P-207: Kicking Abortion’s Ass Part Duh

One of the resolutions to pass during the Wingnuts Over Winnipeg shindig this week was P-207, resolving that the CPC policy would include supporting yet another “Unborn Victims” bill… did I call it or did I call it?:

Just imagine how McKenna as Liberal leader would respond the next time another Bill C-484 comes around (and it will — the fetus fetishists probably started lobbying for some MP to put forward another Private Member’s Bill the minute the election was over).

The whackjobs sent out a prayer siege alert for it:4myc-injesuscom_1226803741512

And, oh — what’s this: “If P-207 passes tomorrow, it lays a lot of groundwork for bringing in winnable legislation to protect unborn children”. Since proponents of the dead Bill C-484 already admitted that it did nothing to “protect” women or fetuses, that can only mean one thing…

Bring it!!

33 Responses to “P-207: Kicking Abortion’s Ass Part Duh”


  1. 1 Alison Sunday, November 16, 2008 at 1:06 am

    On a wing(nut) and a prayer …

  2. 2 JJ Sunday, November 16, 2008 at 2:23 am

    Fear & Loathing in Las Pegas…

  3. 3 southernquebec Sunday, November 16, 2008 at 6:08 am

    Conservatives: No Intelligence Aloud…

  4. 4 fern hill Sunday, November 16, 2008 at 9:54 am

    *sigh* Yep, you called it, JJ. They will never give up. But this time, we’re ready for them.

    http://www.breadnroses.ca/birthpangs/activist-page/

  5. 5 Raphael Alexander Sunday, November 16, 2008 at 10:32 am

    I think there are two trains of thought on this issue, and unfortunately one of these trains is being hijacked by the religious right and their anti-abortion God agenda. The other train merely wants legal protection for expectant mothers.

    By the way, how do I subscribe to comments now?

  6. 6 Beijing York Sunday, November 16, 2008 at 12:35 pm

    This will be interesting to watch. I have a feeling that they are not going to go the Private Member’s Bill route this time.

  7. 7 Patrick Ross Sunday, November 16, 2008 at 3:07 pm

    It would seem that you’ve issued another “bring it!” challenge.

    As always, I’m more than happy to oblige you.

    As such, some questions for your consideration:

    1. Can you define a deterrent, and are you aware of how it serves to protect people from crime?

    2. Can you explain how a law like Bill C-484, or a law like the one advocated in proposition P-207 will criminalize abortion considering that such laws have failed to have this effect in the United States?

    3. How would you like to try to explain to people how reasonable conceptions of fetal rights will lead to a wholesale criminalization of abortion considering that it has failed to do so in the United States?

    Hopefully you’ll be a little more forthcoming regarding your own challenge than you were the last time. Not that I’m holding my breath, mind you.

  8. 8 Chimera Sunday, November 16, 2008 at 3:21 pm

    Oh, shit. PRoss is still breathing.

    *sigh*

  9. 9 Patrick Ross Sunday, November 16, 2008 at 3:26 pm

    Still breathing, and still asking questions you won’t answer.

    Still supportive of assaults on the elderly, Chimie?

  10. 10 Frank Frink Sunday, November 16, 2008 at 4:35 pm

    Yes, Chimera. Still breathing and apparently just as much of a dumb ass.

  11. 11 Cornelius T. Zen Sunday, November 16, 2008 at 6:37 pm

    Good morrow, all!
    I find it most passing strange that modern-day “Christians” labour so assiduously to “protect” the “unborn”, yet express little or no interest in the welfare of either child or mother once birth is completed. There was a documentary one time on the practice of killing female infants in India, seeing as male infants were most favoured. One mother put it bluntly: “Our husbands are drunken bums that do nothing to help raise our children. It cost more to raise a baby girl, and to put together a dowry so some man will take her off our hands. Why are you surprised that some parents kill their daughters at birth?”
    Where is the “Christian” concern for the already-born child in poverty? Where are the private members bills to help support single mothers? Where are the MASSIVE POLLS that favour better medical care for parents and children locked into poverty? We can tell where the mouths are, now where’s the money?
    Who was it that said: If men could get pregnant, abortion would be a sacrement.
    Personally, that any abortion is necessary in anyone’s life is abhorrent to me. That much more abhorrent is the braying of those who wail and howl over the “sacred unborn,” and could not care less about the already living. How very “Christian” of them.
    But, I digress…CTZen

  12. 12 JJ Sunday, November 16, 2008 at 6:51 pm

    SQ – Deliverance North

  13. 13 JJ Sunday, November 16, 2008 at 6:53 pm

    fern hill – Of course they won’t give up, it’s what they do. Even if abortion rights were specifically enshrined in the constitution, they’d be talking “Notwithstanding Clause”. They’re a chronic condition that needs ongoing maintenance.

  14. 14 JJ Sunday, November 16, 2008 at 6:54 pm

    RA – For the feeds, go to the bottom of the page. “RSS entries” and “RSS Comments”.

    I saw your comment at Kady’s place — GRR.

  15. 15 JJ Sunday, November 16, 2008 at 6:59 pm

    Beijing – Really, you don’t think it will be a PMB this time? That would be interesting, primarily because of what it says about the direction of the CPC. Hard right-turn!

  16. 16 JJ Sunday, November 16, 2008 at 7:01 pm

    Hi Patrick!

    I’ll address your questions tomorrow, I just got home from work and I’m hooped, and you deserve a more intelligent response than I’m capable of delivering right now.

  17. 17 JJ Sunday, November 16, 2008 at 7:04 pm

    Chimera & FF – Now now 😀 be nice 😉 If PR wants to engage that’s cool with me. That said, you’re more than welcome to unload on him if he becomes a pain in the ass. I recommend it, actually.

  18. 18 JJ Sunday, November 16, 2008 at 7:15 pm

    CTZ – “Where are the MASSIVE POLLS” A regular reader, I see 😉

    I’ve always thought that one of the reasons this particular cause attracts the people it does is because it’s low-maintenance. Walking the walk consists of standing out in front of a clinic with a sign — easier to do that than actually do something tangible for the 30,000 or so kids languishing in foster care right now, or the ones who go to school hungry because their families are poor. Oddly, people who fetishize “the unborn” tend to be the same ones who vote against things like school lunch programs, daycare etc.

    I think it’s called “hypocrisy”.

  19. 19 Patrick Ross Sunday, November 16, 2008 at 9:06 pm

    Yes, Chimera. Still breathing and apparently just as much of a dumb ass.

    Heh. Looks like Frank Frink has expended his entire arsenal of insults right off the bat.

  20. 20 Frank Frink Sunday, November 16, 2008 at 9:53 pm

    Don’t bet any money on it, Patsy.

    Someday grasshopper, you’ll learn that one should not blow his wad at all at once 😉

  21. 21 Patrick Ross Sunday, November 16, 2008 at 10:28 pm

    I’ll believe that you actually think that when you come up with some new material.

  22. 22 Frank Frink Sunday, November 16, 2008 at 10:42 pm

    When it is time for it, Patsy. When it is time, and only when it is time. Be still, young one, and learn the merits and virtue of patience 😉

  23. 23 Patrick Ross Monday, November 17, 2008 at 12:02 am

    Is that your idea of clever?

    See, Frank, this is why no one takes you seriously.

  24. 25 fern hill Monday, November 17, 2008 at 4:27 am

    Patrick, for starters, go to the Activist Page I linked to above: http://www.breadnroses.ca/birthpangs/activist-page/

    Have a look at who is for and who is against C-484. For: All religious fundy groups. Against: medical organizations, women’s groups, anti-violence against women groups, the YWCA for hevvin’s sake.

    Not a single anti-violence against women group has come out in support of it.

    As for criminalizing pregnant women’s behaviour, go here
    http://www.arcc-cdac.ca/c484.htm
    and read the pdf on ‘Lessons from the US’.

  25. 26 Reality Bites Monday, November 17, 2008 at 8:57 am

    It will be interesting to see if the government torpedoes this by bringing in the legislation they promised before the election, one that adds this to sentencing guidelines for assaults on pregnant women, rather than creating a separate offence. The kind of thing reasonable people can accept because it tries to do what the sponsors of C-484 pretended it was for – protecting pregnant women.

    Of course neither bill is likely to prevent a single pregnant woman from harm. That’s already illegal.

    Silencing critics is something Harper enjoys. The type of bill proposed before the election will silence pro-choicers, because there’s nothing objectionable about it, and will silence ‘pro-lifers’ because it does what they pretended they cared about and leaves them nothing to complain about, except the only thing they EVER cared about – getting it into law that a fetus is a child.

  26. 27 JJ Monday, November 17, 2008 at 1:18 pm

    RB – It will be interesting to see which way they go. Before the election, I assume the bill they were talking about was PMB C-543, which was meant to make C-484 redundant and with no threat to abortion rights. IIRC, it would have made pregnancy an aggravating factor in an attack, and given judges the flexibility to impose harsher sentences in those cases.

    As you say, no law is going to really protect pregnant women — generally people who attack pregnant women aren’t the most clear-thinking individuals anyway, so the prospect of a harsher sentence is unlikely to deter them or cool off their insane anger.

    The passage of a law like C-543 wouldn’t silence pro-lifers. They will keep pounding away at getting an unborn victims law because it’s the only way to open the door to fetal rights. There is no other.

  27. 28 Patrick Ross Monday, November 17, 2008 at 9:19 pm

    *ahem*

    I really do hate to bring the facts back into this, but Bill C-484 didn’t pose a threat to abortion “rights”.

    Numerous American states have fetal homicide acts, and abortion has not been criminalized in the United States.

    Not to mention that Bill C-484 contained stronger guarantees of abortion “rights” than any of the fetal homicide bills in the United States.

    Which is all and good I suppose, so long as one isn’t terrified to acknowledge these facts.

  28. 29 JJ Monday, November 17, 2008 at 11:40 pm

    “Bill C-484 didn’t pose a threat to abortion “rights”.”

    I guess we’ll just have to agree to disagree on that one. Realize also that on your side of the argument, there’s every anti-abortion organization, the Catholic church etc, but no medical professionals, and on my side there’s several medical associations including the CMA… don’t you wonder about that?

    “Numerous American states have fetal homicide acts, and abortion has not been criminalized in the United States.”

    You don’t go from Point A to Point Z. Fetal homicide laws, in and of themselves, are harmless. It’s what could be done with them in terms of amendments that makes them a potential threat. Thus far, Laci & Conor’s law hasn’t resulted in abortion being criminalized, but it does lay the groundwork for fetal rights. Ten years ago you’d never have had ballot initiatives to define a fertilized egg as a “person”, or for a complete ban on abortion, as they had in S. Dakota and Colorado this last election.

    This is how the pro-life movement works, because they know their end game is unacceptable to most (fertilized egg a person?) — it’s called “incrementalism”.

    I agree with you that C-484 is probably better-written than any of the US laws, but still, why have it? When we could just have options for harsher punishment? The only possible reason is to eventually confer “personhood” status on a fetus.

  29. 30 Patrick Ross Tuesday, November 18, 2008 at 1:05 am

    I guess we’ll just have to agree to disagree on that one. Realize also that on your side of the argument, there’s every anti-abortion organization, the Catholic church etc, but no medical professionals, and on my side there’s several medical associations including the CMA… don’t you wonder about that?

    Not in the slightest.

    It doesn’t surprise me that a number of organizations that can be considered quite extrinsically motivated to misconstrue Bill C-484 as an attempt to legislate on abortion would come out against it.

    100 people can be wrong just as easily as one person can.

    You don’t go from Point A to Point Z. Fetal homicide laws, in and of themselves, are harmless. It’s what could be done with them in terms of amendments that makes them a potential threat. Thus far, Laci & Conor’s law hasn’t resulted in abortion being criminalized, but it does lay the groundwork for fetal rights. Ten years ago you’d never have had ballot initiatives to define a fertilized egg as a “person”, or for a complete ban on abortion, as they had in S. Dakota and Colorado this last election.

    So then what you want to tell me is that your problem with a Fetal Homicide Bill is not that it will lead to the criminalization of abortion, but that it will lead to further demands for the criminalization of abortion.

    Many people are making those demands already. As it sounds, defeating Bill C-484 isn’t going to put you any further ahead in the game, so to speak.

    Furthermore, “laying the groundwork for fetal rights”, as you yourself put it, doesn’t in and of itself dictate the ultimate shape and form such rights would take.

    It’s been a generally accepted principle in Canadian society that we don’t grant rights to certain individuals, or groups of individuals, at the expense of the rights of others. For example, we would not grant complete religious freedom to religious sects that believe it is acceptable to murder members of their religion that don’t sufficiently follow its tenets.

    Yet we don’t deny Pakistani Muslims freedom of religion because certain sects that some Pakistani Muslims belong to — whether they be a majority or minority of them — subscribe to political beliefs that support honour killings. We don’t outlaw Islam just because we limit their freedom of religion.

    Rather, the right of life of those who would otherwise be subject to honour killings temper the right of these individuals to practice their religion. It does not supercede it, but it does temper it.

    The argument I would raise is two-fold:

    First off, it’s unlikely that the notion of fetal rights would ever fully supercede a woman’s right to choose, as Canadian society is not in the practice of granting rights at the expense of the rights of others.

    The notion of fetal rights may well serve to temper the right of women to seek abortions. Again, temper, not supercede. Limit, but not criminalize.

    Most Canadians would find the tempering of a woman’s right to seek an abortion to be anything but threatening. In fact, term limits on when an abortion may be attained without medical cause — something modeled after the limits that exist in the United States, which actually has the most liberal limits in the world — is something that the majority of Canadians favour.

    On top of that, the majority of Canadians also favour the protection of unborn life from acts of violent crime. If invoking the CMA and various other organizations is actually meant to suggest that you’re swimming with the current of Canadian public opinion, the fact of the matter is actually quite different — you’re swimming against it.

    Which is all well and good. But, once again, even if legislation like Bill C-484 leads to the establishment of notions of fetal rights that serve to temper notions of a woman’s entitlement to abortion on demand at any point of her pregnancy, it will not lead to a criminalization of abortion. It didn’t do so where public discourse favours the criminalization of abortion more strongly, and it won’t do so here.

    So, in sum, could Bill C-484 have an effect on abortion? We have to conclude that yes, it certainly could. Would it have led to criminalization of abortion? No. Mostly because the bill itself precludes that.

    This is how the pro-life movement works, because they know their end game is unacceptable to most (fertilized egg a person?) — it’s called “incrementalism”.

    Evidently you don’t know how the pro-life movement actually works.

    In the 1980s, as you recall, Brian Mulroney attempted to pass a new abortion law based on principles of compromise between pro-abortion and anti-abortion factions within his caucus.

    In the end his attempt to produce such a law ultimately failed because the second choice of either faction within his party was not a moderate abortion law born out of compromise, but rather no abortion law at all. Unable to attain their first preference, each faction torpedoed the entire exercise.

    There’s a whole chapter devoted to this in Tom Flanagan’s Game Theory and Canadian Politics. While many anti-abortion advocates may look toward incrementalism as a potential strategy, most do not because incrementalism poses an inherent hazard in its use: that incrementalism will eventually give way to compromise, and the ultimate goal will not be achieved.

    The most zealous anti-abortion advocates favour outright criminalization in one fell swoop because it rules out the need for compromise. This should come as no surprise — they’re very dogmatic, unrealistic people.

    I agree with you that C-484 is probably better-written than any of the US laws, but still, why have it? When we could just have options for harsher punishment? The only possible reason is to eventually confer “personhood” status on a fetus.

    Because justice demands that the victims of crime be recognized. You cannot administer justice if you refuse to recognize the victim.

    The simple fact of the matter is that, in many cases, the fetus has been targeted for crime.

    I’ll provide you with an example: that of Gary Bourgeois of Montreal, who administered his pregnant girlfriend a toxic substance (via her vagina) while she was sleeping, killing the fetus.

    In a court of law, Bourgeois was charged with aggravated assault and administering a toxic substance.

    Yet that is not the extent of the crime that Bourgeois committed. Bourgeois committed this act — which I am certain you’ll agree is nothing short of heinous — because he didn’t want to have that child with his girlfriend, and she would not seek an abortion.

    While he harmed his girlfriend in the course of his crime — this is eventually what he was charged and convicted of — the crime that Gary Bourgeois planned and committed was murder. And he got away with it.

    Instead of facing up to a life sentence for first-degree murder — the crime that he planned — Bourgeois instead received a paltry one year sentence.

    But if Bourgeois had known that he would face a charge of first degree murder, carrying a maximum sentence of life in prison, it’s hard to argue that he could not have been deterred.

    That is why legislation such as Bill C-484 is necessary. To pretend otherwise is to ignore reality.

    Furthermore, no endemic of pre-meditated murder on fetuses is necessary to justify such a law. If it prevents so much as one murder, it has served its role.

  30. 32 JJ Tuesday, November 18, 2008 at 10:12 am

    PR – Coles Notes version, please!

  31. 33 Patrick Ross Tuesday, November 18, 2008 at 9:00 pm

    Sorry, no can do.

    Issues like this aren’t simple issues, and I don’t think artificially simplifying the issue foments a reasonable discussion.


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