Monday, July 13, 2009

National Post Columnist Weighs in on Rod Bruinooge's Convoluted Anti-Abortion Logic

Now that Winnipeg Conservative MP Rod Bruinooge's secret anti-abortion group, is no longer secret, and he can openly oppose a woman's right to choose, we are able to listen to his arguments and decide for ourselves.

I've decided that Rod Bruinooge is an idiot.

His convoluted logic that somehow the desire to sell our kidneys on Ebay, is the same as the desire to have an an abortion, is either drug induced or just insane.

He may have even trumped Conservative MP Cheryl Gallant, who when hearing the horrible news of the beheading of Iraq war hostage Nick Berg, claimed that we shouldn't feel sympathy because it was no different than abortion. Huh?

She's an Afghanistan War cheerleader, so what if I said that the killing of innocent children in senseless wars was no different than what Clifford Olsen did? I would never say that because it would be stupid. As stupid as her ridiculous comments and as stupid as kidneys for sale.

Sadly these social Conservative nuts also don't believe in providing teens with condoms, because abstinence is the only option they allow their children. This leaves them vulnerable to STDs and unwanted pregnancies, and not wanting to disappoint mom and dad may also mean only one choice. Destroying the evidence.
National Post
Colby Cosh

For once, a pro-lifer has it exactly right
. Rod Bruinooge, who claims to have been elected the new head of the multi-party Parliamentary Pro-Life Caucus — the group’s membership is secret, but no one has come forward to contradict him on the matter — told the Canadian Press on Tuesday: “In Canada you can’t remove your kidney, and put it on eBay and auction it off. That is illegal. Whereas you actually can end a beating heart of an unborn child the second before it’s delivered. Most Canadians would agree that is truly a poor bioethical position for our country to be in.”

I don’t claim to know what most Canadians think about kidney donation; my guess is they don’t think about it at all.

But the situation Mr. Bruinooge describes really is somewhat anomalous. Of course we should be able to have our kidneys removed and sell them on eBay. It is outrageous that the state claims the power to interfere in such a transaction; ownership of our own bodies is the paramount principle of bioethics.

Permitting donors to be compensated for human tissue would encourage sincere efforts to defray the costs incurred by those making gifts of it, and would give dialysis patients dying on waiting lists alternatives to black-market organ purchases in countries less-well-equipped to handle transplant surgeries.

The argument against it boils down to this: “Ew.”

It’s the same argument that was presented against transplant surgeries in the first place by people like Malcolm Muggeridge
(One of Stephen Harper's favourite's), which may or may not rhyme with Bruinooge. It is also the chief basis for the ban that was imposed on compensation for sperm and egg donations and surrogate motherhood by the Liberal government of Paul Martin, which was proudly in favour of “reproductive choice” only so long as it was a code word for Henry Morgentaler’s business model.

There was no great public clamour to outlaw gamete traffic, which was already subject to safety controls, and its proscription has made life noticeably more difficult for childless couples pursuing in vitro fertilization. But this bit of bioethical nonsense is rarely if ever protested.

Of course, one of the key problems for Bruinooge is that no one actually makes a practice of performing abortions the “second before” the fetus is delivered. In the individual judgment of most doctors, including abortionists, such a procedure would be ethically questionable unless it were necessary to save the life of the mother — and if it were, few of them would hesitate. One presumes Mr. Bruinooge is prepared to acknowledge that most nominal pro-lifers are willing to make a “life of the mother” exception to otherwise total bans on abortion. This involves them in the same kind of supposed absurdity he is denouncing: putting one life above another.

Then again, it is equally absurd for pro-life mothers who suffer miscarriages not to go through full-blown funerals for their dead babies, complete with expensive coffins, a nice spread of sandwiches for the guests and the oversight of paid clergy. Do the victims of abortion by God, who is quite as busy with the job as Doc Morgentaler, deserve any less?

Funny thing: When it comes down to revealed preferences involving real-world costs, what we find is that the life of a fetus really does count for less than that of a paid-up member of the human race.

But then, that’s how everybody has always acted throughout all of human history. It has only been in the last 40 years that there has been any real controversy about the ethical status of abortion. Medieval thinkers generally considered that it did not become homicide until (at least) the first exterior signs of activity in the womb; England common law refused to punish even positive infanticide as a species of murder; and in Victorian accounts of abortion prosecutions, it is clear that the chief concern of the authorities was not with the fate of a child, but with unwed mothers using risky means, ones inimical to the family structure, to conceal evidence of personal misconduct.

I am amazed a hundred times a year that pro-life Christians get away with claiming that they stand on eternal principles when it comes to abortion, even though, if you prod them, they will start talking rot about DNA (whose existence and nature somehow went undisclosed through centuries of religious revelation) and will admit that it was the progress of scientific understanding which obligated them to suddenly promote abortion in the panoply of sins, circa 1968.

They faced a choice concerning which principles they chose to modify under the pressure of technological change,
and opted for the direction that allowed them to signal resistance to modernity. Their stance is about as deserving of deference as the Western Church’s 12th-century ban on crossbows, and no more tenable.

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