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Friday, May 15, 2009

We shall overcome bad laws, misguided opponents

It's been a thrilling week to be a pro-life advocate.

The week started with Monday's annual Focus on Life Dinner in Vancouver, which attracted more than 600 supporters who donated well into the six figures to help fund the annual media campaign sponsored by Signal Hill. Equally exciting was the fact that keynote speaker, Preston Manning, endorsed Signal Hill's new, human-rights- compassion- and education-oriented approach. Watch for an op-ed piece by me on Manning and Signal Hill in an upcoming National Post.

On Thursday, the national March for Life in Ottawa was a big success, drawing several thousand supporters. Smaller rallies took place across Canada, including one in Victoria, which drew about 1,000 marchers. I had the honour of acting as MC of the rally that wrapped up the walk. These are the words I used to open the rally:

“I am naturally anti-slavery. If slavery is not wrong, nothing is wrong. I can not remember when I did not so think, and feel.”

The quotation I just read was written a century and a half ago by Abraham Lincoln. Today, slavery is no more. But we have a new and pernicious evil that must be challenged. Abortion. Today, in echo of  Lincoln, I proclaim, “I am naturally anti-abortion. If abortion is not wrong, nothing is wrong. I cannot remember when I did not so think and feel.”

Let Lincoln’s words and actions inspire us as we continue to march and to rally, to act and to pray to create a world free of abortion.

Finally, today's big news is from south of the border, where Gallup reports that, for the first time since its polling began in 1995, the majority of Americans consider themselves pro-life.

Message to pro-abortionists, pro-choicers, or whatever you want to call yourselves. The fetus is a human being. It deserves to be treated as a legal person. It has rights. It should be protected.

Posted by Terry O'Neill on May 15, 2009 in Current Affairs | Permalink

Comments

Nothing like invoking the realization of self-ownership rights of one segment of rational adults to legitimize the removal of self-ownership rights of another.

Posted by: Robert Seymour | 2009-05-15 6:03:25 PM


As for a majority of Americans calling themselves pro-life, it a good reminder of an important truth.

America is a wonderfully free country, a beacon to the world, except for its achilles heal: religion. Switzerland is much the same, except for its achilles heal: racism. Because Switzerland doesn't have the religious problem, they have many free policies America does not: liberal drug laws, assisted suicide, etc. All because belief in the pretend doesn't influence public policy.

Posted by: Robert Seymour | 2009-05-15 6:08:30 PM


America is a wonderfully free country, a beacon to the world, except for its achilles heal: religion. Switzerland is much the same, except for its achilles heal: racism.
Posted by: Robert Seymour | 2009-05-15 6:08:30 PM

Oh boo hoo. So Switzerland for the Swiss is racist. Valuing your culture and traditions is racist. What do you propose Seymour, Switzerland let in 250,000 Somali's? Would that make you happy?

Posted by: The Stig | 2009-05-15 7:39:55 PM


If a fetus is a human being why is it called a fetus?

Posted by: Farmer Joe | 2009-05-15 8:06:23 PM


Farmer Joe, I can't tell if you are joking. Let me ask you a question.

A group of health workers was recently advised that it was not fitting to be overtly congratulatory in a maternity ward. Not all children are welcomed into the world. We were advised not to act as though they were.
...
Joe, If a human being is not a fetus, why is it treated like one?

Posted by: Timothy Shaw-Zak | 2009-05-15 9:07:29 PM


The Swiss are racist? That's news to me.

Posted by: Shane Matthews | 2009-05-15 9:19:22 PM


If a fetus is a human being why is it called a fetus?

If a baby is a human being why is he called a baby? Farmer Joe, you're an imbecile.

Posted by: Shane Matthews | 2009-05-15 9:20:00 PM


To compare a women's decision to terminate a pregnancy with lifelong, hereditary slavery is obscene.

Posted by: Craig | 2009-05-15 9:58:16 PM


How does one protect the right to life with out infringing upon the rights of the mother?

The mother has a right to live her life the way she thinks is best for her. The babe is obviously living cause it grows and it is human because it was conceived by two other humans its not a horse or a dog. Does the babe not have a choice in the matter?

Is it possible to protect the rights of both?

Please in response to my question no attacks I am really looking for honest suggestions / Opinion.

Posted by: Ross Mann | 2009-05-15 9:59:54 PM


Craig:
You personally may find my assertion "offensive" or "disgusting" (the particular definition of obscene to which you are likely referring), and I might then call your opinion obscene as well, but you must agree that this would end up getting us nowhere. Let's stick to dealing with my central point: that the fetus is a human person and deserving of protection.

Posted by: Terry O'Neill | 2009-05-15 10:16:26 PM


How does one protect the right to life with out infringing upon the rights of the mother?

You don't. The right to life comes before all others. Only if the mother's life is at risk does that outweigh the life of the unborn.

The mother has a right to live her life the way she thinks is best for her.

Only so long as she, and not someone else, pays the piper. She has no right to make decisions about someone else's life.

The babe is obviously living cause it grows and it is human because it was conceived by two other humans its not a horse or a dog. Does the babe not have a choice in the matter?

It has no choice whatever; it exists because of something the mother did. True, the father also contributed, but he has no responsibility in the matter. It would be different if he had a say in the decision, but he doesn't.

Is it possible to protect the rights of both?

No.

Posted by: Shane Matthews | 2009-05-15 10:52:39 PM


Shane:

Thank you for your response.

"You don't. The right to life comes before all others. Only if the mother's life is at risk does that outweigh the life of the unborn." So what you are saying is that she gives up parts the right to liberty to protect the right to life of the baby? This is her responsibility because of the decisions she had made in her life (That seems reasonable we all need to take more responsibility in our life ,good or bad).

What about the situation of a rape? The mother did not willingly put her self in that situation? Should she bare the responsibility of this?

Posted by: Ross Mann | 2009-05-15 11:08:05 PM


The gallup poll(together with a recent pew poll) show that there has been a significant shift to the pro-life side in America! The best part is that pew polling shows that Americans under age 30 are more pro-life then their fellow citizens in the 30-44 and 45-64 age ranges. Numbers show that young women are gradually shifting to the pro-life side. Also, polling numbers indicate that men under 30 are starting to tilt significantly to the pro-life side. In addition, the polling showed that 33% of Democrats are pro-life(61% pro-choice) while Republicans are 70% pro-life(26% pro-choice). Finally, it showed that 60% of the public wants abortions either illegal or legal under only a few limited circumstances versus 37% who want it legal with little or no restrictions. It looks as if abortion much like gun control(27 Democrats recently joined with 39 Republicans to pass an amendment allowing concealed carry owners to carry their weapons in national parks) is losing its luster in the United States.
When I grew up, the guys here were overwhelmingly pro-abortion. They didn't want to get stuck with a kid and felt that abortion was a way to avoid taking responsibility. The girl deals with the abortion while the guy moves on! Also, they thought that abortion was the girl's problem(and that if it was immoral then the shame would be all on her since it was her "choice"). Fortunately, this appears to be changing! There has even been some question as to whether the increasing pro-life sentiment has played a role in the rising American birthrate. The U.S. birthrate is now 2.12 children per woman and rising(vs. 1.5 children per woman in Canada). I don't know the answer but it seems that social conservatism is still strong in this current crop of young Americans(pro-death penalty, pro-gun, anti-abortion).

Posted by: David | 2009-05-15 11:09:38 PM


"To equate a potential with an actual, is vicious; to advocate the sacrifice of the latter to the former, is unspeakable . . . . Observe that by ascribing rights to the unborn, i.e., the nonliving, the anti-abortionists obliterate the rights of the living."

'nuff said.

Posted by: Farmer Joe | 2009-05-15 11:11:36 PM


Oh and Shane, since you're so fond of the ad hominem. Your feet stink and your mother dresses you funny.

Posted by: Farmer Joe | 2009-05-15 11:14:23 PM


A quote from a radical is proof of nothing, Farmer Joe. Opinions are like assholes--everybody has one. Facts are facts, and not all the self-fellating feminist rhetoric in the world can erase that.

Posted by: Shane Matthews | 2009-05-15 11:20:24 PM


So to Terry's point, a fetus is not a human being it is a potential human being. The woman actually is, she has the rights, the fetus does not.

Posted by: Farmer Joe | 2009-05-15 11:20:57 PM


To answer your question, Ross, the answer in the case of rape is still no. The right to life comes before all others, and the woman's life is not in peril. All that is in peril is her "right" to not have to look at the newborn and think, "Eww."

Posted by: Shane Matthews | 2009-05-15 11:23:21 PM


That said, if the rapist is caught, guess who gets slapped with twenty years of child-support payments.

Posted by: Shane Matthews | 2009-05-15 11:23:34 PM


Well you seem to be arguing on a non-factual emotional basis there Shane old boy.

Posted by: Farmer Joe | 2009-05-15 11:23:59 PM


Is the fetal DNA human? Yes. Does it have a heartbeat? Yes. Brain waves? Yes. Fingerprints? Yes. Feel pain? Yes. Can it breathe on its own? No, but neither can someone on a respirator; does that person also cease to be human until the tube comes out?

Posted by: Shane Matthews | 2009-05-15 11:24:49 PM


Well you seem to be arguing on a non-factual emotional basis there Shane old boy. - Says who and based on what?

Posted by: Shane Matthews | 2009-05-15 11:25:37 PM


If your criteria for rights is simply 'life' why is yours more valuable than that of a carrot?

Posted by: Farmer Joe | 2009-05-15 11:26:42 PM


Apparently even plants feel pain. Does that mean it's wrong to cut the grass?

Posted by: Farmer Joe | 2009-05-15 11:28:44 PM


Your hair and toenail clippings have human DNA as well. Do they also have rights?

Posted by: Farmer Joe | 2009-05-15 11:44:00 PM


You're very good at mining data, Farmer Joe, but not so good at piecing it together into a hole. Either that or you're just a gadfly who gets his jollies arguing that black is white. The criteria is human life. And I'd be most interested to know how carrots can feel pain without a nervous system.

However, you may be happy to know that your latest posts have caused me re-evaluate my classifying you as an imbecile. I hereby demote you to idiot.

P.S. Hair and toenail clippings do not contain viable DNA, by the way, as both these body parts are "dead." That's why it doesn't hurt when you cut them, genius.

Posted by: Shane Matthews | 2009-05-16 8:43:28 AM


Stig and Shane,

The Swiss do have problems with racism. Recent election posters involve a white sheep (i.e. Swiss) kicking a black sheep (i.e. immigrants) over a line (i.e. Swiss border). Open racism in elections makes your country racist.

http://www.saputnik.net/pictures/svp.jpg

Posted by: Robert Seymour | 2009-05-16 8:51:41 AM


"The criteria is human life" Yes bang on it is.

You're a slow learner but you do seem capable of learning. A fetus is not a -human life, it is a potential -not an actual. It is by defintion "unborn", the unborn do not trump the already living. Human life begins at birth and that's when the persons rights kick in.

Posted by: Farmer Joe | 2009-05-16 8:53:23 AM


A fetus has no more rights than your gall bladder.

Posted by: Farmer Joe | 2009-05-16 8:54:42 AM


You keep saying a fetus is only a potential life, F.J., but you provide no proof. You seem to think that you say outrageous crap over and over again that it'll all come true. You wish.

Science teaches us that the fetus is alive. Your own outraged howling is substantially less credible, carrot brain.

Posted by: Shane Matthews | 2009-05-16 8:59:13 AM


White sheep and black sheep are a metaphor for good and bad, Robert, not for racism. (Think "black-sheep nephew.") The Swiss, like many European countries, are getting increasingly fed up with being swamped with "refugees" from predominantly Muslim countries who then proceed to take their host country to pieces. (Look what happened in Paris.) Nothing racist about that. The immigrants themselves, it should be noted, are often a good deal less tolerant.

Seriously--you're basing this entire assertion on a single election poster? That's pretty sloppy, Robert.

Posted by: Shane Matthews | 2009-05-16 9:02:38 AM


"You seem to think that you say outrageous crap over and over again that it'll all come true. You wish."

You need to look in the mirror Shane.

Posted by: Farmer Joe | 2009-05-16 9:33:46 AM


"I know you are, but what am I?" - Farmer Joe

Posted by: Shane Matthews | 2009-05-16 9:36:10 AM


"Science teaches us that the fetus is alive" Back to this fallacy already Shane? Something simply being alive gives it full human rights. I don't think so. Try again.

The fetus cannot survive outside of the woman any more than ones tonsils can. I find it aboherent that you want to make someone else a slave to a mass of cells in their own body.

Women who seek abortions are not criminals and they are not immoral. They for the most part are acting far more rationally and responsibly than you armchair quaterbacks believe.

Posted by: Farmer Joe | 2009-05-16 9:42:58 AM


No one individual or group of people have the right to impose an unchosen obligation or an involuntary servitude on another. There can be no such thing as “the right to enslave.” And that is what you are arguing for Shane. There is nothing "pro-life" about slavery.

Posted by: Farmer Joe | 2009-05-16 9:55:14 AM


Particularly to the unborn.

Posted by: Farmer Joe | 2009-05-16 9:56:18 AM


And let me ask you this question. How does some woman, who you don't know, having an abortion hurt or endanger you? How does that action pose a threat to your life, liberty or property?

Posted by: Farmer Joe | 2009-05-16 10:45:26 AM


I choose life.

Posted by: set you free | 2009-05-16 10:48:10 AM


Farmer Joe,
"How does... abortion hurt or endanger you?"

What you are suggesting amounts to this: if the child is powerless, there is no harm in killing them!

Now by your question you'd put moral considerations aside in lieu of the pragmatic consequences. This is incoherent logic. There is harm both worldy and spiritual but it is you who must offer a defense for killing human children. When you kill, there better be a damn good reason. Carreer advancement, sir, doesn't make the cut.

I will say this though: If you are really so unimaginative as to not understand why mass-infanticide is a threat to our liberty and survival, no explanation will suffice.

Feel free to ignore the questions posed to you, if you are so confused, I wouldn't expect much of an answer anyway.

Posted by: Timothy Shaw-Zak | 2009-05-16 11:49:13 AM


This seems to be a bit of a moral rebellion against Obama'sstance.

To me, it's a sign that the American public has already grown tired of the act and this is one way to express that opinion.

Posted by: set you free | 2009-05-16 11:50:38 AM


A child is a human being, an infant is a human being, a fetus in the womb is not. The born and the unborn are not the same thing. Pretending that they are does not make it so. And neither does renaming abortion infanticide no matter how hysterical you want to get about it.

The correct answer is that an abortion does not threaten your life, liberty or property. Forcing an unchosen obligation on a woman on the other hand does.

As to your burning question Tim, "If a human being is not a fetus, why is it treated like one?" in relation to health care workers being advised not to gush too much about new babies. I don't see it as particularly relevant to the abortion debate. There are plenty of people of all ages in hospitals today who are treated simply as a piece of meat taking up bed space. Perhaps you would like to flesh out the question some more.

Posted by: Farmer Joe | 2009-05-16 12:15:45 PM


Back to this fallacy already Shane? Something simply being alive gives it full human rights. I don't think so. Try again.

What you think does not matter. On the few occasions when you can be said to think at all, that is.

The fetus cannot survive outside of the woman any more than ones tonsils can.

Again with the ridiculous comparisons. So far we've seen unborn babies compared to carrots, hair strands, toenail clippings, and now tonsils. A burn victim in a burn unit cannot survive outside that burn unit. Does that make them less human?

I find it aboherent that you want to make someone else a slave to a mass of cells in their own body.

What you find abhorrent is of no importance. And it's not the fetus making a slave of the mother; rather the mother making a slave of the fetus. Slavery is not involuntary servitude, but the ownership of one human being by another, to the point where the slave can be sold, or killed. Woman frequently do both to their children, unborn and otherwise.

Women who seek abortions are not criminals and they are not immoral.

Yes they are.

They for the most part are acting far more rationally and responsibly than you armchair quaterbacks believe.

Every single justification for abortion I have ever seen (outside purely Malthusian arithmetic) has been emotional in nature. Mention abortion and women's faces turn an unsettling mixture of guilty, angry, and fearful. There is nothing rational about a woman getting an abortion or their perverse idea that its mere availability is a bellwether of equality. Women are not noted for rational behaviour in the first place, and on this subject they are lunatics.

Posted by: Shane Matthews | 2009-05-16 12:17:38 PM


No one individual or group of people have the right to impose an unchosen obligation or an involuntary servitude on another.

What do you call prison terms and community service?

How does that action pose a threat to your life, liberty or property?

Here's the difference between me and you, F.J. (apart from simple sanity). I'm willing to protect the rights of other people besides myself. I can find someone else's actions despicable and even criminal without it affecting me personally, because it does affect someone, and violates fundamental justice. And fundamental justice does not devolve on whatever's most convenient for you.

Posted by: Shane Matthews | 2009-05-16 12:20:02 PM


"Now by your question you'd put moral considerations aside in lieu of the pragmatic consequences"

Not at all, if what you believe is moral is not practical or the inverse what you see as practical is not considered moral. One of your premises are wrong.

Posted by: Farmer Joe | 2009-05-16 12:26:51 PM


A child is a human being, an infant is a human being, a fetus in the womb is not.

Says who and based on what? Facts only; emotional concerns are strictly forbidden. If that effectively disenfranchises you, too bad.

The born and the unborn are not the same thing.

A cop and a criminal are not the same thing. But both enjoy the protection of the law, and killing either without urgent necessity is a crime. Their common factor? Their humanity.

And neither does renaming abortion infanticide no matter how hysterical you want to get about it.

Screeched the nut case who compared an unborn baby with hands, feet, face, organs, beating heart, and functioning brain to a pair of tonsils, a toenail clipping, a carrot, the gunk you clean out of your razor...

The correct answer is that an abortion does not threaten your life, liberty or property.

No, it threatens the baby's life, liberty or property. In fact it's a death sentence, first popularized in this country by a malignant narcissist in the vein of Jack "Doctor Death" Kevorkian and Walter "Icepick Lobotomy" Freeman.

Forcing an unchosen obligation on a woman on the other hand does.

Actually, it doesn't threaten any of the three. It doesn't threaten hers either. The inconvenience of a natural process the woman brings about on herself does not amount to a loss of legal rights.

You're really a woman, aren't you?

Posted by: Shane Matthews | 2009-05-16 12:27:30 PM


Not at all, if what you believe is moral is not practical or the inverse what you see as practical is not considered moral. One of your premises are wrong.

Morality often isn't practical, F.J. In fact it almost never is. It's the difference between the altruistic dolphin and the practical weasel.

Posted by: Shane Matthews | 2009-05-16 12:31:03 PM


"Women are not noted for rational behaviour in the first place, and on this subject they are lunatics."

Shane, you have just shown yourself to be a totalatarian bigot!! You would fit in very nicely with the Taliban.

Posted by: Farmer Joe | 2009-05-16 12:32:19 PM


If I understand FJ's line of reasoning correctly, protecting life makes one a totalitarian bigot equivalent with the Taliban.

At times, there's much to be said for the concept of retroactive abortion.

Posted by: set you free | 2009-05-16 12:38:37 PM


You people really are challenged in thinking department. Can you not even read something as it just as it is?

I didn't say trying to protect life puts you in the same boat as the taliban, claiming that "Women are not noted for rational behaviour in the first place, and on this subject they are lunatics." does.

Posted by: Farmer Joe | 2009-05-16 2:04:38 PM


"At times, there's much to be said for the concept of retroactive abortion."

Oh ya, you guys are really pro-life, as soon as someone disagrees with you out come the knives.

Posted by: Farmer Joe | 2009-05-16 2:06:45 PM



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