Ambrose and embryos

A missing angle in the argument over abortion in Canada

Rona Ambrose voted in favor of "abortion bill". (Image source: National Post)

The controversy still goes on over the recent vote of Canada’s Status of Women Minister, Rona Ambrose, in favor of a bill that is deemed to be against abortion. Many voices in Canada are calling for the minister to resign, accusing her of being the wrong person to represent the interest of women in the government.

Whether the bill that seeks to redefine the concept of human being is really meant to be a backdoor ban for abortion is debatable, although is not improbable. The Harper government has grown very skillful in maneuvering around all the well established traditions of Canadian liberties to achieve their own ideological agendas. But that’s not the most important point here. Nor is it the debate over whether or not the minister is fit for this position. Anyone can bring up any number of objections against any public servant.

There seems to be a gap in the logic of those who think abortion and women’s right are the same thing. First of all, the question of human’s life, at any stage, should not be a matter of right to any single sex. A woman doesn’t have the exclusive right over the life of a human just because she happens to carry him inside her. Once the embryo acquires its own life, it becomes an independent entity, and is no longer a fertilized egg that belongs to the mother. If science can show that human life indeed begins before birth, then it is immoral to fight for the right for abortion, especially when it is depicted as a woman’s right.

Secondly, who said that all women are pro choice? Who said that a person cannot be representing the interest of Canadian women when he or she is voting to regulate or even ban abortion? Who said that one can either be representing the interest of women or voting for a ban on abortion, but can’t have both at the same time?

To squeeze abortion into women’s rights, then squeeze women’s rights into a narrow concept, and then demand everyone to succumb to it is close-mindedness. It’s like defining freedom or success in one way, and then accusing everyone who wants to have his own definition of freedom or success of being against freedom and success. It’s like feminists imposing their own definition of equality, and then accusing everyone of being unfair when they offer an alternative definition. Heck, it’s like the Tories imposing their own vision of economic prosperity, then accusing everyone who have a different vision of being against growth, prosperity, and job creation!

I am not trying to defend the minister or the government in this article. Personally I am against abortion, but this argument is not about that. It is about squeezing a whole concept into one person’s definition, and then accusing everyone who have a different definition of being against the whole concept altogether. It is about the notion that the question of human life is considered a women’s right, when its not. It’s about about the proposition that you can’t be pro life and pro women’s right at the same time, which is not true. No one should have monopoly over what falls under whose rights and what those rights are.

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