09 May, 2012

A way out of Abortion's Gordian knot for Canadians??

Is it possible that it is legal to both protect the existing right to access for abortion services while simultaneously respecting the belief that life should be protected from ‘womb to tomb’? I think it is. It may be possible to reconcile the conflict between the right of a woman to control her body (a fundamental human right that will not be re-litigated out of existence any more than slavery would be reinstated as legal) while simultaneously meeting the chief moral objections of the Pro-life community.

On Thursday, I’ll be traveling to Ottawa to participate in the annual Pro-Life demonstration on Parliament Hill. I will be honored to be afforded the opportunity to once again stand shoulder to shoulder with fellow citizens in a common expression to a commitment to the sanctity of life, and asking that our government respect as public policy not to use our share of the national purse to pay for an activity we consider to be tantamount to a holocaust. But this doesn’t mean that abortions must be illegal, nor should it herald the return to the dark days of back room abortions that abortion rights advocates predict should our desire be accommodated by parliamentarians.

Abortions are legal. We pro-lifers need to get used to it and accept this fact. It will not and cannot change. Nor should it.

Canadians understand that the right of a woman to make the decision to terminate a pregnancy is entirely between her and her doctor. Period. Case closed. This is the clearly the case if we support our Constitutions for we can no more strip away a woman’s right to control her own body than we could force her into servitude or submission.

If a government could indeed so capriciously give and take away citizen's rights whenever it wished to do so... then the concordat that exists between the governed and the governors would crumble like concrete without enough cement or sand. The State could redefine, remove or replace any right from underneath its citizens without their consent. Clearly no democracy could survive or thrive on such an unsubstantial footings that would fail to support all other rights, ready to fall for little or no reason more than an executive, legislative or judicial fiat.

At the same time any State carries as its most fundamental obligation to protect the security and life of all under its dominion. That all who fall under the sovereignty of one flag or crown are possessed of the right to life once they have attained some capacity to sustain a claim to exist.

What sustains hope for the protection of life being respected as policy and law? It’s based upon the fact that just because something is legal and permitted doesn’t mean that it has to be paid for with tax dollars. The argument that may tip the balance in favor of protecting life might ultimately come down to a decision how to use a shrinking public purse to pay for an increasing demand for other medical services. When an ever growing number of people have wait longer and longer for the resources to pay for a new knee, hip, or eye surgeries – is it reasonable to expect that public dollars should go to offer abortions on demand? Demographics alone demonstrates that the odds are not in abortions favor in the years ahead.

Women’s health advocates argue that this would constitute an unfair impediment to a woman’s ability to exercise her right of control over her body through the application of a financial barrier. A barrier effectively separating young and poor woman from a safe therapeutic abortion. But this need not be the case.

The President Clinton Foundation raises billions of dollars to eliminate malaria. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation was responsible for the establishment of public access to computers and the internet al over the world through their charity. Warren Buffet too has added his fortune to the Gate’s to fund and provide needed services throughout the globe. Surely other such individuals would be more than capable, willing and able to fund non-profit clinics everywhere, especially given the popularity of abortion rights among the glitterati and wealthy of today’s Western culture and society. Just think of it. Instead of giving billions of dollars every year to fund political campaigns for executive and legislatives positions to protect a woman’s rights, provide her with access directly by funding legal, safe, and non-profit clinics across the country. Which do you think is the most effective use of the dollar? Trust a politician to honor his word, or provide the service yourself. Seems an easy sale to me. Given the opportunity to pool resources and obtain the services to oversee the effort thereby providing financial accountability

Politicians too should embrace the opportunity to be able to stand on both sides of this controversial issue at the same time, effectively removing it as an issue that could potentially threaten future electoral success.

What’s needed to bring such a concordat about? All that’s lacking is the means by which such social funding for those in need could be established before any termination of funding or service in any and every community. It wouldn’t be unreasonable to apply a ‘means test’ to guarantee that finances would never be a barrier. Funds could be directed by the foundation to particular neighborhoods to provide free and safe abortions wherever they saw the need if they felt such an act was required to ensure equal access for all women. Clearly it won’t take billions of dollars to accomplish this. If the concerted efforts of foundations can save tens of millions from malaria, dysentery from polluted water, and bring the internet into even the deepest regions of the Sahara Desert, surely they will be able to ensure unimpeded access for women who desire to terminate a pregnancy in the USA or Canada.


  1. Anonymous09 May, 2012

    The "chief moral objections of the Pro-life community" are not about money and government subsidization. They are about the human right to life.

    You say that abortion is legal in Canada, it is a constitutional right, and this will not change. This is almost doubtlessly true. The status quo of legal execution of the unborn will not change.

    But then you say "Nor should it." Your reasons, as best as I can tell, are that taking away a right in the Canadian Constitution would start a slippery slope which would leave no rights safe, and that a concordat exists between the governors and the governed which needs to be preserved.

    The problem is that the concordat has already been broken, and rights have already been taken away. The unborn are part of the governed - the government has utterly failed them. The unborn have a right to life - the Constitution took it away. The Constitution, and the Canadian system, are rotten to the core. They give legal sanction and blessing to genocide, whether funded or unfunded. The Gordian knot can never be cut so long as abortion remains legal.

    Governments, nations, and constitutions are manmade things. And a people's moral consensuses are very often evil. Faced with a choice between fighting to preserve the Canadian Constitution, or fighting to preserve the right to life of humans, created by God, and possessing a life of eternal significance, we should not hesitate to choose the latter.

  2. Why is junk like this showing up on ProLifeBlogs.com ??

  3. Anonymous09 May, 2012

    This is by far the savviest piece of writing that I've seen you or any member of the traditionalist Catholic priesthood produce on this subject.

    In order to bring this about though, there would, at the very least, have to be legislation passed to bring it about or even more likely a general plebiscite passed, specificly banning government funding for abortion. There would then be important questions raised as to the appropriateness of subsidies for abortion should the health or life of the mother be under threat without benefit of the procedure. Those exceptions would have to be enumerated, no doubt after endless, rancorous debate. I doubt at this point something like this could ever be brought to pass. What do you think?

    The electorate is so battered by years of harangue by a small, shrill, extremist pro life faction of the population, almost exclusively supported by the institutional Catholic Church, as opposed to it's actual lay membership, and politically far right, fundamentalist protestant, Christian lobby groups, that they don't want to hear any more about it or consider changing the status quo. They would and rightly so view such a move as suspicious and fruit of the poisoned tree.

    It is a reasoned and moderate compromise, one that might well work and satisfy all sides but brought to the table far too late in the game. The pro life minority no longer has the strength to extract such a compromise, if it indeed ever did. I also think you are counting on a level of respect and regard by the general population, for the pro life movement, that no longer or never did, exist.

    1. Anonymous09 May, 2012

      And the corollary then would there be money to help the single mother who chooses to keep the child along with enforcement of payments from the father?


    2. Anonymous09 May, 2012

      See, Tim, how your pro life compatriots react to your proposal? Such an arrangement would never satisfy their zeal to protect the preborn. So your compromise is of no use.

      They will soon require you to recant or brand you a baby killer. Join the club, brother.


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