I recently came across a column called, “Secular ignorance and abortion” by Meredith Gillis in the student newspaper, The Aquinian.
Gillis writes, “I’ve heard of couples waiting up to ten years to adopt a new-born baby.”
There are literally thousands of children in Canada waiting to be adopted, there are over 78,000 to be exact, most over the age of three.
“One of the biggest myths about adoption in Canada is that there are no Canadian children available for adoption. There are more than 78,000 children in the care of child welfare organizations across Canada. More than 30,000 of these children have parents whose parental rights have been terminated by the courts. What this usually means is that these children have no permanent family and will live in foster care or small institutional placements until they are legally of age,” says Gillis.
I’ve always hated the argument from pro-lifers about simply putting the baby up for adoption, because there are so many people who want to adopt a baby. And right there ladies and gents is the keyword, a baby. What about all the older children that need adopted, do the pro-lifers not care about these children, shouldn’t they be adopted as well? It seems that if your unwanted child doesn’t get adopted as an infant it will fall through the cracks and end up in the system, probably for the next 18 years.
Gillis says, “I want access to be more limited so it can’t be used as a means of sex-selection. This is a concern which was raised in a medical journal last year following a study of the birth rates of boys and girls to immigrant families.”
First, I’d like to point out that if, and that is a big if, if this is happening in Canada, and I’m very doubtful that it is, it is RARE. Less than 1% (0.4% to be exact) of abortions in Canada are performed after 20 weeks, and the earliest that you can find out the gender of your baby is about 15 weeks, and only about 9% of abortions take place between 12 weeks and 20 weeks, which means that 90% of abortions in Canada take place before the 12 week mark, and it is near impossible to tell the gender of a baby at this point. There are also only a few clinics in Canada that will even perform an abortion after 20 weeks.
Second, I’d like to point out that by placing restrictions on what is an acceptable reason for a woman to get an abortion only hurts women, it does not help them. Where do we draw the line? Who do we let decide what an acceptable reason for an abortion is? Restrictions on abortions kill women, and I think Canada is a perfect example, where have zero restrictions on abortions, and we have a significantly lower abortion rate than that of the United States and they have places hundreds of restrictions on abortion.
“I want access limited so it can’t be used to prevent parents from having an ‘imperfect’ child. People with physical and mental disabilities are a source of inspiration because of the challenges they overcome every day. They are perfect the way they are and society is richer for their being a part of it,” continues Gillis.
I have a few select words that I’d like to use, but I’ll try to keep it as family friendly as possible and simply ask, how can you be so condescending and patronizing to even begin to think that you know what challenges other people can handle? No one knows an individual better than they know themselves, and that includes women. No one knows better than a woman what she can endure, and that includes with childbearing and child rearing. Any women, hell any couple who takes on the challenge of raising a physically or mentally disabled child is a hero in my books. But there is also nothing wrong with, and I will hold nothing against a woman or a couple who knows that they cannot raise a child with certain disabilities. This type of decision, like every decision regarding a woman’s reproductive health, is an extremely personal one, and to pretend to know what is best for anyone is absolutely horrendous.
“I want access limited so abortion won’t be an option when it`s inconvenient for someone to have a baby,” says Gillis.
Out of all your points this is the one that really got to me. Inconvenient? Hardly.
Some things that are inconvenient:
- Running out of hot water.
- A long line at the checkout counter.
- Not finding a parking space.
Some things that are convenient:
- 24-hour gyms like Planet Fitness.
- Living near a restaurant that makes awesome sandwiches.
- Having a towel rack right next to the shower.
Pregnancy isn’t an inconvenience; it’s a life-altering process. Abortion isn’t a convenience; it’s a life-saver.
I’ll end with what is probably my favorite quote by Judge Bertha Wilson on the Morgentaler Decison:
Liberty in a free and democratic society does not require the state to approve the personal decisions made by its citizens; it does, however, require the state to respect them. A woman’s decision to terminate her pregnancy falls within this class of protected decisions. It is one that will have profound psychological, economic, and social consequences for her. It is a decision that deeply reflects the way the woman thinks about herself and her relationship to others and to society at large. It is not just a medical decision; it is a profound social and ethical one as well.
Jaden Fitzherbert is an anti-choice activist in NB.