So what the hell does that mean? He assures us that his gov’t won’t re-open the debate but he’s going to vote in favour of doing just that? Must be painful to be in such a twisted position.
It’s over the dead bodies of the women of Kelowna that Ron Cannan and his ilk are ever going to fly that effing PRO-LIFE flag at City Hall.
From: Dianne Varga
Sent: August 31, 2012 4:29 PM
Subject: RE: Abortion Rights in Canada
So, Mr. Cannan, you don’t think that a debate on the definition of a human being has anything to do with re-opening the debate on abortion rights? You think the two debates are unrelated?
You must have been away from the House the day Stephen Woodworth introduced Motion 312. Everyone speaking about M-312 saw it in the same context, the context of abortion rights, including Woodworth himself: “If the evidence tells us that a child is a human being before the moment of complete birth, will we close our eyes to the truth simply to justify abortion? Do we need to pretend a child is not human until the moment of complete birth in order to justify abortion?”
Perhaps no one was more clear than Gordon O’Connor, Conservative Minister of State and Chief Government Whip, about the intention of M-312:
“The purpose of Motion No. 312, which we are considering today, is to open to question the validity of subsection 223(1), which asserts that a child becomes a human being only at the moment of complete birth. If the legal definition of when one becomes a human being were to be adjusted so that a fetus is declared to be a legal person at some earlier stage of gestation, then the homicide laws would apply. As a necessary consequence, aborting fetal development anywhere in the potentially new adjusted period would be considered homicide. Thus the ultimate intention of this motion is to restrict abortions in Canada at some fetal development stage…. I cannot understand why those who are adamantly opposed to abortion want to impose their beliefs on others by way of the Criminal Code. There is no law that says that a woman must have an abortion. No one is forcing those who oppose abortion to have one…. Accordingly I will not support Motion No. 312. I will vote against it and I recommend that others oppose it.”
NDP MP Niki Ashton historicized the Conservative attacks against equal status for women and situated Motion 312 as one weapon in such attacks:
“Since 2006, consecutive Conservative governments have rolled back the clock on gender equality. They removed the word ‘equality’ from the Status of Women mandate. They eliminated the court challenges program and pay equity legislation. They have cut advocacy, services, research and have shown nothing but inaction when it comes to violence against women and, most notably, violence against aboriginal women.
Every step along the way, Conservative governments have sought to silence women’s voices and every step along the way, they have sought to destroy the foundations of our work to achieve gender equality.
Perhaps the most pointed attack on women has been in the area of reproductive rights. Here we are again today, debating a Conservative motion that essentially would reopen the debate on a woman’s right to choose.”
NDP MP Françoise Boivin pointed out the legal and constitution aspects of a woman’s right to choose:
“Whether you are for or against abortion, one fact remains and it is not 400 years old: the Morgentaler decision, the Daigle decision, in fact all decisions on various aspects of the issue gave a central place to a woman’s inalienable rights concerning her body…. We have a Charter of Rights. It may gall our friends opposite to no end, but thank heaven that we have this Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms…. So let us stop scaring people and abide by the Charter and the decisions, not the ones made 400 years ago, but the ones made in 1988 and 1990 and 2000 and so on. Let us stop these constant attacks on the women of Canada.”
Liberal MP Denis Coderre checked in with his conscience and showed us the way forward:
“Madam Speaker, my conscience tells me that we must respect the social harmony in this country. My conscience also tells me that we must respect women’s rights. Finally, my conscience tells me that we must respect the right to be pro-choice.”
I myself would zoom in on the notion of social harmony. I earlier cc’d you on an email I sent to Mayor and Council here in Kelowna about their proclamation of “Protect Human Life Week” on behalf of the Kelowna Right to Life Society:
“At this point in history, it is particularly galling that a pro-life stance is being promoted by government at any level. Funding for women’s programming has been cut across the country – the Kelowna Women’s Centre had to shut down at the end of April for that reason – and MP Stephen Woodworth’s private member’s motion to re-examine the definition of human being reached discussion in the House of Commons and will be voted on in the fall session. It is equally upsetting that MP Mark Warawa has now come out in support of Woodworth’s Motion 312. I predict that this backdoor re-opening of the abortion debate will not go down well with the women of Canada.”
I advised the Mayor and Council that we, the promoters of a “cluster bomb of negative publicity” (to quote the Kelowna Capital News), demanded that all public support for “Protect Human Life Week” be withdrawn or we would keep up our cluster bomb of negative publicity. While I believe that social harmony is to be preferred, if culture wars are what this government wants, culture wars are what this government will get.
Brilliant letter Dianne!! Thank you. You know, it occurs to me that we are no longer being “reactive,” what with our Kelowna campaign and the M-312 campaign, and our national day of action coming up on October 20. We are on the offensive and a powerful army of women and their allies ain’t gonna take no shit no more!
The Kelowna campaign is just one shot across the bow. If they open this up any further, they’re not going to know what hit them.
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