Thursday, September 1, 2011

Gloria Steinham Was Right. For Anti-Abortionists Life Begins at Conception But Ends at Birth


“These proposals included cries for billions of new money for social assistance in the name of “child poverty” and for more business subsidies in the name of “cultural identity”. In both cases I was sought out as a rare public figure to oppose such projects.” (Stephen Harper, The Bulldog, National Citizens Coalition, February 1997)
As the anti-abortionists rev up their protests, with signs showing images of aborted fetuses, and comparing abortion doctors to Hitler; they are missing a more important story.

A recent report from the World Health Organization and Save the Children, reveals that in the United States,  the infant mortality rate is on the rise.  Or perhaps more accurately, the infant mortality rate is improving in countries far less developed, making them 41 out of 45, in the study.

Gloria Steinham once said that for pro-lifers, especially those from the Religious Right, Moral Majority crowd, "life begins at conception but ends at birth".

They oppose social programs, public healthcare and sex education, all of the things that would help to improve and prolong the lives of children.

And we in Canada have no bragging rights, because we are not doing much better.

We rank 15 out of 17 peer countries.  According to the Conference Board of Canada
Canada gets a “C” and now ties the U.K. for 15th place out of 17 peer countries. Its infant mortality rate is shockingly high for a country at Canada’s level of socio-economic development.
Every year the "March for Life" protests, increase in number, though that doesn't necessarily mean that more Canadians are joining the movement.  Instead, as with everything else associated with Canada's Neoconservative/Religious Right/Tea Party, their numbers are bolstered by their American cousins.

This year there were representatives from both Silent No More and their parent organization Priests for Life.  PfL has spent tens of millions of dollars on ad campaigns and the promotion of candidates for public office, "who will devote themselves fully to the proclamation of the Gospel of Life.”

In other words, they are a political organization, associated with the Republican Party.

The founder of PfL is Frank Pavone, an administrative member of James Dobson's Focus on the Family.  From an interview he gave in Vienna:
Under Obama "a lot has been changed", says Pavone regarding the introduction of Universal Health Insurance. This is not per se bad, he foresaw -- like the American Catholic Bishops -- but there is the danger that in the coming foreseeable State provisions of government funds could be used for abortion ... the "Tea Party" at the most recent "Mid-term" - vote put the focus on the social questions, says Pavone. Principally, the "Pro-Life" movement is therefore "at home with the Republicans".
So while they are pouring millions into this Republican/Conservative campaign, their country and ours, is falling behind in providing adequate care to ensure that children are kept alive.  As we know, in the U.S. the Tea partiers fought tooth and nail to make sure that tax cuts for the rich went through as planned, while also making sure that food programs for those damn lazy poor people were axed.

Our man on the street and inside women's wombs, Rod Bruinooge, who spoke at the March for Life, again touted the same old line:  "Prime Minister Stephen Harper won't reopen the abortion debate in Canada."

Of course he won't.  A debate would suggest that we had input.  Instead he's using stealth, by cutting all funding to Planned Parenthood (just like the Tea Party) and women's groups (just like the Tea Party)

If these people really want to convince us that they are "pro-life", they might want to start acting like they really care about all life.

Poor people are human too.

2 comments:

  1. Excellent piece (as usual). It's deeply discouraging to me how little progress has been made on the issues of access to abortion and on birth control since I first decided I was in favour of both. When I made that decision, only a tiny minority of the people I knew had computers in their homes and I still had to walk across the room to change the television channel.

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  2. Charles Blow, in a recent op-ed column in The New York Times, levelled this criticism at American social conservatives:

    "Even if you follow a primitive religious concept of punishment for sex, as many on the right seem to do, you must at some point acknowledge that it is the child, not the parent, who will be punished most by our current policies that increasingly advocate for 'unborn children' but fall silent for those outside the womb." Failing Forward Aug 26, 2011.

    Two astounding stats from Blow's column:

    1) the number of children facing food insecurity in 2009 soared to nearly one in four;

    2) a breathtaking 49 percent of all children born in this country are born to families who receive food supplements.

    Near the end of his column, Blow focuses on the single factor underlying teenage births and a host of other serious health and social ills, namely, income inequality.

    [Republicans] want to hold the line on tax breaks for the wealthy, not paying attention to the fact that our growing income inequality, which could be reversed, continues to foster developmental inequality, which is almost impossible to reverse.

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