Op/Ed: Pro-Choice Activism

Abortions. The word when spoken of makes the majority of your family around the dinner table gulp their glass of water just a bit more tentatively. I have been part of the Winnipeg activist scene for a little over two years now. In that time, I have attended several pro-choice vs. anti-abortion rallies and campaigns. When Brandon University Students for Life sued our Student Union, I was on the council that sat through several hour long meetings to find resolution between our pro-life stances and granting a group freedom of speech. We then settled the case out of court; however their presence this year is again coming to offend and upset a largely pro-choice campus, with women and men attending BUSL’s meetings to debate both sides of the argument. They have largely made the argument that Canada is one of few countries to allow legal and “largely unregulated” abortions. Here is where my global views kicks in.

Canada is one of only few countries to completely allow abortions not because its legislation surrounding this case is unregulated and vague, and BUSL says, but more because it is a far privileged, democratic, socially equally country than many around the globe. If one were to put global statistics surrounding abortions, it is the nations with the worst records of human rights that posses the strictest and most controlling legislation on abortions. Even to the point that mothers can’t have abortions even when their life is at risk. (El Salvador) I am not implying that Canada does not have a human rights record to be ashamed of ( the systematic genocide of multiple groups of people at different periods), but this country is certainly not going back in time where women’s bodies were governed by men. I will remind BUSL that they are a mostly male organization and at their last meeting most of the women, with the exception of one, were set to the side by its very vocal male members. Let the people who will be affected by your proposed legislation speak, please.

As two-time union councillor, a women’s rights activist, and a person with a uterus here’s what I have to say: I have worked with many women’s organizations, and the problem here is not getting an abortion, but educating everyone about safe, consensual sex, and providing necessary resources, and not shaming them. If BUSL wants to use other countries as examples, they should also realise (1) Canada is a secular nation and will not follow the tenets of any specific religion codeming abortions and (2) that the term “pro-life” means believe in the sanctity and preservation of sentient beings: aka they should consider adopting and fostering refugee children around the world who were born into a painful life. Oh, my bad, I guess they won’t; because caring about a “child” is only important until the it leaves our bodies and you no longer have governing power over my body. What a shame.