Something I actually managed to miss whilst my computer–and hence brain, soul and entire being–was rendered useless this week was the announcement of a bill into parliament called the “Unborn Victims of Violence” act. Just like the abomination of a Supreme Court decision that got passed in the US last year, this strategy isn’t about what it says it’s about–it’s about laying the groundwork, in a legal system based on precedent, for enshrining a definition of fetus as life into law, and from there figuring out how to undermine the Morgentaler decision.
The vote is probably going to be on March 5, so on the off chance that I have a reader or two who hasn’t yet done so, there’s a handy-dandy auto-email generator for sending a request to Mr. Stéphane Dion asking him to whip the Liberals on this one over here. (It’s a private member’s bill, and the assumption is that the Conservatives are a lost cause, while the NDP and the Bloc are already on board).
I find it most sickening to see this kind of strategy being conflated with the horrifying statistics of violence against women during pregnancy. The most common cause of death of pregnant women in Canada (among other places) is homicide. There seems to be an increase in the severity of abuse during pregnancy, and one could speculate until blue in the face about the basis for this (hint: use some variation on the framework that the pregnancy represents a loss of some level of control over the abuser’s partner). It is most certainly not, however, connected to abusers’ higher level hatred of babies, nor is it the kind of violence that has ever been affected by the thought of deterrent punishment.
I hate it when they take reality and try to use it against us.