Controversial "abortion doctor" Henry Morgentaler dies at age 90. Dr Morgentaler's crusade for abortion on demand made him both a hated and a lionized figure on the Canadian cultural scene for several decades. In the mid 70s he defiantly opened an abortion clinic in Montréal which earned him 10 months in prision. Morgentaler's crusade is credited with legalizing abortion on demand in Canada. He did this by, effectively, forcing the hands of the politicians and the public to decide one way or the other: abortion will be recognized as a medical procedure in Canada or it won't.
Conservative backbencher Stephen Woodworth introduced a motion last autumn which would open a parliamentary debate on the legal status of the fetus before birth: is the fetus a "legal" human being or not? Woodworth's motion was defeated 203 to 91 although slightly more than half of the conservative members voted for it. This has raised questions among some opposition members and the public: is there a fundamentalist religious "agenda" at work here? Are harcore social / religous conservatives engaging in a conscious program to reopen the abortion debate? There is some evidence suggesting they have launched an initiative to maintain constant pressure to reopen the question of the legality of abortion in Canada.
half of conservatives vote to open national abortion debate
While such thinking obviously smacks of conspiracy theory, some observers feel it is waranted by the facts, at least as a "working hypothesis". Thus there has been a recent attempt to "rebrand" the pro-life option as a civil rights crusade for the rights of the unborn. Anti-abortion activists are portrayed in the same light and the same language as activists like Martin Luther King, jr or Nelson Mandela.
Likewise, sex selective abortion of female fetuses in Asian immigrant communities was recently raised as an issue. This is an intelligent move on several fronts. It expands the potential audience for the prolife movement to embrace femisists on the Left and anti-immigrant sentiment on the Right (and, then, how many, "progressives" also harbor racist sentiments, avowed or not..) Thus,
"Recent studies have shown that the practice of aborting females in favour of males in happening in Canada," said Warawa, adding that polls show more than 90 per cent of Canadians believe the practice should be illegal."
This admission on the part of conservative MP Mark Warawa, a fundamentalist, is revealing. It shows that he is aware of the spin, the traction, his message has with the public. This is called "mainstreaming the Right". A wedge issue, such as sex selective abortion, which is broadly rejected by Canadians of all political stripes is used to lever open the abortion debate or, at least, to make it seem that pro-lifers are "normal", rational, decent folk just like everyone else.
Since conservative parties around the world are linked with business, such clever, effective "product branding" is right up their alley. In the current dumbed down cultural atmosphere, this is more proof - if proof were needed! - that the Left doesn't stand much of a chance. It is dark time for progressives and we will simply have to learn to suck it up and plan for brighter days.
For those who think I am exaggerating about manipulation of anti-immigrant / racist sentiment, here are a few quotes lifted from an online article on sex-selective abortion.
"A Simple Fix. Either stop them from immigrating to Canada or stop telling these third world people what sex the baby is. In BC it's against the law for anyone to know the sex of the baby because of this problem. The Chinese do this all the time, all third world countries do this all the time. So the simple fix is to make it illegal to let anyone know the sex of the baby. Man our forefathers never knew the sex of the baby why do it now. If these pakies want to continue this grotesque tradition, DEPORT them all back to their country.