Tuesday, 2 February 2010

Iggy Throws Down the Abortion Gauntlet

Regular readers may remember that Iggy and I have a troubled relationship, but if he keeps this up, I may change my tune.

Today he threw down the gauntlet and dared Harper to address abortion.

Here's the headline: 'Include abortion in maternal-health pledge, Michael Ignatieff tells PM'.

The press release issued after the presser included some gems from the ReformaTory anti-choice songbook:
This from Treasury Board President Stockwell Day in March 2000: “The thinking is, if you can cut a child to pieces or burn them alive with salt solution while they’re still in the womb, what’s wrong with knocking them around a little when they’re outside the womb?”

Ontario Tory MP Cheryl Gallant said in 2004 reference to an abortion clinic: “We saw that young American (in Iraq) have his head literally cut off in front of the cameras, but what’s happening down there is absolutely no different!”

Yeeheehee. So, inquiring minds do want to know -- is abortion included in your maternal-health pledge, Steve?

UPDATE: Gauntlet upgraded to grenade.
Michael Ignatieff has lobbed an abortion grenade into the midst of Prime Minister Stephen Harper's plans to become an international champion of women's and children's health.


Anonymous said...

When I see the passion with which Catholic priests - men childless by choice - fight against abortion, I can’t help asking what it is that motivates them.

Is it a desire to prove that unlived life, as perhaps their own destinies suggest, is more important and more valuable than lived life?

Was that, perhaps, how the parents of those passionately committed to stopping abortion thought, though they expressed it in different ways?

Or is it a case of seeing to it that others share the same fate as oneself?

Both are possible. Both are dangerous, when people are driven to blind and destructive actions by the dead hand of their own repression.



Niles said...


So there it is. The abstinence funding will be sailing out into the open in a flag regatta with anti-abortion banners. Trost gets to send up the flares.

Harper said 'enlightened'. I can't help but feel he was using it as a Christian evangelical dogwhistle.

fern hill said...

Niles: Yabbut, the US could get away with that crap, being the huge foreign aid donor they are. But little pissant Canada?

Won't the international community laff their asses off if Canada tries it?

I think Iggy's got him in a bind. He either supports the full range of reproductive services women need or he makes an international ass of himself. Again.

Ted Betts said...

"I think Iggy's got him in a bind. He either supports the full range of reproductive services women need or he makes an international ass of himself."

I think it is even more poignant than that. He has forced Harper to either publicly deny any plan to screen organizations for abortion services/referals, in which case his base screams at him, or he stays silent or says he won't put any such conditions on, in which case his cards are revealed.

900ft Jesus said...

excellent. I'm not overly fond of Ignatieff, but this is a good move. Need more progressive, solid statements from him, and as Niles and fern hill say, this forces the CONs to open their yaps, and when that happens on an issue such as this, it can only harm them.

:) (yes!!!)

Niles said...

I suspect Harper never meant to be anywhere near that overt about it, content with the dogwhistles and 'behind the scenes' regulations attached to monies, or at least talk about such regulations.

I'm stunned the Liberals actually called them on it in public in plain language. Although the 'umbridge' (sorry, I learned that at Scott Tribe's site) of Soudas about the Liberals making this into something exploitive is pretty much to be expected.

to me it sounds like this...

Why suh! How Dahe you impugn mah reputation 'n honah that way!! We ah gennlemen an' we *must* protect those deah, exotic, trampled flowahs of womanhood in theah houah of need amid th' savahges!! It is th' only chivalrous thing t' do!

You suh...ah a cold blooded cahpetbaggah, afrightin' th' unenlightened with yoah nefahr'ous 'solutions' 'v muhduh 'n lawlessness, exploitin' th' pooah wimmenfolk ovah theh when all they need is a noblesse obliged, enlightened hand 'v aid t' bring theih dahlin' lit'l bundles 'v joy int' th' wohld!

(tugtug) what's that y' say, nippah? Theh's wimmenfolk heah that could use th' surehty 'v safe baby raisin'? Theh's wimmenfolk heah that could use th' surety of providin' foh themselves 'thout bein' trapped int' povuhty??

(punt!) Go 'way kid, y're bodderin' me."

Anonymous said...

I just visited liberal.ca to get a better look at all the remarks made by Mr. Ignatieff. Nowhere does he use the word 'abortion.' He speaks of women's control of their fertility and he of course mentions contraceptives. Of course, 'abortion' is in there but the Globe and Mail's Jane Tabor uses that word to enflame passions, as it were. Mr. Ignatieff also speaks of what the cuts by Harper to groups such as Kairos (which work for peaceful development) might mean for the latter's so-called effort to help women and children in the developing world. I would have liked to see him link all this up with the horror story that is unfolding in Congo- the mass rape of women. CIDA getting very short shrift from Harper; Harper's insistence on 'welfare not human rights' (as if states would be more willing to promote women's welfare than their human rights; of course both terms amount to the same thing, nothing); Rights and Democracy in a mess; and last, this professed desire by Harper to actually work for the betterment of the developing countries will bring about as many positive results (as in, precious few) as previous efforts by the G-7 or any other group you care to name have brought about.

deBeauxOs said...

Niles ... rotfl!!!

Holly Stick said...

The R&D mess is getting attention in the G&M:

fern hill said...

O hai, Holly Stick. Glad to see the cigarette smoke and involuntary donorship doesn't inhibit your blog visiting.

Robert said...

Iggy is using a wedge issue to get progressives to his side. He can't do with the war, or economic policy, he can't do it with Health care, or EI reform so he jumps on something easy. Abortion a wedge issue. I aint falling for i., I got a party they are pro life already Iggy and they have good ideas on EI, Health Care, they are against the war, and have progressive ideas. No thank you Liberals you wont fool me.

fern hill said...

Oh, wow. A pol using a wedge issue. EEEEEEEEK!

So, Robert, what pro-life party you got what is against The War (which one?)???

/aside/ I thing we got a goer here/aside/

Dylan said...

Wow. I actually had to read this article's headline twice. Nay, three times. Then I had to read the G&M link half a dozen times.

And while Anon is right, he never mentioned abortion, everyone clearly knows what he is referring to. Taber just put it out there. Let's be honest, it's pretty tough to read "control of their own fertility" in any different light.

If the public is receptive, Iggy might come out and say the word. If they are not he'll deny, deny, deny. Abortion might not be an election issue, but it's a Liberal vs. Conservative issue and that's what we need.

I'd can't wait to see how the Con War-Room spin this. Of course, they'll do their own denying - that no one in the CPC caucus (or party) is an anti-abortionist. If this issue becomes goes from a push from to shove, just like gay marriage, the wheels will come off for the Cons as they won't be able to keep their mouths shut for long.

That said, I'm unsure there is clear consensus for firmly establishing "choice" regarding a woman's "control" over her own "fertility" in the LPC caucus...

Interesting to say the least.

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