Harper is a lot of things, but he’s not an idiot. The Harper government had to know that its sudden, almost violent and seemingly vindictive funding cuts to groups that made too much noise about abortion being excluded from the G8 Mat Health Initiative would only turn up the volume. And that eventually the spiraling debate over funding abortion as part of foreign aid would boomerang as the focus inevitably shifted back to our own domestic policies. From a fetus fetishist in the comments at the Globe:
Think it couldn’t happen? Think again. Our health care system is primarily funded by each province’s own revenue, but it also relies to some extent on federal transfer payments.
Though Canada remains a majority pro-choice country, in harsh economic times the public funding of abortion is a debate we might not win. The issue of public funding divides even pro-choicers to a minor degree. And what a neat way for Harper to corral the base — a heaping helping of fiscal conservatism with a socon dog whistle on the side.
The protest against Harper’s abortionless initiative is probably a righteous and honourable undertaking, but I’m not sure it’s the hill we want to die on. Tread carefully, and take nothing for granted. The cost of freedom and all that.
(h/t fern hill)