Tuesday 27 March 2012

An open letter to Opposition Women's Caucuses

Dear Djaouida Sellah (NDP), Carolyn Bennett (LPC), Maria Mourani (BQ), and Elizabeth May (GPC):

As you are no doubt aware, Stephen Woodworth's Motion 312 (snappy nickname yet to be determined) is a thinly veiled attempt to reopen the abortion debate.

Prime Minister Harper pledged that his government would NOT reopen this settled matter and yet here we are.

There are far more pressing matters facing Parliament and Canadians than this complete waste of time and resources.

But, ever vigilant, ordinary Canadian women and their allies are taking steps to inform people and Parliamentarians about this American-style attempt to run the clock backwards.

The Abortion Rights Coalition of Canada has prepared counter arguments and launched a petition, with at this writing over 2100 signatures in five days.

Two (at least) Facebook groups have been formed: here and here.

An anti-choice Facebook page has also been formed, co-opting Mme Justice Bertha Wilson's name in a disrespectful and sneering way.

All the usual anti-choice suspects, like Campaign Life, are gearing up for the fight.

One CPC MP, Bruce Stanton, has voiced his opposition to this 'divisive' manoeuvre.

This would be a grand opportunity for the Women's Caucuses of the opposition parties to cooperate and coordinate a response to this forthright attack on hard-won women's rights.

Personally, I'd love to see each Opposition member rise during the debate and say something along the lines of 'Mr Speaker, with respect, I decline this opportunity to waste this House's time on a matter most Canadians consider settled' and sit down.

However you choose to oppose M312, it is time for pro-choice MPs to stand up for women's rights and say a resounding 'NO' to a Canadian 'War on Women'.

We look forward to hearing your response.

Thank you.

UPDATE: A woman named Alysha emailed her Con MP, Mike Wallace, about the motion. Here is his reply: 'I am opposed to this motion and will be voting against it.'

That's two.


Antonia Z said...

Tweeted at me by:

Elizabeth May MP ‏

@ElizabethMay: @AntoniaZ @DSellahNDP @Carolyn_Bennett Thanks so much for your work! Do not leave out #CPC women MPs. Many (most?) are pro-choice. #cdnpol

fern hill said...

Right. According to ARCC, there are 6 pro-choice Cons, 5 men and Lisa Raitt.

Anonymous said...

Elizabeth "nuanced" May? Does she still propose to give high school students "tax credits" so they can be teenaged parents (obviously super high achievers that can juggle school, a job that pays enough that tax credits actually kick in, and parental duties)? Tell me she's evolved. Not holding my breath.


JJ said...

Fantastic, fern hill. Great idea... light a fire under them! You rock

CanNurse said...

Excellent post, Fern! Thanks! I'm glad to hear Elizabeth May say, via AZ, that she's pro-choice. I saw her interviewed a few years ago & she clearly stated at that time that she wasn't! I've always felt uncertain about her b/c of that interview.

fern hill said...

Yeah, EMay got into a world of trouble by trying to 'nuance' her stance on abortion. She took a drubbing over it; some of which, I'm pleased to say, was administered by dBO and moi, among many others.

I think she's got it now.

Anonymous said...

For the fundamentalist religious segment of the political right, the abortion issue is a huge vulnerability. Consider:
1) They believe abortion at any stage to be the murder of a child. It doesn't matter that I don't and you don't. It matters that they do.
2) They can not realistically expect to be elected within any party that doesn't accept legal abortion.
3) There is no electable party for them to vote for, that doesn't accept legal abortion.

So, nobody of that belief can honestly run for office, or even cast a vote for an electable candidate. To do so is, by their own terms, accepting infanticide for political ends.

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