it doesn't have a reasonable chance at independent survival until close to 25 weeks. so for those first 25 weeks while it is an distinct entity it is, in my eyes only a potential life. not sure how much that does to resolve anything, but it is how i look at it."

            To this I pointed out that it sounds like you think the unborn is a child after 25 weeks, but that there are abortions after that point in Canada and this should therefore bother you. To which you responded:
            "i think it has the potential to exist unto itself at about 25 weeks or so. but truth be told that is not the only factor i feel is important is considering how i view abortion…
            [more commentary] ….oh. and on a side note… I am a big boy. i can decide what i should be bothered by."

            I think we can let anyone reading judge that statement for what it's worth. I find it (the statement, not you) repulsive and callous.

            Now, I've tried as best I can to set the record straight. As far as I'm concerned, we're done.

          • sorry but your explanation is ludicrous. who uses quotation marks to indicate paraphrasing (or how else was paraphrasing to be discerned when you launched right into the quotes, without, you know, using the word paraphrase)?

            and i still don't understand, how you don't understand that "I am a big boy. i can decide what i should be bothered by" does not equate to saying 'I don't care'. baffles the mind actually. altough upon reflection, i suspect you understand that perfectly, it just doesn't play into the meme that everyone that might not agree with you on the topic is morally repulsive, callous degenerate that you would find more useful in your proselytizing.

          • I appreciate your attempt to clarify your thoguhts.

        • …or that the reply would only feed ad hominem insults, I always try to respond. and unfortunate side-effect of being a foolish man with a high degree of confidence in my misguided opinions.

          While I may often disagree with your message, I almost always appreciate your style; please keep it up! :-)

          • Thanks.

  3. So what would the outcome of a vote in the Commons if only women MPs voted?

    • The list of MP's published by the Abortion Rights Coalition indicates as many as 17/42 Lib/Con MP's are pro-life. Their poll seems to also rank a certain percentage as undecided but they don't break it down, so it's impossible to tell how many are certainly pro-choice. They also assume that all NDP/Bloc MP's are pro-choice, which doesn't strike me as a safe assumption. Particularly in Canada, this is an issue that cuts across party lines. There are, for example, NDPers of faith who like the social justice aspect of the NDP's platform but are opposed to abortion. Given that the Bloc attempts to exploit the francophone/anglophone divide above all others, it doesn't seem beyond the realm of possibility that they have members who oppose it personally.

      In the United States at least, there's some polling (presumably within the margin of error) that seems to show men as being more supportive of abortion rights. This is a PDF, but the numbers look about the same in Canada.

      So the answer to your question seems likely to be "About the same."

      • Interesting poll. I'm not sure it is a good predictor of gender divide in the House of Commons on a free vote on abortion involving only women MPs. I acknowledge that the poll does shows that Canadians are strongly pro-choice on abortions. (The survey results show that this sentiment is so strong that even when you try to skew results by using the phrase "pro-life" in survey questions, a majority of Canadians still voice support for a woman's right to choose.)

        I continue to wonder about the results of a women-only MP vote while acknowledging that the demographic breakout numbers for this poll seem to show no evident gender divide in views on abortion.

        I do this because: a) I'm not sure these two survey questions are necessarily definitive on anything (they look like a communications check on the effectiveness of using the phrase "pro-life") b) even if they are an accurate reflection of general public sentiment in some way, why are they necessarily a good predictor of the division on this matter among only women MPs; c) for reasons of biology, I think the views of women on this are far more relevant to what public policy ought to be than the views of men.

        Be interesting to see all the questions and all the results of this poll.

    • If the only fetuses that could be aborted were girls, then this comment would be relevant. Until then…..

  4. From the Globe Editorial:

    The Canadian government needs to reinstate financial support – on hold for 11 months – for the International Planned Parenthood Federation, one of the oldest and most highly regarded organizations funding sexual and reproductive health programs … This organization provides gynecological care, treatment for HIV, diagnosis and treatment of sexually transmitted diseases, contraception – and yes, abortion-related counseling – to 31 million women and children in 174 different countries every year. Canada has funded the agency, without apparent controversy, in past years, and has even been a major donor.

    Note that this is not a new issue … Harper has been stiff-arming aid agencies on this topic for nearly a year.

    Still, the trolls would have you believe that it's the Liberals who have been politicizing abortion.

    Wake up.

    • Exactly. Thank you for pointing this out.

  5. What would they vote on? Making abortion a crime for the physician who practises it and for the woman who get it – punishable by 25 years in jail?

    Let's hear what 'pro-life' MPs have in mind. There has to be more than pro-life v pro-choice here. We are taking about jail terms, fines, or what?

    • "Making abortion a crime for the physician who practises it and for the woman who get it – punishable by 25 years in jail? "

      Yes, but only if a committee of distinguished aliens from the planet you apparently inhabit deny the appeal. Be serious.

      One possible vote would be user pay, many Canadians do not want to pay for abortions; if pro-abortion activists feel that strongly they can start a non-profit and donate money themselves to subsidize the cost. Perhaps abortion insurance could be added to various non-governmental health plans, that sort of thing. Besides, the guy often ends up paying for it anyway, so it's not like delisting it would affect many women.

      • So your proposal, like so many other "pro-life" proposals would disproportionately hurt poor women while doing nothing to reduce abortions among middle-class and wealthy women.

        How exactly does that reflect a coherent moral stance?

        "Besides, the guy often ends up paying for it anyway, so it's not like delisting it would affect many women."

        The ignorance behind this comment is jaw-dropping.

        • It's only jaw-dropping if you ignore the source.

        • Actually, that's poverty that's disproportionately hurting poor women – we could easily increase subsidies to low-income women by the amount that's spent on abortions if this was really a worry.

          The objective of user pay is that people should not force their moral and religious views on others. If someone is morally and religiously opposed to abortion, why shoudl the state compell them to pay for the procedure? It would be like forcing Hindus to fund the beef farmers.

          • Actually, Canadian Hindus' taxes do in part support subsidies to beef farmers. So do vegetarians' taxes. Greenpeace members' taxes support the subsidies to seal hunters. And on, and on and on…

      • So it's would be OK for pro-lifers to kill babies as long as you pay for it?

        Be serious yourself.

      • So you are suggesting that the federal government, under Harper of all people, should delve even further into provincial jurisdiction and dictate what medical procedures should be covered by provincial healthcare and what should not be covered? Even Trudeau and Chretien never went that far as far as I'm aware.

        No the federal powers here relate to the criminal code.

        The one and only aim of the pro-lifers is to stop abortion, all abortion, and to do so by criminalizing it. In other words, throw women in jail for terminating their own preganancies and, judging by the rhetoric (eg. calling it murder), calling for them to be thrown in jail for life (the only penalty for murder in Canada).

        Canadians have been very very clear in poll after poll for decades: we may not like abortion, but we strongly oppose throwing a woman in jail for having one.

        • The one and only aim of the pro-lifers is to stop abortion, all abortion, and to do so by criminalizing it. In other words, throw women in jail for terminating their own preganancies and, judging by the rhetoric (eg. calling it murder), calling for them to be thrown in jail for life (the only penalty for murder in Canada).

          BULLSHIT! Not this prolifer!

          Canadians have been very very clear in poll after poll for decades: we may not like abortion, but we strongly oppose throwing a woman in jail for having one.

          Not what we are proposing. Please try and have an honest debate for once in your life you murderer!

        • I'll try again, filter and all.

          "The one and only aim of the pro-lifers is to stop abortion, all abortion, and to do so by criminalizing it. In other words, throw women in jail for terminating their own preganancies and, judging by the rhetoric (eg. calling it murder), calling for them to be thrown in jail for life (the only penalty for murder in Canada). "

          Horsefeathers (something harsher is in order here! This is a GROSS missrepresentation of most arguments offered here. Please stop lying!

          Canadians have been very very clear in poll after poll for decades: we may not like abortion, but we strongly oppose throwing a woman in jail for having one.

          More hogwash. You sir are an embarassment to our species. Retroactive abortion in aisle tedbetts please!

          • Alright, I'll bite. What have I written is not true? pro-lifers only want to stop some but not all abortions? Pro-lifers actually don't want abortion to be illegal? What is even a misrepresentation, let alone a gross misrepresentation?

            As for polling, I've never seen a single poll on criminalizing abortion that was less than 75% opposed.

            This is the discussion that pro-lifers want to avoid. They want to stop abortion but they don't want to talk about what that would actually look like and what laws are actually required to implement it. Once you start talking about actual change and actual law and actual punishment, the broad cross-Canadian opposition to criminalizing abortion crystalizes.

          • "The one and only aim of the pro-lifers is to stop abortion, all abortion, and to do so by criminalizing it."

            NOT ME! It may come as a surprise, but I actually see the need for the service. I'm just repulsed by the frequency it is used for retroactive birth control! Park yourself in front of a clinic someday (remember it is a anti-free speech zone) and have a gander at the clientele. If only we had access to information from these clinics, we would REALY know how little the need is for medicaly necessary abortions! In my books, if you can't to the time, don't do the crime! You want a abortion because you are a bit too much of a party girl? PAY FOR IT! Or have your parents. If you can't, there is a thing called garnisheeing of future wages, tax returns, etc!

            So………….you were saying?

  6. Who's not talking about it? Prochoice Canadians have been talking about this since the PMO announced it would not fund abortion as part of G8 maternal health. It is the very premise upon which is based the pro-choice movement- that women will get abortions whether they (abortions) are legal or not; whether it (abortion) kills them or not; whether they (women) live in Canada or not. As it always has been, as it is now and always shall be, ideology be damned.

    • Actually, the official policy of 'Prochoice Canadians' is "Abortions For Some, Miniature American Flags For Others!"

  7. From the first sentence of the Tanzania piece Wherry linked to: "Abortion is strictly outlawed in Tanzania in virtually all circumstances. The word itself is taboo, rarely spoken in polite society."

    Further down: "More than 90 per cent of Africans live in countries where abortion is restricted.

    Further down: "Legalizing abortion would be a simple way to reduce the maternal death rate. In South Africa, the number of abortion-related deaths fell by 91 per cent after the procedure was legalized in 1997, according to a Lancet study."

    Unlike private aid organizations, the G8 countries can't improve access to abortions in sovereign countries where abortion is illegal. The laws need to be changed first.

    • What about the "virtual" part, i.e. "virtually all circumstances", i.e. in some circumstances and for 10% of Africans abortion is legal.

      What about non-African nations? I'm not aware of Harper's "maternal health" plan to be restricted to Africa.

      • They want to attack the most vulnerable first, so they are assuming it will be Africa

    • Various African countries have various laws about abortion; most allow them under specific conditions, usually: "Illegal with exception for maternal life, health, and/or mental health" Read it again: MATERNAL HEALTH is in there.

      Why don't you make an honest effort to find out the facts instead of pretending it's all illegal all over the whole continent?

    • What "restricted" means can be very great. Canada is one of the few where it's unrestricted, since we have no real abortion laws. In many countries, restricted means no third-trimester abortions, or other rather non-controversial criteria that don't really make abortion illegal or legally difficult to obtain in the majority of situations.

  8. Starting a fight where the best outcome is the status quo seems like stupid politics to me. How are the Liberals proposing to improve access to abortion in Canada or Canadian funding for abortion overseas?

    The Liberal leader should explain why his party has never legislated to protect access to abortion in Canada, and how he would deal with provinces that attempted to impose user pay for this procedure (as Alberta has done in the past).

    Money spent on abortions is unavailable fo spend on other interventions which also improve maternal health. Pro-funding advocates need to demonstrate why abortion funding should be given priority over these other activities. The Liberal leader should explain why his party never adopted a policy that explicitly gave priority to this as part of development spending.

    • If the best outcome is status quo.. think about what they're fighting against.

    • To quote Tedbetts above: "So you are suggesting that the federal government, under Harper of all people, should delve even further into provincial jurisdiction and dictate what medical procedures should be covered by provincial healthcare and what should not be covered? Even Trudeau and Chretien never went that far as far as I'm aware."

      As for the rest, this looks like a heroic effort to make this about the Liberal Party, which hasn't been in power for over four years.

      • Why do you think the federal government shouldn't ensure that abortion is covered under provincial plans?

        A little realism about abortion politics might be helpful. The Liberals have never confronted the divisions in their party and have never taken the lead on this issue when they had the levers of power. If we want to protect access to abortion, we will need to push the Liberals to do better than telling us all how scary they think the Conservatives are.

        • Is this a real problem? Are any provinces talking about de-listing abortion?

          • Alberta has had the discussion in the past. Why wait until it's delisted? I thought access to abortion was jeopardised by a newly emboldened religious right in Canada – do you think they confine themselves to federal politics? There might be one or two of them in Alberta itself…

          • Well if it comes up, I'm sure Stephen Harper will act to protect the rights of Alberta women per the current status quo.

          • And thus we arrive at Canada's compromise on abortion – we'll worry about it if the Liberals bring the issue up, then we'll support the Liberals so they can leave it alone…Canadian democracy at its most vibrant.

          • I say again: this sounds like nothing more than a heroic effort to make this about the Liberal Party.

          • Most political discussions in Canada are going to involve the Liberal party. I'm just as disappointed by this as you are…

    • You wrote: Pro-funding advocates need to demonstrate why abortion funding should be given priority over these other activities.

      No they don't. Pro-choice groups are asking that access to safe and legal abortion continue to be part of any responsible maternal health initiative, not that access to abortion replace any other component part of this initiative. Claiming otherwise is just spin.

      • We're increasing funding for maternal health. If you spend it on abortion, it's not available for something else. Why give abortion precedence?

        • You asked: Why give abortion precedence?

          Thanks for that explanation of why abortion should not be given precedence over everything else. That is not, however, what is being asked. What is being asked is that abortion be included as part of an overall, balanced program to promote maternal and child health.

          Please say something that isn't spin.

          • What would you drop from Canada's maternal health spending in order to provide funds for abortion? It's not that it takes precedence over everything else, it's that it reduces funding for something else. What is that something else and why does it warrant less investment? It helps to remember that the package announced by Harper originally said nothing about abortion, now, after weeks of Liberal-inspired debate, the package explicitly excludes abortion. That's what took the option of "abotion be included as part of an overall balanced program" off the table. If we want it back on the table, we need the Liberals to make a clear and persuasive case – which they should have had ready before they started this whole debacle.

          • Nonsense. You favour an approach that arbitrarily excludes one component of an overall maternal health initiative that most people know and agree is needed, but which you oppose.

            Those whom you decry favour a more balanced approach, one that includes all elements necessary for an effective maternal health initiative.

            I have no problem with your minority view, and if you could convicne enough people to suppport you, then so be it. That's democracy.

            But instead we have a minority PM shoving your minority views down the throats of the majority of Canadians. That's intolerable.

  9. Oooh, are we playing 'let's rehash tired old abortion rhetoric?' Fun!

  10. By all means, let's open up the issue: the public is decisively against Harper on this issue

    "Canadians Reject Harper's Stance on Abortion/Maternal Health"

    A new poll suggests that a majority of Canadians opposes the Prime Minister's refusal to fund safer abortions in developing countries, even as international concern grows about the state of his G8 maternal health initiative. The Canadian Press-Harris Decima poll found that 58 per cent of respondents oppose Harper's exclusion of abortion funding in his drive to improve maternal and child health in poor countries…Only 30 per cent of respondents said they would support the government's decision..

  11. Refusing to be drawn into the digressions going on here:-

    The simple facts are

    1) Abortion is legal in Canada. Rape is not. Neither is rape legal in the other jurisdictions in the African continent where Mr. Harper and Minister Oda propose to provide funding – under the conditions that THEY have imposed – not Mr. Ignatieff or the Liberals – not the Canadian public – and apparently not the G8 – just PM Harper and Minister Oda. They haven't explained why abortions will be denied – via the funding – in circumstances like rape, adverse health of the mother etc.
    Simply – absolutist – NO ABORTION – full stop! Just like the religious zealots who are trying to overturn the law here in Canada.
    Chris Selley in the Nutsy Post quotes (and interpretes) lots of stats. The one I like to quote – from Stats. Canada – is a simple one. Only 20% of Canadians regularly attend church – the other 80% do other things – and clearly – from the poll- think other things.
    Those who wish to be pro-life can be so – the law permits it – but they can go to Hell when they start proselytizing their religous beliefs on me – and try to change the Canadian Laws to support their point of view!

  12. One tangential observation: this is the most polite discussion on an abortion-related topic, with the least contamination by trolls screaming about how their opponents "hate women" or "want women to die" or other such nonsense that I've yet seen on these boards.

    I attribute the change in tone to Wells's recent piece about how unproductive and dishonest it is to resort to the "our opponents are nutjobs" rhetoric. I think it shamed people into better behaviour.

    So kudos (once again) to Macleans, its writers, and its moderator(s). These boards were already among the best I've seen in terms of freedom to speak one's mind; they've now improved even further in terms of tone and productive discourse.

    • As far as I am concerned, you are anti-women. Gaunilon, you screech away about how the fetus is ripped apart, but you ignore completely the terrible damage that is done to a woman who is not healthy enough to survive a pregnancy.

      • You excepted then.

        But then Holly, you are recognized as a parody of the ideologies you hope to represent. Even people who agree with you don't like you very much.

  13. Well, Stephen the Ignorant thinks it's "controversial". He told some youth this today; I bet he talked to them like they were four-year-olds. what a contemptible narrowminded, determinedly stupid man Harper is.
    http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/otta

  14. The strongest voices, ironically, have come from Qubec on the abortion issue in response to Cardinal Ouellette's comparison of abortion to murder.

    Perhaps more than any other province, the Quebecois had to endure the hypocritical oppressive muzzling of women's human rights.

    What is unfathomable to some is why the Catholic Church is not treated more like a "Cult"–which it really ought to be. The men dress in goregous, fine red robes, mix with young boys indiscriminately behind closed doors and stay away from marriage with women. All this while making vows to chastity and obedience to neanderthal tenets that would send some to a psychiatric couch for assessment!

    The State and the Church, any Church, and any faith–Muslim, Jewish, Hindu–should not have any business in the bedrooms of the nation.

    Especiall, the Catholic celibate men in red robes who reside in tax-free mansions. This is not normal!

  15. Gaunilon

    We wonder if you would care to apply at the PMO office.

    They need a midnight Prayer House teacher for Stockwell Day's Christian School for Neanderthals

    • "We"?

      I'm not sure who you are hanging with, but if that was an invitation
      no thank you

    • Wow. I happen to be pro-choice, and I must say I find your tone completely repulsive.

  16. "What we're not talking about" .. or, apparently, being asked.

    Get this, some clean cut Christian youth ambassadors are claiming that the PMO edited out the word abortion from their questions to the PM at the stage-managed event featuring Mike "I ate Dean Martin" Duffy. It's bad enough that we can't get the PM to answer unscripted questions and be available for a follow-up, or that we have to watch Duffy and his Technicolor Road Show blow tonnes of cash on backdrops with words like "progress" and "action plan" on them … but now even Christian kids (shills no less) are being given the Kafka treatment? Harper's paranoia is reaching new lows.
    http://www.ctv.ca/servlet/ArticleNews/story/CTVNe

    • Stephen Harper's aversion to media scrums and facing hardball questions is simply not good enough.

  17. Are you trying to invalidate his statement?