Dear Topless Pro-Choice Protestor

I recently posted this letter on the ProWomanProLife blog following yet another topless protest at the Annual March for Life:

While I’ll likely disagree with your reasons for legalized abortion, I do support your right to express yourself and share your perspective.

However, going topless at a pro-life rally really isn’t a great way to make your point. Showing your breasts to the world is not an argument in favour of legalized abortion. It simply isn’t.

Read the rest here.


“Hoes before embryos” and pro-choice messaging tactics

Yesterday, I posted the following commentary over at ProWomanProLife. I’m rather discouraged by the state of pro-choice advocacy.

I don’t understand how a movement that does include some good thinkers can produce such consistently ill-advised messaging. I also don’t understand how a movement that claims to advance its cause in the name of rights, respect and the protection of women from violence can assault women with cigarettes butts and saliva, and refer to women as “hoes.” Which philosophy under-girds a movement that consistently exhibits these behaviours at events across the continent? It seems to be a philosophy that fails to assign respect equally to all members of society, including women who don’t agree with their position.

If pro-choice leaders don’t believe that assault and lewd slogans should define their movement, why aren’t they condemning these actions? At the very least, condemning the spitting and throwing of objects at people? And keep in mind that in Canada, spitting on someone can be considered an assault under criminal law. The law appears to be similar in the US. These are matters not to be taken lightly.


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!

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.

Joyce Arthur demands pro-life display be dismantled

A pro-life group in Abbotsford mounts a pro-life display in a farmer’s field each year. Crosses are arranged in the field, each one representing a life lost to abortion.

Joyce Arthur of the Abortion Rights Coalition of Canada is demanding that the display be removed:

It is inappropriate for the City to use its resources and authority to approve what is basically a sectarian religious message that is divisive and upsetting for the community. The sign reflects a common anti-abortion slogan used by the Christian Right against abortion. In addition, the sign is juxtaposed with a display of Christian crosses, making clear the religious meaning of the entire display, which encompasses both the sign and the crosses.

There are so many issues with this statement and with her letter as a whole, but thankfully, André Schutten has offered an apt response.

But what really caught my attention in Ms. Arthur’s letter is the following…

Read the rest of the post here.