Joyce Arthur Demands “Naïve Reporters” Shut Out Pro-Lifers

As I wrote yesterday over at the EFC’s law and public policy blog, ActivateCFPL:

Joyce Arthur, executive director of the Abortion Rights Coalition of Canada, recently blasted media outlets for being too “balanced” in their coverage of Dr. Henry Morgentaler’s death by interviewing pro-life Canadians.  

The pro-life perspective “is an extremist view,” not deserving of “legitimacy” and “does not deserve equal time or respect in Canada” railed Arthur in a recent Rabble.ca piece. According to Arthur, “naïve reporters” should not be interested in the pro-life expression of “concern for women’s well-being,” or the perspective that all human beings, including those at earlier stages of development, deserve human rights. […]

The accusation that the media was being too balanced in its coverage of Morgentaler’s death is a ridiculous claim. Even by Arthur’s own analysis of the media coverage, a significant number of stories – 37 per cent of those she reviewed – didn’t include interviews with pro-life Canadians. But if “extreme” or minority positions should be ignored by the media, than by her own standard, Arthur is the one who should be excluded from engaging with the media. Ever.  Again.

In Arthur’s attempt to exclude pro-life Canadians from the media and the public square, she condemns herself to the same fate with her irrational and ridiculous standards.

We don’t need to “re-open the abortion debate”

Because it never closed. I write about that today at EFC’s law and public policy blog, ActivateCFPL:

The abortion debate has never closed, died or ended. To argue otherwise is to argue that those who want to rationally discuss the issue are to be marginalized as fringe elements of society; that the pro-life activists who came to Ottawa last year to march for life are 19,000 anomalies; and, that their perspective is inconsistent with some greater enshrined Canadian value of “choice.”

To contend that the abortion debate is over is to declare that there is consensus in Canada on an issue where no such consensus exists. In reality, it’s an intellectually lazy attempt at discrediting those who legitimately question the appropriateness of our nation being the only western country in the world that lacks abortion legislation.

Silence for Life

photo credit: Elvert Barnes via photopin cc

When the Abortion Debate is Shut Down

I wrote a sidebar article for the latest issue of FaithToday, entitled ‘When Debate is Shut Down in Canada’s Highest Places:

I disagree. The abortion debate never ended. As a nation we have not stopped talking about it or debating the merits of legislation. There are a large number of MPs in Parliament, as well as innumerably more Canadians, open to the discussion. I know, because I have sat down with pro-life and pro-choice MPs and have participated in those conversations.

The issue’s cover story is about the difficulty of debating abortion in Canada. Interviewed for the piece were some friendly faces including CCBR’s Stephanie Gray, former speech writer for Prime Minister Stephen Harper Paul Malvern, and the IMFC’s Andrea Mrozek. The digital issue is available for free online, so you can check out the article.

Speaker Sheer’s Ruling

A week in review…

It was another busy week  of posting at ProWomanProLife. The inquest results came back on the death of Savita Halappanavar. The hospital staff appear to have committed a number of errors while administering her care. It’s a sad story.

Susan  Martinuk wrote a great piece regarding euthanasia and assisted suicide and how our “private” choices impact others. Brian Lilley conducted an interview with Lila Rose on the ongoing Hermit Gosnell trial. (I become a little sick every time I type out his name.) Their discussion about when life begins was quite interesting.

I also linked back to a piece that Wesley J. Smith wrote about the human trafficking of embryos. Stephanie Gray challenges us all to reconsider what “mother-to-be” means and Andrea disagrees with her use of the term.

Also this week, Speaker Andrew Sheer ruled on MP Mark Warawa’s point of privilege. The short decision is a good read and confirms both the authority of the position of the Speaker and the importance of the right to free speech of Parliamentarians.

And here’s a random list of things I loved or discovered this week:

  • This cassoulet recipe from Forks Over Knives. Some friends made it for me and it’s incredible. I’m making a double batch of it today.
  • I couldn’t get this song – Bones by Michael Kiwanuka – out of my head all week.
  • I’m loving Feedly. It is a great replacement for Google Reader.
  • I discovered LastPass this week. Wow. Having a plugin that manages my passwords makes working online so much easier.

Have a great week!

Normalizing Infanticide and the Gosnell Trial

A week in review…

I spent much of this week working on a major project, so I didn’t write any op-eds or blog posts for ActivateCFPL. But it was a busy week for posting at ProWomanProLife.

I commented on a Mississsauga pro-choice demonstration where it appears that the protestors were demanding the right to infanticide. In that same vein, I linked to an article where the writer predicts how society will come to accept infanticide, as it has abortion. Much of what he discusses is already taking place.

That was followed up by some coverage of the horrifying Kermit Gosnell trial. Kermit Gosnell, a 72 year old abortionist, is facing a number of charges, including murder charges for having killed seven newborns by “snipping” their necks with scissors. Fr. Frank Pavone noted that there were few people at the hearings despite the explosive testimony, while Robert P. George of Princeton made a plea for mercy for Gosnell.

I also linked to a thoughtful piece by Ann Voskamp. She posted an open letter to her son in which she discusses abortion and Gosnell.

It was also this week that MP Mark Warawa decided not to appeal the House of Commons committee decision to quash his motion, M-408, which sought a declaration by Parliament condemning discrimination against females occurring through sex-selective abortions. I noted that his point of privilege, as raised with the Speaker, will likely proceed.

I also came across an interesting article in this week’s Canadian Business that examines new research demonstrating that China’s One Child Policy results in fewer children who possess entrepreneurial skill sets.

Media Coverage on Sex-Selective Abortions

I’ve spent a lot of time in the last week posting at ProWomanProLife about MP Mark Warawa’s motion M-408, which sought an opportunity for Parliament to condemn sex-selective abortions, an abhorrent practice.

Despite the incredible disappointment most of us in the pro-life movement feel in face of Parliament’s shocking treatment of this motion, Andrea, Rebecca Richmond and I took some time to smile and show off some new Defendgirls.ca t-shirts.

Andrea Mrozek, Faye Sonier, Rebecca Richmond

Some of my reaction, while wearing my EFC hat, was covered the US’s LifeNews, and Canada’s Catholic Register , The B.C. Catholic, and LifeSiteNews. A few of my statements from the LifeNews article:

The decision made today to declare Motion M-408 as non-votable by Parliament is lamentable,” explains Faye Sonier, Legal Counsel with The Evangelical Fellowship of Canada.

Sonier told LifeNews: “The motion calling on Parliament to condemn the practice of sex-selection pregnancy termination was simple, straight-forward and non-confrontational. As a lawyer who follows Parliamentary business, I was quite surprised that the Subcommittee on Private Members’ Business unanimously found that the motion didn’t satisfy the votability criteria for private members’ bills.

What a mess of a situation. We’ll have to see what Mr. Warawa chooses to do next.

Being occasionally offended the price we pay to live in a free society

Originally published in the Guelph Mercury:

Every few years, city bus banner ads in Guelph trigger debate about free speech rights.

A few years ago, it was an atheist ad that read: “There’s probably no God. Now stop worrying and enjoy your life.” This year, it’s a couple of ads from Alliance for Life Ontario. One ad depicts a fetus at 19 weeks of development and states, “This is a child, not a choice.” The second includes images of fetuses with the message, “I’m a human being with potential, not a potential human being.”

Coun. Ian Findlay shared on his blog that he had received complaints about the ads and posted one such anonymous complaint. The complainant argues that the ads are “highly inappropriate for public property”, that as a woman she finds the ad offensive and that since abortions at 19 weeks are rare, the first ad is misleading.

And to the complainant, I say “So what?”

We live in a pluralistic, multicultural society where no two citizens hold identical views, or are required to do so. We live in a constitutionally described “free and democratic society” that is characterized by freedoms of expression, conscience, association and religion, among others, guaranteed constitutionally in our Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

If, as a society, we fail to value the conversation that arises from an open marketplace of shared ideas, and if we were to appoint someone, such as the complainant, to judge which expressions should be banned according to her subjective standards of “offensiveness” or “misleadingness,” there would be very little free speech indeed.

Read the rest at the Guelph Mercury website.

Women must change biology in order to fit into society?

Julie Burkhart was recently interviewed by Mother Jones on her efforts to re-open the infamous Tiller abortion clinic. This comment stopped me in my tracks:

This community has just been so embroiled in the abortion…I hate to say the abortion “debate,” but just the turmoil. Some people would say, “Just leave it alone and let it go.” However, we can’t really have true freedom in this country until everyone can access that right.

Is she arguing that women can’t be free if they’re pregnant or that pregnant women can’t fully participate in society?

Read the rest of the post here.

How Bonokoski Got it All Wrong on the ‘Bushwhacking’ MPs Story

In Saturday’s Bushwhackers embarrass PM piece, Sun Media’s National Editorial Writer Mark Bonokoski proves that you don’t need facts to write an opinion article.

He labels three Members of Parliament, Maurice Vellacott, Leon Benoit and Wladyslaw Lizon “obviously stupid bushwhackers” for having asked the RCMP to investigate late-term abortions as homicides. Had they done so, I would have been the first to tell them that their efforts were a waste of time given the state of the law in Canada. Abortion is legal through all nine months of pregnancy in our fair country.

But that’s not what they did. The MPs asked the RCMP to investigate 491 cases of possible homicide. Between 2000 and 2009, 491 newborns survived attempted abortions and subsequently died after birth. We don’t know how they died, but they did. According to the Criminal Code, the same one Bonokoski alludes to reading, when human beings are born they are considered human beings in law. And when human beings are killed or neglected to death, we expect the police to investigate.

Read the rest of the post here.

Porn: Our children are victims

A disturbing read.

Kamal, a boy in the same year, says: “Say I got a girlfriend, I would ask her to write my name on her breast and then send it to me and then I would upload it on to Facebook or Bebo or something like that.” The profile picture on his phone, seen by everyone to whom he sends messages, is an image of his girlfriend’s cleavage. Some of the boys at his school have explicit images of up to 30 different girls on their phone. They swap them like we used to swap football cards. If they fancy a girl, they send her a picture of their genitals. As one teenage girl said after the report came out, sending pictures of your body parts is “the new flirting”. […]

Read the rest of the post here.