Pro-lifers should send a message to Ottawa
I learned profound insights through the changes to Canada's summer job grant program. If you don't know about the program, here's an explanation. The government offers grant money for hiring summer employees. They changed the rules stating that you will not be eligible for grants unless your core mandate respects a list of rights, including woman's reproductive rights. This, in part means, if you disagree with abortion, you are not funded.
The consequences of this clause run wide; these include infringements on free speech, and the line between upholding the view of one segment of society, and actual constitutional rights. I believe other lessons can be learned that Canadians can capitalize on.
Laws are a human-made concept, conjured by everyday people, usually as a response to a wandering from acceptable boundaries. If people keep driving into things while they talk on their cellphones this falls outside our acceptable boundary for drivers, so we create a law to set reasonable restraints.
These laws don't replace our conscience, or our reason, rather, they create a sort of buffer to combat the lapses in judgment that are intrinsic to finite creatures such as human beings. Don't worry, it's not something to despair, and better to admit it — we all have lapses in judgment, this is part of being human. Laws are a byproduct, essentially "made up," to limit us when we can't be reasonable on our own. They're mostly just, but the same finite creatures that drive into things while driving, are also the ones making up the laws, so it follows that laws aren't infallible. In a general sense then, it's better for people to rely on their conscience, and common sense, and save laws for necessity.
The Trudeau government's actions helped me understand the opportunity in this truth. In 1988, Canada's Supreme Court struck down the abortion laws, deciding that the way they were written didn't work. They understood the limits of law in terms of morality, and the complexity of the situation for women, because the laws weren't articulated fairly. They knew they were finite creatures themselves, and not wanting to make a mistake that was difficult to undo, they decided not to call abortion a right, or create new laws to limit us. They simply said that the system was not working, and left us to our own devices.
Without laws, or boundaries, we've been fending for ourselves, doing whatever we want when it comes to abortion. The government is no different. We aren't compelled by law to believe in the right to an abortion, likewise, the government isn't compelled to give money to people who disagree with them that it should be a right.
Abortion has not been decided. The Trudeau government is taking advantage of this, and so should pro-lifers.
This leads to the other lesson I learned. As a young person, abortion never sat right with me. I could listen to the arguments from both sides, but could only perceive the disadvantages. It seemed a diminished sense of individual responsibility would follow, leading to a society that finds rational thinking more difficult.
I also thought it would affect people's moral compass negatively because along with our conscience, we do look to the law for guidance, and if the law says that a fetus is not a human being, (everyone I know came from the womb) it would limit people's ability to think justly. The biggest disadvantage was even more obvious; there would be all kinds of people who should've been born, and simply weren't.
In terms of advantages, I thought saving mothers who would have died during childbirth might be reasonable. I'm ashamed to think of the other advantages available to us, at the inevitable cost of a human life.
Since there's nothing special about my sense of justice, I always figured the thousands of people who are far more equipped than me, would work to take care of the abortion laws in this country. I've learned now, I'm responsible, too.
There are a plethora of people who believe we should restrict abortion in Canada, but we can't wait for someone else to speak up. Lifting a stone up a hill is hard on your own, but with many people it's possible. The Trudeau government showed me how to write what I believe, and share it in public, even if it's risky, so I ask all pro-lifers to do the same. Share the message, email your MP and for the month of May/June, let's let Ottawa know what we want.
Jeff Morris was born and raised in Hamilton and works in the software business. He spends his spare time engaging the Hamilton community through volunteer activities. His hobbies include reading, wood working, and rock climbing.