By Garnet Van Popta
Garnet Van Popta is an alumnus of uOttawa Students For Life and a guest blogger for NCLN. He is currently studying at Humber College.
I’m sure most of you have heard the discouraging news from Parliament Hill. Roxanne’s Law, Bill C-510, was defeated last Wednesday after the second reading in the house. Am I surprised? Sadly, no. It seems that politicking is more important than standing up for what is right these days. But even though I’m not surprised, I am discouraged.
Roxanne’s Law would have been a law that stood up for women in Canada. It did not alter or restrict access but abortion but would have ensured that a woman’s choice to keep her baby was protected. It protected choice. But of course, this was seen as a “back-door way” to restrict women’s rights. Two thirds of MPs voted against the bill and among them was our prime minister.
Mr. Harper, with respect, I’m sick of hearing about how you don’t want to open up a debate about abortion. The debate is open. I would think that it’s getting hard to ignore. It’s in the newspapers, on TV, on university campuses across the nation, and on the streets of our cities. Now please do your job and talk about it. Since 1988, Canada has had no law on abortion. The Supreme Court, in R. v. Morgantaler, threw out the abortion law of the time and left it up to Parliament to enact a new one. Well, it’s been 22 years (pretty much my whole life). I think maybe it’s about time to address the legal vacuum abortion finds itself in.
To Mr. Bruinooge and the 96 other MPs that voted in favour of this bill, I thank you. It took courage to take such a stand in an environment in which lies are held up as the truth. Event though the bill was defeated, you were successful in getting the issue of coerced abortion on the minds of Canadians. Moreover and most importantly, you stood up for what is right and just.
I hope you, the reader, are also feeling discouraged by the defeat of this bill. Your discouragement means you’re not satisfied when our elected officials sacrifice the truth for a lie. But don’t simply be discouraged; take that and run with it. We must continue to work for change in Canada.
I’m convinced that this change must happen at the grassroots level. We need to talk to people: with coworkers, classmates and friends. If you want a good conversation starter, why not talk about Roxanne’s Law? “Did you hear about that bill that got voted down this past week…? What do you think about abortion anyway?” I, myself, resolve to do this more.
We must not allow the failings of our government to drive us into despair and inaction. Edmund Burke once said, “All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.” Let that inspire you to press on.
N.B. The views expressed by guest bloggers do not necessarily represent the views of NCLN.