Yesterday, I put up a short (for me!) — this will be even shorter – post about fundamentalist Tory MPs who are continuing their insidious campaign to get abortion back on the Commons docket. But it was far worse than I thought. According to a National Post article this morning, it seems that the abortions in question are abortions that take place after only 20 weeks gestation. In other words, these idiots are suggesting that every abortion that takes place after that time should be investigated as a homicide! This is more than just the few “life birth abortions” that seemed to me to be in question yesterday. These MPs, three of them, as it turns out, are under the strange impression (i) that as MPs, they should have some say in the scope of police work, and can even make requests for the police to act, and (ii) that the abortion law struck down in 1988 did not include abortions after 20 weeks gestation, and, accordingly, that
Section 223a of the Criminal Code, which says a person commits homicide when he causes injury to a child before or during its birth as a result of which the child dies after becoming a human being,
applies to these cases. Nothing of course, could be further from the truth.
You’ve got to hand it to these guys for chutzpah, and arcane legal interpretation, but it is quite clear that the Supreme Court decision which struck down Criminal Code prohibition of abortion, did not think that this section should apply to abortion. The inaccessibility of abortion was struck down on human rights grounds, as depriving the woman of security of the person. These Christian clowns want to turn the hands of the clock back so far that they would apparently imprison women (and their physicians) who seek to have abortions after an arbitrary cut-off point that their Christian imaginations have delimited as the point at which the foetus becomes a child for the purpose of the Criminal Code, without any regard for the security of women whatsoever. Humiliate the stupid bastards.
Here are three stooges:
The are, left to right, Wladyslaw Lizon of Mississauga East-Cooksville; Maurice Vellacott of of Saskatoon—Wanuskewin; and Leon Benoit of Vegreville-Wainwright. All of them are under the very strange impression that their secret Christian handshake makes them eligible to police the lives of Canadian women. Hopefully, the people of their constituencies will recognise that they elected turkeys to parliament, and will not return them at the next election. What on earth would convince women to support men of this sort?
The Prime Minister, Stephen Harper, has already put distance between himself and these men, saying that, whether these guys know it or not, abortion is legal in Canada. The NDP leader suggests that Harper is being two-faced about this issue, at once distancing himself from these Christian “pro-life” activists, and yet secretly using them to continue the campaign so that eventually the question will be reopened in the House. The leader of the NDP has already suggested that this is the plan. If so, he is more devious and cynical than Machiavelli, using the lives of women as counters in a underhanded campaign to reopen the issue of the legality of abortion. That said, it should not be thought that these people are above using this sort of skullduggery in order to impose their Christian values on women. It is significant, and notable, that all the MPs who have been involved in these backdoor schemes to reintroduce abortion into the Criminal Code are all men. Christian men, Muslim men, Hindu men — and this applies to other religions as well — are uncomfortable giving women freedom to control their own reproductivity, because that makes women as free as men, and, since women seem, in general, to be more intelligent, that puts the money trough in Ottawa that the men are always greedy to swill at within reach of those who could take away their privileges.
We should not see this campaign as separate from the growing campaign in the US to make fetal heartbeat the criterion for turning a foetus into a person. New laws are being proposed in a number of states, and there is a petition to overturn Roe v. Wade. The Christian hunger for power never sleeps, and abortion and assisted dying are the battle grounds over which Christians have decided to fight their war for the hearts and minds of Americans and Canadians, using every expedient within their reach, and imagining them to be within reach when they are not.
For example, Arkansas has just approved a ‘fetal heartbeat’ law which will forbid most abortions. The Governor of the state is concerned that it would violate federal laws and court rulings — which it undoubtedly will. However, it seems that the point of these laws is not actually to establish viable laws, but to keep the pot boiling. It is significant that, once again, the law would require a vaginal probe to detect the fetal heartbeat. These laws are not so much “pro-life” as they are anti-woman, designed to keep women in their place as child breeders and homemakers, decades after the feminist revolution in which women at last were considered equal to men, even if they never did achieve parity with men in practically any area of life, including public life. Obama’s appointments this time round seem to keep to the pattern of men only, which is a sad commentary on the position of women in the United States today. It seems that a new, more energetic feminist movement is necessary in order to hang onto the gains women have made, and achieve new ones. As we keep being reminded by the way women are being treated in the atheist/humanist community, women are still expected to recognise their subordination to men, and when they refuse, as they do and should, no insult or rude epithet is too strong to enforce the lines of separation between men and women. Men as apparently committed to the humanist cause as Michael Shermer use language that trivialises women’s contribution to the free thought movement. This casual belief in men’s superiority is something that needs to be defeated. It is untrue, and I daresay Shermer could not cite a single piece of evidence that women are less able intellectually than men, even though this is what he suggested in a famous instance, responding to an op-ed by Ophelia Benson. (I have steered clear of this, since some women do not appreciate men’s involvement in the fight, but this is more than just a fight for women’s rights. It is a struggle against the forces of darkness which are in the resurgence practically everywhere.)
So these backdoor legislative and other harrying measures that seek to hedge women about with restrictions and the threat of more substantial limitations on their freedom should not be taken lightly. They go right to the heart of the old male-female dichotomy and the tradition of women’s subordination in practically every society known to us, and they need to be opposed with every fibre of our being. In Canada, where criminal law is a federal responsibility, the kinds of spoiling state’s laws that can be passed in the United States are not a possibility. It must be done in the House of Commons or not at all. But in both cases it is a matter of keeping the issue in the public mind, reminding people at every turn that there are “real” issues here, that need to be decided, even though, in Canada, everyone thought the decision had already been made decades ago. It is the old drip, drip, drip of legislation by repetition of the same mantra that is in play, and we need to be aware that this is the plan. Continue to express these concerns, no matter how, and it will begin to enter the public mind as a real issue, even when it is not. The only way to oppose these turkeys is to continue to push back hard. Christians don’t listen. They know, and they are not going to stop this harassing behaviour. They are committed to a strict male-female dichotomy, and to women’s subordination. That is why they want laws governing abortion, contraception, and same sex relationships. Homosexuality is opposed for the simple reason that it does not reflect the male-female separation and relationship of super-sub-ordination. It is opposed in the Bible for very much the same reasons – superior male, female subordinate, just as God intended!