By Dave Andrusko
I have several Canadian friends and many a time over the years they have told me the Right to Life Movement in the United States is a source of great encouragement to them. It’s pretty bleak up North, but they refuse to give in and they take heart from how you have kept the abortion issue in the forefront of our nation’s consciousness.
One of those friends sent me an item that appeared yesterday on the Community blog section of the Vancouver Sun. Written by Mario Canseco, it is a devastating point-by-point rebuttal of a critique of a recent Angus Reid Public Opinion poll which came from the head mucky muck of the Abortion Rights Coalition of Canada (ARCC).
In her critique questioning the poll’s results (“and implicitly our decision to conduct the survey”) ARCC’s Joyce Arthur raises three points, Canseco writes. They are
“that Canada has ‘successfully and responsibly’ managed abortion practice without a law since 1988, that women in Canada do not have an ‘unrestricted right to have an abortion at any time up to the moment of birth,’ and that less than half a per cent of abortions in Canada occur after 20 weeks.”
You can read Canseco’s full response at http://blogs.vancouversun.com/2012/02/15/abortion-and-the-false-false-dilemma-fallacy. If time does not permit this, here’s a brief summary of how he demolishes Arthur’s three criticisms.
First, in a democracy, does it really make sense that “the burden of a legislative issue [ought to be] solely in the hands of medical professionals”? Citizens should really have no say?
Second, Canseco cleverly quotes from the ARCC website which makes it unequivocally clear that—contrary to Arthur’s formulation–Canada really DOES have abortion on demand. On the “Our Vision” section of the website you find that women in Canada
“have a constitutionally-based right to unrestricted, fully-funded abortion, without legal or other barriers or discrimination due to gender, class, ethnicity, race, age, location/region (or area of residence), or any other characteristic, including reasons for choosing an abortion.”
Third, Canseco notes that
Ms. Arthur also claims that Canadian doctors adhere to policies and protocols that effectively restrict abortions after 20 weeks (apparently, she is entitled to speak in the name of the entire medical profession). Once again, the ‘unrestricted right’ that the ARCC claims to defend has become ‘restricted’—this time by doctors. Finally… [b]ecause late-term abortions rarely happen, she seems to suggest, we do not need a law.”
The implication of Arthur’s response surely is that there is something (to put it in the mildest possible terms) problematic about “late-term abortions.” After all why wouldn’t even a country like Canada with wide-open abortion do everything to assure that they don’t abort babies that even most harden pro-abortionists would agree look an awful lot like “real” babies?
And, by the way, the Angus Reid Public Opinion poll shows that when asked about their personal feelings about abortion, 23% of respondents said that abortion should be subject to greater restrictions; 18% would limit abortion to cases of rape, incest, and to save the woman’s life; and 9% would permit abortion only to save the woman’s life—a total of exactly 50%.
No wonder Joyce Arthur felt the need to challenge the poll.
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