Wednesday 27 February 2008

An open letter to Mary Talbot

No one can possibly imagine the horror, the grief and the rage one feels when a daughter is murdered, unless one has experienced it. So I will not condescend to you, Mary Talbot. Nor will I will say “I feel your pain” - because my own daughter is alive and well, in spite of the fact there wasn’t a moment during her childhood, and still now, that I lived without the awareness that someone could do irreparable harm to her. I can still remember one terrifying hour; I lost sight of her during a ferry crossing from the BC mainland to Swartz Bay, while Clifford Olson was still at large.

Nonetheless, I am directing this open letter to you, since you have chosen to become the public champion and staunch defender of Bill C-484.

Do you understand that this amendment will do nothing to protect women - pregnant or not - and their zygote/embryo/fetus or their children against brutal, murderous violence?

One might even comprehend this self-serving campaign, if C-484 resulted in a more severe sentence for the man found guilty of murdering your daughter. As it so happens, that is not the case, as stated on Court TV, where Ken Epp appeared on Monday evening. Such factual information doesn’t seem to get in the way of the adulation you garner as the Poster Grandmother of anti-choice organizations.

The thing that confounds me is this: how could you let these groups of religious fanatics, political opportunists and fundamentalist hypocrites exploit your grief? What were you thinking when you provided them with a photo of your daughter and her fetus in their funeral casket? Why stop there? Why not supply them with the police and coroner’s pictures of her stabbed, bloody abdomen too? After all, isn’t it supposed to be all about the crime?

Or could it really be about the redemption that you were vicariously seeking through your daughter’s choice? You thought you had lost Olivia to drugs. Then she found herself pregnant, and through the possibility of motherhood, she re-created a new life for her own self, as she was giving life.

Did you grab this second chance? Did you see an opportunity to atone for whatever recriminations that you must have felt when she was following a self-destructive path? Tragically, your expectations of becoming a grandmother were destroyed, as her life ended with her murder.

I have not lost a daughter, but I have lost a beloved sister to ovarian cancer. The very same biological source of life-giving power that you and I have experienced turned against her. Instead of giving life, those cells gave her death. I am still grieving my sister’s unwarranted, incomprehensible, horrifying death.

But I would surely not allow photographs of my dead sister lying in a coffin or of her disease-ravaged body to be propagated across the internet, even in support of increased funding for ovarian cancer research. That would be manipulative. That would not be respectful to her memory.

This was written in response to Mary Talbot’s letter in the Ottawa Citizen. I do not dispute the depth of her anguish, but I disagree with her political tactics.

A big thanks to ‘we move to canada’ for the prompt blog about Mary Talbot’s intervention on Court TV.

Epp, Caught

All credit to laura at We move to Canada for catching Ken Epp, he of the Sneak Attack on Women's Rights on Court TV this week.

After an exploration of what his private member's bill, C-484, would and wouldn't do as well as alternative legislation that would not threaten abortion rights, host Lorne Honickman asked Epp why his bill is necessary. laura says there was a long pause followed by this:

"Because we want to recognize the humanity of that unborn child. Whether that child was killed three months before birth or three months after birth, it was still a child, there was still a loss of life. The other side might wish to deny the humanity of that unborn child, but we want the law to recognize it."

(laura adds that this is not a direct quote but a very close paraphrase.)

A couple of bloggers have already made sport of this oopsie here and here.

We at Birth Pangs would like to offer our site as the Epp-Caught Centre* to record for all time further and past oopsies by Epp and his fetus-fetishizing supporters.

Go forth, Champions of Truth. Search them out in the benighted bits of the blogosphere and bring them back here to face the giggles wrath of loyal BP readers.

And to get this show rolling, here's one we missed from The Shotgun Blog at Western Standard on January 28.

What are our parliamentarians thinking?
. . . . The best way I know to understand what’s on the minds of our parliamentarians is to take a look at the private members bills before the house. . . . And here’s one for the Conservative base: Ken Epp’s crafty little bill to strengthen the legal rights of the unborn and force a debate on abortion.

Nope. Not about abortion atall atall.

And another one from today:

Kicking Abortion’s Ass Alert

From my good friend SUZANNE (is there any other?)

Subject: Important Pro-Life Alert

Ottawa’s News Talk radio CFRA ( will be covering the Unborn Victims of Crime bill twice more before the second hour of debate on Monday. You won’t want to miss these! Please call-in and make your views known! (Don’t forget, you can “listen live” from the CFRA website; I believe the number to call is 1-800-580-TALK)

Again. No way is this bill about abortion. Only paranoid feminazis think it is. :roll:

See how easy it is?


* Not, of course, to be confused with the Epcot Center,
' from the acronym EPCOT (Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow), a utopian city of the future planned by Walt Disney .'

h/t for the notion to loyal BP reader pseudz

(First published at Birth Pangs.)

Tuesday 26 February 2008

One body. One person. One count. -- The Roundup

Wow. That was impressive. Yesterday, twenty-two bloggers participated in the 'One body. One person. One count' blog-burst in opposition to Ken Epp's private member's bill, C-484, a back-door attempt to create fetal rights as the necessary first step in recriminalizing abortion.

Some, including Scott Tribe and In the House and Senate, posted a few days earlier.

We at Birth Pangs were pleased to see the turn-out by the usual Vicious Abortion Crusaders. ;) But we were very pleased to read this from Blast Furnace Canada. Blast Furnace is Catholic, Liberal, and, soi-disant, 'pro-life'. But BF is obviously rational with the concomitant bullshit-spotting ability.

For the record and in no particular order, here's the list of participants. (We've no doubt missed some. Please let us know and we'll add.)

Monday 25 February 2008

BLOG-BURST: One body. One person. One count.

Bad company ruins good morals.
--1 Corinthians 15:33

We at Birth Pangs believe that all one needs to know about private member's bill C-484 is the company it keeps.

Canada's Numero Uno Blogging Fetus Fetishist said recently:

The opponents of unborn victims of crime like to point out that many people who support Bill C-484 are fetal rights supporters.

This is true.

From wiki’s entry on fetal rights:

Legislative measures sometimes seek to establish the right to life of the fetus from the moment of fertilization. Such laws regard the fetus as a person whose legal status is on par with that of any other member of the species homo sapiens. . . Much opposition to legal abortion in the West is based on a concern for fetal rights. Similarly many pro-choice groups oppose fetal rights, even when they do not impinge directly on the abortion issue, because they perceive this as a slippery slope strategy to restricting abortions.

LifeNews sets out the talking points here and

We won't bother to list all the flying monkey bloggers who patter along behind these giant organs of zygote zealotry.

But we did find this bit of gloating from LifeShite last November illuminating:

Thursday 7 February 2008

Ikebana Basics for Fetus Fetishists

The last time we heard from the zygote zealots’ mouthpiece FETANNE Forceps, she was defending a law that would bestow legal status upon a pregnant woman’s placenta. Since then, she has become the uxorious and crafty ‘Martha Stewart’ of the anti-choice movement as well as a self-proclaimed expert on what men need from women, or according to HER gospel, why feminists don’t get men.

Next week she will be launching an exciting new concept: Embryonic Ikebana. Let’s eavesdrop on her presentation for the Christian Womb Shopping Channel.

Welcome to Fetanne Forceps’ Christian Womb Hour. Today I will share with you some beautiful thoughts on the god-blessed role of mother and wife. Whenever people visit my home, they tell my husband what a beautiful environment I have made for my family. I want to show you how you can do the same. As many of you know, I have been a tigress when defending those poor innocent victims of abortion, the preborn human children. But I’m not alone in thinking that the visual documentation that we use is really tacky and not beautiful. And optics are very important, if you want the mainstream media to roll tape.

Our movement has successfully isolated the embryo and the fetus from their connection to pregnant women. But what we have overlooked is that there’s a reason why God puts them inside wombs - in the cruel light of day, they don’t look very nice, do they? And some very devout men have told me that it makes them feel very icky to look at these pictures: as one of them quaintly put it: ‘It reminds me of what happens down there to women when they’re not in the family way.’

And ladies, though I hesitate to say this, some of you have been acting all uppity and screechy about the rights of the unborn. We have to be careful to remain soft and sweet otherwise we’ll be no better than those noisy and strident feminazis. And we don’t want that - do we? So I put my pretty little thinking cap on, and decided to combine my gracious hostess skills with my faith and voilà! I have developed a whole line of products that will beautify the fetus and make it so much more attractive for photo opportunities.

This is my very own Fetal and Floral™arrangement. It has a simple, clean shape. It is dramatic yet romantic, perfect for the entrance to your home, or the reception area of a major television network.

I let myself be inspired by my love for all those unloved fetus in the world to create flower arrangements in a style that is whimsical yet poignant. Tall flowers shout your intentions, but low bunches of flowers whisper a more intimate message at the dinner table. I put out blossoms in a row of small glasses, clustering them in every possible shade of baby pink.

Almost any flower will work if you cut the stems short enough for the blooms to form a dense but luxurious mound just above the rim of the glass. I use about ten flowers for each little bouquet and then I take a tiny plastic fetus and gently place it in the petals so that it looks like it’s sleeping in a floral cradle.

The cottage-garden-inspired arrangement shown at the top is a casual bouquet of fresh-from-my-garden blooms. I picked flowers of different shape, size, and color, mixing pinks, scarlet, white, and chartreuse with some well-proportioned twigs. I arranged these flowers with different heights and carefully placed the large plastic yet life-like embryo in a central position. I call it EmbryonIkebana™ .

Goodness! That’s all the time we have today. These breath-taking Fetal and Floral™ arrangements can be ordered over the phone. Simply call 1-888-FETANNE. Operators are ready to take your order and make sure you have your husband’s permission to use his credit card.

Originally posted at Birth Pangs.

Sunday 3 February 2008

Girls and Women, Girls and Women: Part 2

Further to our post on the manipulative use of the plight of Afghan women and children to justify Canadian involvement in Afghanistan, today we found this.

The recent sale of three Afghan girls in separate incidents by parents blaming extreme poverty for their actions has sparked concern about the safety of poor children in Afghanistan and the lack of adequate legal mechanisms to effectively curb such trade.

Afghanistan’s Independent Human Rights Commission (AIHRC) has expressed alarm over the sale of the children, who came from Herat, Kunduz and Takhar provinces.

They are babies: one of four-month-old twin girls and two nine-month-old girls.

The article does not say who bought the children or why.

They have been returned to their parents, who have been given financial help.

AIHRC is concerned that the publicity derived from the recent cases of girls being sold may provoke other vulnerable parents to sell their children, particularly girls, in a bid to gain sympathy and financial assistance.

OK, Junior and SteveBot, tell us again, just how the FUCK are ‘we’ helping Afghan girls and women?

h/t Rolling Back the Tide of Extremism

(First published at Birth Pangs.)