By HJ Hornbeck
Guess what’s back in the news? Conservative mp Brad Trost warns that the debate on abortion access has been reopened in Canada, and that aggressive new tactics will be the name of the game.
Okay, fine. Let’s talk abortion. We’ll assume that abortion is murder, and that our goal is to eliminate it. I know some of you disagree with the assumption, but I bet all of you agree with the goal of eliminating murder.
The obvious approach would be to ban abortion. You can’t kill if you’re not allowed to, right?
That just won’t work. Africa has banned abortion, overall, and yet has the same abortion rate as Europe, where it’s mostly legal. Within Europe, countries that put the least restrictions on abortion tend to have lower rates. It seems the best way to stop the killing is to legalize it!
On reflection, that makes more sense. By regulating abortion, we can force women into counselling or show them social programs that could save unborn lives. A doctor performing an illegal abortion just wants his patients out the door before the fuzz gets suspicious.
It’s not like we even need a doctor; before doctors existed, women would kill their fetuses by dousing them in soap and water, or by puncturing them with pointy sticks, or just “falling down heavily.” There are hundreds of ways to abort, and no way to ban all of them.
You could even argue that a total ban on abortions would lead to more deaths. I read one sad case about a woman whose colon disease was made worse by pregnancy. Doctors knew her best chance was to abort the fetus, but none were willing to kill the unborn life. Not only did she miscarry anyway, she died in incredible agony. Only the most heartless person would argue that killing two people is better than killing one, so we must permit abortion in some circumstances.
Perhaps we should settle for a more realistic goal. Eastern Europe’s spectacular reduction in baby murders was not done by making them more accessible, but instead encouraging contraceptive use. Canada has seen a 37 per cent decrease in teen pregnancy rates between 1996 and 2006 by doing the same. While we can’t stop abortion, by promoting contraceptives and sex education we can minimize it.
It would be wonderful if someone were already doing this, carrying out abortions but mostly pushing contraception and counselling. Oh wait, Planned Parenthood already provides “a wide range of safe, reliable health care — and more than 90 per cent is preventive, primary care, which helps prevent unintended pregnancies through contraception, reduce the spread of sexually transmitted infections through testing and treatment, and screen for cervical and other cancers.”
Perfect! So I’m sure mp Trost is encouraging the government to save lives by increasing Planned Parenthood’s funding.
But Trost wrote on his website that “many, many Conservative mps pressed the [prime minister’s office] to stop the funds from flowing [to Planned Parenthood] . . . Federal funding did stop for a time. Funds allocated to International Planned Parenthood Federation were considerably reduced. Furthermore, federal grants for ippf also had more strings attached.”
Whaaa?! He’s not only opposed to funding Planned Parenthood, he’s actively trying to get them defunded? But if organizations like Planned Parenthood are the best way to save unborn lives, that would mean Trost is endorsing less effective methods. Brad Trost is causing more children to die!
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