Yes: the anti-abortion gibberish that perpetually rattles around in the brains of our Parliament’s infamous “Pro-Life Caucus” has once again gelled and been squeezed out in the form of another sleazy little initiative meant to roll back womens’ rights in the guise of “protecting” us. Leading anti-choice MP Rod Bruinooge, feeling “inspired” by the awful story of a murdered woman from his home town, has tabled yet another fetus-focused private member’s bill, this time to ban “coerced abortion”:
This afternoon Conservative MP Rod Bruinooge, the chair of the pro-life caucus in the Canadian Parliament, introduced a private members bill seeking to stop intimidation and pressure on women to have abortions against their will. Bruinooge said he was inspired to draw up the bill based on the case of a woman from his home town whose boyfriend attempted to coerce her into an abortion.
Because who could possibly support the idea of women being forced to have abortions against their will? Not me, and probably not anyone who is pro-choice, since coercion is the antithesis of choice. Forcing women to not have children they want is as bad as forcing them to have children they don’t want.
The backstory behind Bruinooge’s latest salvo against abortion rights is certainly compelling:
“In early 2007, Roxanne Fernando’s boyfriend attempted to coerce her into having an abortion. After backing out on the decision to abort her baby, Roxanne’s boyfriend then chose to have her killed. When someone uses coercion, it can lead to violence. Roxanne’s Law will communicate to all Canadians that coercing a pregnant woman to have an abortion against her will is unacceptable in a nation that values human rights.”
Although this particular case is clearly a loathsome tale of intimidation and violence against women, “coercion” is sometimes in the eye of the beholder. Anti-abortion whackjobs like Bruinooge would like to think that most women are in some way “coerced” into having abortions — that the practice is so widespread, it calls for legislative correction. The coercion of women to have abortions is apparently rampant: if not by abusive partners or aggressively overprotective parents, then by hostile economic circumstances, or maybe just their own estrogen-driven insanity. Yes, I keed, but I seriously shudder to imagine the kind of cases that would start winding their way through the courts as the overzealous launched their War Against Coerced Abortion in the hope of incrementally banning it altogether.
Besides, isn’t bullying, intimidation and the act of coercion — to abort or do anything else one is desperately opposed to doing — already against the law? Why would abortion need its own coercion law, unless…