The Overton Window is a political theory that an idea can transition from the unthinkable, to acceptable, and eventually be transformed into public policy. This idea is particularly relevant in Canada’s abortion debate. The guest post below was written by Run with Life blogger Pat Maloney, and gives an indication as to how the Overton Window is shifting.
From the perspective of this campaign, it is incredibly encouraging to see the groundswell building! Canadians from across this vast country are using our talking points and we are clearly on the verge of a huge shift towards a legal recognition of pre-born human rights! Keep up the great work everyone!
by Pat Maloney (re-published with permission)
Paul Russell devotes his entire column today in the National Post , The Week in Letters, to the abortion debate in Canada: Readers agree: It’s time Canada had an abortion law.
He also publishes some excellent letters under the title ‘How many miracles were destroyed because of late-term abortions?
A few excerpts below from Mr. Russell’s column:
“Our federal government doesn’t want to reopen the abortion debate — but many of our readers definitely do. Scores of letters focused on that issue this week, with the vast majority calling for either limits or an outright ban on the practice.”
“We need a debate on abortion in Canada,” wrote Kieran McIllvray. “Other Western countries have no problem with such debates. Why is Canada different? We are after all talking about human life. We need to have a clear understanding of what that means, biologically, medically and of course morally….
…Three doctors waded into the debate on the Letters page. On Tuesday, in a note titled, “How to avoid live fetuses,” Dr. Christiane Dauphinais stated that the Quebec College of Physicians instructs doctors that “when performing an abortion on a woman who is 21 weeks pregnant or more … inject digoxin or potassium chloride into the fetus or the amniotic sac. This effectively kills the fetus, thereby avoiding having to deal with a live, aborted infant.” This guidance from the medical college repulsed at least one reader.
“Does this sound like a good doctor’s healing treatment or rather like an executioner’s order?” asked Regina Kosalka. “So much for the Hippocratic Oath reinforced in the Declaration of Geneva after the Second World War in response to atrocities perpetrated by Nazi and imperial Japanese ‘doctors’ participating in inhumane medical practices.”…
…A few readers pointed out how loaded the terminology is around abortion.
“Thank you for giving the issue of late term abortions the coverage it deserves, even though it was not an emotionally easy read,” wrote Patrick Stewart. “It is interesting how language affects how we think and act. A mother who plans to take her pregnancy to full term will refer to the unborn as ‘her baby,’ while another who plans not to carry the unborn to full term — and those who will assist her — refer to the unborn as ‘a fetus.’ ”
“Endless discussions about abortion is becoming stale and tedious, because [no one] can seem to make up their mind about the fetus-in-the-woman,” added Peter Koning. “We do not dare to talk about a real baby in mother’s womb.”
He offered this advice on how to bring clarity to the issue.
“Is our future Queen, Kate Middleton, pregnant with a fetus or a baby?” Ms. Koning asked. “Half if not more of the world is anxiously waiting for the birth of her baby, not her fetus. We don’t talk about her fetus, do we? It is a baby in her and every pregnant woman’s womb. Maybe the pro-abortionists should rethink what is in a woman’s uterus. Our government should also do some rethinking on the issue.”
Once again the National Post engages in the abortion debate. A debate we can’t have in Parliament, a debate we can’t have in most of the media, and a debate we can’t have on university campuses.
Another insight into the abortion debate is this telling “pro-choice” comment yesterday in the Post from Jesse Kline, on the notion of morality. He says:
“Given that our society clearly has not come to a consensus about whether abortion is immoral, restricting a woman’s right to choose entails imposing one group’s morality upon another. In a free society, this act is itself morally wrong.”
Following this logic, we should also not impose our morality on those sectors of the world’s population who practice, say stoning adulterers. Or those people who practice murder and rape. If we do, then we are imposing our morality on another person right? But the reality is, that in a “free society”, humankind makes laws based on morality all the time, just look at our criminal code. It’s full of laws based on morality, that is what criminal law does. It would be morally wrong to not put such laws in place to protect the innocent. The only exception to this usual code of a societal morality, especially in Canada, seems to be when it comes to abortion. Why is that?
But the good news in all of this is, that if we consider all the places we can’t have the debate, it seems to me that we are doing a pretty good job of having it in the National Post. Maybe Parliament, the rest of the media and the Universities will eventually come on board too. Otherwise they just might find themselves left behind.