NRL News

“This ain’t, in other words, your grandfather’s anti-abortion movement”

by | Jan 14, 2013

By Dave Andrusko

HugHere is a paragraph near the end of an opinion piece that ran Saturday in a Canadian newspaper. Read it carefully and then I’ll fill you in on the larger context:

“Progressives cannot assume that the abortion debate is settled. For the new anti-abortion arguments and framing strategies may well resonate in new and surprising ways with Canadians. This may even include young women, who might be persuaded that one can be modern and pro-women’s rights while also adopting an anti-abortion stance. Answering the broad question — how do progressives defend abortion access in a context where the anti-abortion movement also claims to represent ‘pro-woman’ positions — must be a key strategic task. Progressives must therefore develop powerful new arguments, frames, principles and narratives that will resonate strongly with Canadians in this new context.”

The opinion piece, written by Prof. Paul Saurette and Kelly Gordon, a Ph.D. candidate, is, I gather, a kind of foreshadowing of a book they are writing due out late this year: ”The Changing Face of Anti-Abortion Discourse in Canada.”

So what are they saying? Well pro-lifers in Canada are “rebranding” the Movement, meaning (as they say), “This ain’t, in other words, your grandfather’s anti-abortion movement.”

It would not be fair to say conclusively that Saurette and Gordon altogether doubt the sincerity of “the rebranding of the anti-abortion position as a pro-woman, with-it, modern stance.” I leave that up to the readers to decide if that’s a fair inference to draw.

They begin with a fairly unimaginative either/or formulation before rejecting it for something far more interesting. This phase of the “anti-abortion movement” is not, they say, either the final bright flash before the bulb burns out or the “start of a renewed culture war.” Rather, in fact, it may signal the start of “a new stage in the Canadian abortion debate.”

For the readers of NRL News Today, almost all of whom are Americans, we’ve tried to bring you enough stories so that you already have a sense of the transformation.

In a nutshell pro-lifers there are asking their “progressive” counterparts  if they are open to ANY limits when the nation–bereft of any abortion law—is so far out to sea that for purpose of the criminal code, the unborn child does not qualify as a ‘human being’ until birth?! What about aborting female babies for no other reason than the fact that they are not males?

They’d done that ingeniously: let’s talk. No legislation, let’s just have a parliamentary committee to study the Criminal Code definition of a human being. That was defeated but gathered many more votes than anyone anticipated, including Rona Ambrose, the minister responsible for the status of women. Likewise, coming up soon, a debate on “Motion 408” which calls on Parliament to condemn the discrimination against females that is part and parcel of sex-selective abortions.

As Saurette and Gordon explain, MP Mark Warawa’s main online poster for the initiative is “thoroughly framed by the language of women’s rights—‘Protect Girls. Stop Gendercide. Support M-408.’”

And they talk a lot about—holy, molly—how the contemporary pro-life movement in Canada defies every cliché the media and the Abortion Establishment consoles themselves with.

“The public face of the new anti-abortion movement, for example, is increasingly diverse,” they correctly observe. “It is no longer led primarily by older men. Many of the most creative and influential voices of the movement are highly articulate, telegenic, thoroughly modern-seeming young women.”

Catch that? “[T]horoughly modern-seeming young women.” It would appear Saurette and Gordon struggle with the notion that  “modern women” can be against the wholesale slaughter of unborn children. But why should that be so hard to grasp, ESPECIALLY at a time when unborn females are aborted in gigantic numbers over large swathes of the world because they are females?

All in all do yourself a favor and read the op-ed. They are urgently warning their “progressive” colleagues that they need to fine-tune their messages and forego overconfidence. (Rather reminds you of Planned Parenthood’s decision to overhaul its “pro-choice” mantra, doesn’t it?)

To those in Canada who would say, in effect, we rule the roost, “anti-abortionists” are at best a nuisance, Saurette and Gordon end with this warning:

“And to those who believe that nothing can change, that these are just words, and that the legal context and political inertia will protect the status quo — we would simply remind them that as Machiavelli well knew, the right words at the right time can transform the status quo into the status quo ante much more quickly than we think. The new anti-abortion movement understands this.”

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Categories: Pro-Lifers