Well, boys ‘n’ girls, due to the fact that certain bloggers who are gung ho over Stevie Wankworth’s Bill C-312 and the fact that there was some patronizing going on for anyone daring to refute them full circle, one of my favourite blogs, Dammit Janet! is no longer found at the aggragator, Progressive Bloggers. Apparently, there are a few “progressives” who have joined the socon element to reopen that abortion debate which the highest supreme court decistions in 1988 (Morgentaler) and of course, Tremblay v Daigle in 1989 settled once and for all. Yes, a woman’s right to decide what she does or does not do with her own body is indeed a human rights decision. The two supreme court decisions said as much. Furthermore, it was decided legally that a fetus is not legally a person.
The Supreme Court of Canada strikes down Canada’s abortion law as unconstitutional. The law is found to violate Section 7 of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms because it infringes upon a woman’s right to “life, liberty and security of person.” Chief Justice Brian Dickson writes: “Forcing a woman, by threat of criminal sanction, to carry a fetus to term unless she meets certain criteria unrelated to her own priorities and aspirations, is a profound interference with a woman’s body and thus a violation of her security of the person.” Canada becomes one of a small number of countries without a law restricting abortion. Abortion is now treated like any other medical procedure and is governed by provincial and medical regulations.
The above link also has a time line if anyone cares for a history lesson.
Tremblay v Daigle 1989 - three basic reasons for supreme court decision:
The Supreme Court unanimously allowed Ms. Daigle’s appeal. The Court delivered the decision together and concluded the following:
- The Quebec Charter does not support the injunction restraining Ms. Daigle from having an abortion.
- The Canadian Charter does not support the injunction restraining Ms. Daigle from having an abortion.
- A potential father does not have the right to veto a woman’s decisions in respect to an abortion.
The Quebec Charter and the Injunction
The Court concluded that the Quebec Charter did not support the injunction restraining Ms. Daigle from having an abortion. For the Court, a foetus was not included within the term human being within the Quebec Charter. Therefore, the Quebec Charter did not accord a foetus legal status and rights for the purpose of granting the injunction. In drawing this conclusion, the Court recognized the following:
- The Quebec Charter did not display any clear intention on the part of its framers to consider the status of a foetus. If the Quebec Charter was intended to include a foetus, it is unlikely that the legislature would have left its legal status in such an uncertain state.
- The different usage of the terms human being and persons in the QuebecCharter did not lead to the conclusion that a foetus was included with the term human being. The more plausible explanation was that the different terms were used to distinguish between physical and moral persons.
- The Quebec Civil Code and Anglo-Canadian law supported the finding that a foetus was not a human being within the meaning of the Quebec Charter. The Civil Code‘s recognition of the foetus juridical personality was only a fiction of the civil law in order to protect the future interests of the unborn child (provided it is born alive and viable). In Anglo-Canadian law, a foetus must be born alive to enjoy rights.
The Canadian Charter and the Injunction
The Court concluded that the Canadian Charter did not support the injunction restraining Ms. Daigle from having an abortion. For the Court, the Canadian Charter was not applicable to this case. This case was a civil action between two private parties and did not have any state action to trigger the Canadian Charter.
More than two decades later, we’ve come to a point where we’re going to debate both of those decisions women and men with good sense fought long and hard to have. Now, the fight starts again, it looks like. Sadly, I always knew this would happen under a Harpercon majority. Time for us to take the gloves off yet again.
Furthermore, it is naive to believe that Wanksworth’s bill C-312 is simply leading the way to a debate. It is blatantly obvious that this bill is a portal to introduce more legislation to recriminalize abortion, perhaps even contraception, along with miscarriages and/or stillborns being ‘investigated’. We’re seeing laws being implemented to circumvent Roe v Wade in the US. Bet nobody thought that would happen neither. Given what we’re seeing what’s happening in the US and the backing of the religious right of the Harpercons, bloggers like the good men and women over at Dammit Janet are not exaggerating and should be taken seriously.
Not to mention, those bloggers like Gordie who seem to love flashing how Dr. Henry Morgentaler, hisself, apposed late term abortions and wouldn’t perform them. While this is true, it is overlooked that Morgentaler that he didn’t believe there should not be any laws restricting them:
Morgentaler said he does not see a need for rules on late abortions, despite his personal ethical opposition to them.
“There are already more or less rules, most abortions are done much before they reach 24 weeks,” he said.
“Most are done at six to nine weeks. Most women know the earlier they come the better it is for them and the less it is a question of having to deal with a human fetus.”
Morgentaler also acknowledged that late term abortions are performed, for the most part, on women who have learned of severe birth defects during tests performed late in pregnancy and on teenage girls who have tried to hide their pregnancy. Yes, it’s always convenient to leave that part out when fetus fetishists wave Morgentaler’s personal views on late term abortions. Pretty disingenuous, really.
Another thing, those Europeans and their stricter abortion laws. Funny how those same fetus fetishists don’t want to see the social programs some of those European countries have to help impoverished families and children. They don’t want to see better education or Planned Parenthood programs. Funny how those Europeans are considered evul “soshalists” most of the time, but when it comes to re-opening that abortion debate, they’re all of a sudden a model to follow. Oh, and in some European nations, they actually do perform the actual late term abortion, albeit rarely.
Another thought, perhaps other jurisdictions should be more like us when it comes to abortion. After all, Canada has lower abortion rates than jurisdictions where abortion access is limited or illegal. In fact, any country with more liberal abortion laws happens less often than those who restrict it.
Now, folks like the anti-abortionsists and Gordie don’t seem to think any of that matters. In fact, Gordie does concede that late term abortions are rare, but that don’t mean there shouldn’t be some restrictions. Can you say overkill? Kinda like having a dumb on crime omnibus bill when crime is actually going down and for ‘unreported’ criminals like Ol’ Stock Day’s imaginary ‘friends’.
Also, if we start with this so-called ‘discussion’ and it leads to one little bill prohibiting late term abortions, it will lead to more and more bills further recriminalizing abortion. Why? Because, like what’s happening in the US these days, those fetus fetishists and the Harpercons, here, are incapable of stopping when they get started. Do we really want to go to an era where women are forcibly strapped to a table and having a vaginal probe? Pretty dehumanizing. I don’t want the government up my uteris.
Still think that the good people over at Dammit Janet and the rest of us who agree wholeheartedly with them are unreasonable or overreacting?
Needless to say, Dammit Janet is no longer found at Progressive Bloggers, but ol’ Gordie still has a place over there to pontificate, as well as other ‘progressives’ who support him. The socon element over at the Blogging SupposiTories must be yucking it up by now.
I support the good bloggers over at Dammit Janet and boys ‘n’ girls, you can still find them on my blogroll. They will continue fighting the good fight over there and I recommend you read them to keep up to date.
As for me, this debate was over and done with by the Supreme Court more than two decades ago, or so it should be. However, I am ready to help my fellow sisters maintain our reproductive rights.
Another good read on this subject is Pale’s, where she has fun sciencey facts and statistics and great links. Also, boys ‘n’ girls, go over and read Dave’s post, another good read. Oh, and for a letter written to the Harpercons, go read Alison over at Creekside. She also has another fun post complete with cartoon I may like to steal someday soon and more fun facts and links.
I am disappointed–I always thought that women’s rights and their access to proper care was a universal progressive value.
A reminder to please sign the petition against C-312.