Yes, break up. I’ve been a liberal for awhile. The liberals sort of got a beating in the last election, but I still liked them. They appeal to me, and a lot of people I think, as sort of a happy middle between the Conservatives and the NDP.
Well, they used to appeal to me.
This blog post might come off as a bit of a rant. I’ll do my best to keep my tone reasonable, but the issue I’m about to discuss is very important to me, for all sorts of philosophical and personal reasons, and I live in a community where very few people agree with me – which is fine! I LOVE when my views are challenged – but sometimes, that can get you down a bit. Today is one of those days.
So, dear reader, you must be wondering why I believe that the Liberal Party of Canada is no longer cool. It has to do with a very hot topic. A hot topic that the CBC didn’t seem capable of uttering in their newscast last night.
Or, if you’re Peter Mansbridge, pro-choice.
Now, I know that the abortion debate is often fraught with bad blood and hatred on both sides, and I know that this isn’t a popular topic. So let me just say, if you are pro-choice, I respect your views. Well, I don’t like your views very much, but I do respect YOU, and I respect that reasonable people can disagree with me. If you want to turn my comment section into a debate, have at it (I love debates), just be polite, be reasonably grammatically correct, and avoid over-generalizations if you can (I’ll try my best too, but sometimes, having a discussion on a broad topic simply means that you must talk about groups of people instead of individuals). If you’re a follower, and simply cannot give a platform to a pro-lifer, then I respect that as well. Unfollow me, and then binge on pro-choice blog posts to make yourself feel better. I know I’ve done that a few times when a blogger I follow has unexpectedly had an opinion that I simply cannot stand. It can be very therapeutic.
In any case, you’ve probably guessed this by now, but I’m pro-life. Like, really pro-life. Like omg-I-love-babies-I-cry-about-abortion-often kind of pro-life. And I mean cry. Tears and everything. It’s just, knowing that mothers feel that they must kill their children in order to have the life that desire makes me sad. It makes me sad for our society, sad for all of the humans that lost their lives, sad for the doctors who are killing them, and so sad for the mothers. Abortion is just a sad, depressing topic.
(Just a note: I am against elective abortions – that means that abortions that are medically necessary are fine in my book, as long as some effort is made into protecting the lives of both the mother and baby. Sometimes, though, that just isn’t possible. If women die of preventable deaths, then can we really say that we are pro-life? No, we can’t, and many pro-lifers who think that abortion is always wrong and that women should always die of pregnancy complications, well, those supposed pro-lifers have blood on their hands).
Anyway, you might be wondering how abortion could possibly relate to the Liberal Party of Canada.
Yes, he’s the son of Pierre Trudeau. If you aren’t Canadian and don’t know who he is, look him up. If you’re American and don’t know who Pierre is, but do know who Rob Ford is, then you seriously need to learn more about your geographical neighbours. I know your presidents, return the favour and know our prime ministers. Please and thank you.
Anyway, Justin Trudeau. There’s a lot of things I don’t really like about him. I’ve always liked the Liberals, but I was pretty devastated when they chose him as their leader (come on Liberal Party, you had the choice between the son of a famous guy, or an astronaut. Seriously, who would you pick to be your leader? I’d definitely go for the astronaut. Astronaut people!) Maybe it’s his baby face and perfectly coiffed hair that rub me the wrong way. Maybe its his penchant for sucking up to the women vote, as if women are a single voting block instead of a diverse set of people that make up ~50% of the population. Maybe its because he occasionally says stupid things. Or maybe its because he stated that all incoming Liberal Party members will be thoroughly vetted to make sure they are pro-choice. That’s right folks, no pro-life candidates allowed.
The reason I’m so upset? Well, the NDP and Green party are both officially pro-choice, and don’t allow people to run if they hold an opposing view on abortion. The Conservative party regularly silences its own pro-life members of parliament to the point that we may as well call the conservative party officially pro-choice, which in Canada means that you support abortion through all 9 months of pregnancy by default (I’ll just repeat that – elective abortion is legal in Canada throughout all 9 months). I have no intention of ever voting for a Federal Party called the Bloc Quebecois. So who does that leave me?
And even if the Conservative party did evolve into something more welcoming to pro-life views, I still couldn’t vote for them because their science policy is simply atrocious.
The political climate in Canada really just sucks.
Now, I know why JT made these statements last night. It’s because today is the annual Canadian March for Life in Ottawa. I’ve attended a few times, and let me tell you, if you are ever a pro-lifer that is depressed about the state of abortion laws in Canada (and who wouldn’t be? There are no laws! If you can find a doctor willing, you won’t be arrested for killing a 9 month old human as long as you don’t go into labour first! I know that doesn’t happen “often”, but it does happen!) … anyway, if you’re ever depressed about abortion laws in Canada, the March for Life just fills you with hope.
From a pro-life perspective, it really is an amazing event.
There are just so many people (thousands to tens of thousands of people, depending on who you ask). And everyone is so joyful. And there are babies everywhere! EVERYWHERE! And so many of them are the sons or daughters of single women who accidentally became pregnant, and everyone there just shows these mothers so much love and support. It’s so refreshing, so beautiful, so life-affirming. It makes me happy.
That doesn’t mean there aren’t problems with the pro-life movement. There are, and some of those problems are quite deep-seated and very ugly.
Many pro-lifers lump anti-gay rights and anti-abortion activism together. Many pro-lifers are hostile towards atheists and agnostics who want to join our movement. Many pro-lifers are angry. Many conservatives (who are often lumped in with pro-lifers, when, in fact, conservatives can – and often are – just as pro-choice as some liberals) are against social programs that would give mothers a realistic option of keeping their babies.
But I do see a lot of hope, beauty, and potential in our movement. I’ve been following the pro-life movement for a long time, and things are finally starting to look more diverse and more, well, reasonable.
First off, there are the endless number of Pregnancy Care Centres that have popped up all over the country, and some of them are not associated with any religion, finally giving women who have no faith a place to go. These people are amazing, and do so much to help women in need. Some of them are still a stuck in the stone age, but many of them are open, inclusive, supportive, (occasionally, but certainly not yet often enough) pro-contraception, and wonderful.
Secondly, groups like Secular Pro-Life (based in American) and Pro-Life Humanists (based in Canada, and whom I love with an unreasonable passion because their leader, Kristine Kruszelnicki, is just so awesome) are giving pro-life atheists and agnostics a voice in the movement, a voice that they so sorely need. Atheists often feel excluded, even hated, by the pro-life movement at large, and these amazing groups are pushing back and telling the pro-life world that they belong in our movement. In fact, there are saying that anyone who is pro-life belongs in our movement. And the Christian pro-life movement is starting to respond!
Thirdly, pro-LGBTQ, pro-life groups are gaining a voice. Some of the pro-life movement is deeply homophobic, to the point where the hate can get scary. Groups like PLAGAL are giving people who are gay and lesbian and their supporters a place in a movement where they would have previously been ostracized in spite of their pro-life views.
It really is wonderful to see some diversity creeping in.
Don’t get me wrong, it is also wonderful to see so many Christians standing up for their beliefs (and if you’re Christian, you should be standing up for your beliefs), but Christians can’t be the only voice, and we should not control the narrative.
(And guys, I’m just going to say it, we should stop being homophobic. Seriously, it’s not cool.)
The point is, being pro-life is so much bigger than us. In fact, it’s not about us at all, its about people like this little guy, with his adorable feet:
To end this rather lengthy post, here’s a shout out to Justin Trudeau.
Yo, JT. A lot of people are saying that you did a very good thing here, that you are showing young Canadian women that you are supporting them. Well, I’m a young Canadian women. And, in fact, women are more likely to support abortion restrictions than men are. You are not speaking for me. You are not speaking for us. You are not speaking for my friend who was almost convinced into aborting her surprise baby. You are not speaking for her baby, who will one day grow up to be a voting member of society thanks to her anti-abortion views, that miraculously held out against all of the pressure her family, friends, and society placed on her. We hear your words, and we are saddened. I feel sorry for you. You are in firm support of the killing of millions of humans every year, and proud of it. I look into the eyes of babies that I’ve worked with, babies that were hours away from being killed because their mothers felt that they had no other options, and I cannot even fathom how you can be so cold-hearted towards these beautiful human beings. They are dying every day because of your views.
I hope that, in spite of your resistance to re-opening the abortion debate in Canada, that you will at least consider promoting a culture and society where women are given the help and resources they need to welcome their babies into this world. I hope that you don’t think that because abortion is legal, we don’t need to encourage more Canadian Universities to provide a campus environment that is more welcoming to students with families. I hope that you are open to promoting cheap, safe, subsidized daycares for working families who simply cannot afford childcare at the moment. I hope that you can promote organizations that support families who have received a less than ideal prenatal diagnosis, so that parents are given the resources they need to care for their children, rather than being frightened into aborting their children because their children would not have access to support and therapy. I hope that, in spite of your hard line on abortion, you can at least find common ground with pro-lifers, and work with us in making our society more welcoming to babies, mothers, fathers, and people with disabilities.
In spite of this hope, I simply cannot support you, or your party, any longer. Thanks to your hard-lined stance, I will not be voting Liberal in the upcoming election. And I won’t be voting liberal ever again. All I can say is, I hope you change your mind. If you do, you may just regain my vote.
-A young Canadian women who (gasp!) is NOT pro-choice, even though people seem to think that all young Canadian woman are pro-choice because – shockingly – women aren’t a uniform voting block … they’re a diverse group of people that comprise ~50% of the population, and they can (and do) have different views on a variety of topics!