The Pro-Choice Response to Motion 312

As you know, a Conservative member of Parliament has requested to pass a Motion that is an investigation into the Criminal Code’s definition of a human being, as the code currently states that a child is not a human being until the moment it exits the womb (and this definition has stood the same since the 1800s, when it was created).

The way pro-choice MPs are responding to this Motion (about the legal definition of a human being), as if it were a full-frontal attack on Canadian woman’s rights, helps us to better see two things: 1) the ludicrousness of the pro-choice position, but also 2) the lure of the pro-choice position, and why so many are duped by its rhetoric.

See what Hon. Gordon O’Connor, one of the most senior and conservative members of the Conservative Party, had to say in the first hour of debate on Motion 312:

“Whether one accepts it or not, abortion is and always will be part of society,” … “No matter how many laws some people may want government to institute against abortion, abortion cannot be eliminated. It is part of the human condition.” … “I cannot understand why those who are adamantly opposed to abortion want to impose their beliefs on others by way of the Criminal Code,” … “I want all women to continue to live in a society in which decisions on abortion can be made, one way or the other, with advice from family and a medical doctor and without the threat of legal consequences,” … “I do not want women to go back to the previous era where some were forced to obtain abortions from illegal and medically dangerous sources. This should never happen in a civilized society.”… “The Supreme Court has also declared that the right to liberty guarantees a degree of personal autonomy over important decisions intimately affecting private life. The decision of whether or not to terminate a pregnancy is essentially a moral decision, and in a free and democratic society, the conscience of the individual must be paramount and take precedence over that of the state.” … “I firmly believe that each of us should be able to pursue our lifestyle as long as it is within the boundaries of law and does not interfere with the actions of others. Trying to amend the legal rules governing abortion, as is intended by this motion, will not improve the situation. It will only lead to increased conflict as the attempt is made to turn back the clock. Society has moved on and I do not believe this proposal should proceed.”

(emphasis added, see his full speech at the bottom of the Official Report * Table of Contents * Number 111 (Official Version).

The main gist of O’Connor’s argument is as follows:

1. We should be able to live how we choose as long as we are within the boundaries of law and do not interfere with the actions of others.

2. Those who oppose abortion and wish for a law restricting it are imposing their beliefs on others.

3. Living in a society that legally opposes abortion would be turning back the clock on women’s rights, which is uncivilized, undemocratic, unconstitutional, etc and also unsafe – because women would resort to illegal and medically dangerous methods of abortion (such as coat hangers, “back-alley abortions”, etc).

4. Legally, the right to liberty guarantees an individual personal autonomy over decisions that affect their private life – and decisions over their body.

5. The decision over whether or not to terminate a pregnancy is a moral decision affecting the private life of the individual woman.

6. Thus, the only thing a woman must consider in having an abortion is her own conscience, and not the laws of the state.

7. Therefore, abortion is and always will be a part of society, a part of the human condition.

But is his argument true?

Not in accordance with reality: abortion is not about a woman’s right to choose – for her choice directly and intentionally kills the life of an innocent child in the womb. That is why we need to unmask choice for what it is – and cut through the ludicrous but luring layers of the pro-choice “onion,” if you will.

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