Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Abortion in Canada Legal – Right Up Until Time of Birth

Read the subject line again please. Did you know that? Were you aware of the fact that in Canada it is legal for an abortion to take place any time during pregnancy? That includes right up until the time a birth is about to take place. If you weren’t aware of this fact you’re in good company. According to a poll done by Angus Reid fully 92% of Canadians were not aware that abortion is legal during the full nine months of gestation. NEWSWIRE STORY

For those wishing this story would just go away…well, it ain’t happening. This is probably one of the touchiest topics going, it’s definitely something to avoid as a topic for polite dinner conversation. But for many people this is more than just a topic of conversation, it is a crusade. While there’s no indication as to who paid for the poll, I suspect it might be Signal Hill, an advocacy group mentioned 3 times in the on-line version of the press release.

In looking at their website I’m struck by the reasonableness of tone and lack of inflammatory statements. Just one quick snippet:


“Concentrating on the legality of the issue is not our position. We believe that when abortion is chosen it is because it is perceived as the least undesirable option available to the woman and her family. We believe that if a woman is fully informed of all of the options available to her, and of the physical and psychological dangers to her and to her preborn baby, abortion will rarely be chosen”.

That strikes me as pretty fair commentary. Those against criminalizing abortion call themselves ‘Pro-Choice’ and not ‘Pro-Abortion’ after all. I’m going to cut against the progressive grain here and pose a question. Is there any chance of reasonable accommodation from the Pro-Choice lobby? Would there be objections to Canada having a law which made abortion illegal during say... the last month of pregnancy?

I know some will make the point that in Canada abortions are almost never performed during the last month, excepting when the life of the mother is in danger. Assuming that to be true, what would be the harm in making it illegal, except in cases where the mother might die during child birth?

On a personal level I’m more inclined to the Pro-Choice argument, especially if it’s a question of extremes...a total ban versus having no law. But I do think at some point a fetus should have some rights, especially if the fetus is so far developed that he/she could live autonomous of the mother.

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