Honouring the unthinkable

Anna made the announcement, “I’m pregnant,” just days before we planned to hook our panel truck onto a trailer and head west to attend college. It couldn’t have happened at a more inconvenient time. We expected difficulties living in a 35-foot trailer for three years with two children. The thought of adding a new baby to the mix seemed impossible. We discussed various possibilities: forget about college; postpone it and get a job for a year; sell the trailer immediately and live in an apartment near the campus. We elected to go, selling the trailer after the baby arrived.            

Many changes have occurred in 50 years. You might have noted that Anna said, “I’m pregnant.” Most expectant mothers today would say, “We’re pregnant.” To me that sounds like a positive change.

You need to know that neither one of us thought about aborting the little nuisance who dared to upset our well-laid plans. To us, and most of our peers, we would never think of aborting a child any more than we would consider murdering our mothers. Not only did we see abortion as morally reprehensible, the law of the land disallowed it. But as I said, many changes have occurred in 50 years, not all positive.

We recently learned that the Governor General awarded the Order of Canada to our country’s notorious abortionist, Dr. Henry Morgentaler. I immediately wondered what had gone wrong with Michaelle Jean’s decision-making ability. Then I realized, she doesn’t make decisions on her own, but passes on those made by the Order of Canada advisory committee. How could a supposedly representative group make such a decision? I understand that they normally bestow the reward only when nominees receives the unanimous consent of the whole committee. However, in this case, when it became obvious Morgentaler would not receive unanimous approval, the committee, headed by Chief Justice Beverly McLachlin, decided to set aside procedure and allow the majority to rule.

Sounds Canadian doesn’t it? We see a non-elected body making a political statement by honouring one whom millions of Canadians would not consider a national hero.

We all know the arguments for supporting abortion. Don’t worry about the fetus: it really isn’t a person, therefore all the rules that govern human life after birth do not apply before birth. Every woman has the right to control her body; therefore the decision to abort belongs to her alone, so make abortion available to any woman who requests it.

Regarding the fetus, I say: do a DNA test. If that identifies the pregnancy as a cabbage or a kangaroo, go ahead with the abortion, but if it is human, do not kill it. Regarding the mother, I say: the woman’s rights override the rights of the unborn only if it really isn’t human.

Strange how history goes around in circles. Just a few hundred years ago, society assumed that men’s rights alone mattered, that men held the power of life and death over their children and wives, and could kill them at will. Thankfully, all that has changed. Our country recognizes women and children as living persons, not chattels of men. But haven’t we gone full circle if we now believe women should have life-and-death control over their unborn children? 

Dr. Morgentaler, you may want to take us back to antiquity and restore infanticide, but millions of us think differently. I challenge Prime Minister Stephen Harper and every elected member of parliament to take control of a bad situation, reverse the decision of the Order of Canada advisory committee, and then deal with the issue of abortion.



Ray Wiseman