Friday, 29 December 2017

2017: A Very Good Year

After the dismal Harper decade in which pro-choice forces had to fight rear-guard actions and stay alert for more sneak attacks on our rights, we racked up some significant WINS in 2017.

Locally and nationally, activists pushed the "Pro-Abortion Agenda." And won.

Here, in rough chronological order are the highlights. (If I've missed anything, please add it in the comments.)

In January, we learned that the Fetal Gore Gang lost its bully bid to put graphic ads on buses in Grande Prairie, AB.

Abortion Rights Coalition of Canada (ARCC) released its findings on government funding of anti-choice outfits, including Fake Clinics. This will pay off most satisfyingly later.

Also in January, a fun pro-choice group named Love Team Peterborough began weekly Saturday counter-protests at the Peterborough Regional Health Centre.

As expected, Donald Trump reinstated the "global gag rule," cutting off US funding from international aid agencies that support family planning and reproductive rights. The Netherlands stepped up to fill the gap with an international abortion fund. Canada joined in with a pledge of up to $20 million.

In March, Canada went further, pledging
$650 million over three years
for sexual and reproductive health and rights.

A poll released in March showed Canada to be as strongly pro-choice as ever with 77% of us thinking abortion should be permitted, a little over the global average approval of abortion of 71%.

The good people of Calgary, who have had waaay more than enough of the Fetal Gore Gang, worked to get a by-law change axing a loophole the gore gang had been exploiting to hang disgusting -- not to mention dangerous -- banners over highways.

The first of the effects of ARCC's research on government funding of fetus fetishists were signalled when the Liberals banned its MPs from approving Canada Summer Jobs grants to these groups.

May witnessed the smallest ever March for Lies, with about 4,000 attending.

More from Peterborough. The pusillanimous city council had folded to threats from the Fetal Gore Gang and their ads were allowed on buses. University students raised enough dough to counter with pro-choice ads.

Back in Alberta, activists dressed as Handmaids silently protested the inclusion of Edmonton Prolife's booth at K-Days.

In August, another victory for pro-choice over the Fetal Gore Gang. A judge in BC upheld the rejection of its ads on Vancouver area buses.

The Gore Gang was busy pissing off many towns and cities last year. In response, Toronto politicians pushed for ban on its signs.

When Parliament resumed, so did the hijinks. Conservative put anti-choice MP Rachael Harder up for chair of the Status of Women Committee. ARCC deemed her "unqualified and unfit". She lost.

We noted and reported on a new sense in the media. The label "anti-choice" now had another indicator besides voting record -- support of fake clinics.

The Ontario government fulfilled its promise to enact buffer zone legislation to protect clinics, patients, and staff from harassment by side-walk bullies. Amusingly, anti-choice Conservatives, including teen fetus freak phenom Sam Oosterhoff, had better things to do on the day of the vote.

(Here's a handy list of buffer zones and court injunctions across Canada.)

In Edmonton, activists identified the disturbing links between school board trustee candidate Tyler Duce and anti-choice extremists. Candidates were also surveyed on their attitudes towards evidence-based sex ed and Gay Straight Alliances. Several progressive candidates won. Tyler Duce was trounced.

At various points in the year, Health Canada loosened its idiotic initial restrictions on the abortion pill. In November, it was announced that Canadian women would be allowed to take it up to 9 weeks' gestation. Also, various provinces decided to fully or partially fund it.

Even Saskatchewan, not usually known as a hotbed of pro-choice politics/policies, showed its mettle in 2017. When a couple of Sask Party leadership hopefuls made stupid remarks about abortion, the ensuing brouhaha immediately forced them to walk it back.

In Newfoundland and Labrador, progressive public sentiment was also evident. A school district decided that they would no longer participate in a xmas drive because the organizing charity is anti-choice/anti-LGBTQ.

I've saved the best for last. When the federal government announced the new eligibility rules for the Canada Summer Jobs program, fetus freaks went nuts. It seems that being asked to not undermine the laws of the land is a bit too much for them and their precious religious right to harass, stigmatize, and disempower whomever they don't like.

Stay tuned on this one. There will be LEGAL SUITS!!! CHARTER CHALLENGES!! Et fucking cetera.

So. It was a very good year. There's more to be done of course and we'll stay on it. But for now, we at DAMMIT JANET! are just going to bask in it and raise a glass to all the wonderful activists, researchers, and organizations who worked so hard to make these gains.

Happy New Year to all. (Except anti-choice/anti-LGBTQ dinosaurs. May your year be filled with failure and tribulation.)


WILLY said...

And a Happy New Year to you guys!

fern hill said...

And to you, WILLY.

Post a Comment