Trudeau is right to stay humble when speaking to China about human rights

16/09/2016 / Abortion 

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Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is hoping to improve relationships with China because, quite frankly, we want to do business with them. Unfortunately, China isn’t known for its glowing human rights record, and many Canadians consider this a problem. The fact that we consider this a problem is, I think, a beautiful reflection on a nation that is unwilling to compromise its values and priorities just to make a few bucks and end a recession here or there.

In an attempt to address these concerns without alienating the Chinese superpower, Trudeau brought up their human rights track record with a healthy helping of humility. He admitted, according to the CBC, that Canada cannot claim perfection on its own human rights track record. The scathing report on our missing and murdered Indigenous women was mentioned, a fair admission. What Trudeau failed to mention, however, to a nation whose one-child policy caused untold sorrow and death, was Canada’s similar shame in its despicable treatment of pre-born children.

Our government may not be forcibly aborting children, or openly threatening families with the loss of a job, a home, or future prospects if they choose to keep their child, but are our policies really any better? Unrestricted abortion is a subtle way for our government to give women the very same choice between socially stigmatized struggle and socially celebrated success.

Women are encouraged to have abortions when the timing is bad, or if their career could be impacted. They are told that they cannot have both a baby and a successful career, while simultaneously being told that career stability is more important, more valuable, and will get them more respect than choosing motherhood. Abortion is seen as a solution when your partner is abusive and you don’t want him to have a reason to make you stay in touch with him, and it is seen as a way out when a night of fun with a man you’ve only just met has unexpected consequences. Abortion is somehow seen as a solution to the violent crimes of rape and incest, and also as a way to eliminate disability and so to subtly discriminate against the born disabled among us. Teen pregnancy continues to be closely linked to single parenthood, and 21% of single women in Canada raise their children in poverty.

All of these examples show abortion being used as a bandage for much more significant issues, and a cover-up for damaging social norms and expectations. Rather than liberate a woman, abortion kills her child and tells her she is better off. In China, abortion kills her child and tells her the whole nation is better off. 

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Abortion on demand is not solving problems any more than abortion by demand. Prime Minister Trudeau’s humility when talking to China about human rights is laudable. But when juxtaposed with his continued support of untold injustice here in Canada, it’s clear it is also absolutely necessary, as he really has no right to criticize anyone else on their treatment of human beings.

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