By Jonathon Van Maren
We’ve known for months already that Bill C-233, which would have made it illegal “for a medical practitioner to perform an abortion knowing that the abortion is sought solely on the grounds of the child’s genetic sex,” would fail. The margin—248 to 82—is also no surprise, although nearly 70% of Conservative MPs—81 of 119—did vote for it. Conservative leader Erin O’Toole also voted against it, after promising that he’d vote against any pro-life bills during his leadership campaign. He did not, however, attempt to whip the vote.
The bill was Saskatchewan MP Cathay Wagantall’s second attempt at passing common-sense legislation on pre-born human rights in Canada. Her first attempt, Cassie and Molly’s Law, would have created new offences for injuring or causing the death of a pregnant woman’s pre-born child while committing a crime against the woman. The Liberals predictably opposed this bill because just as with gendercide, abortion rights always trump women’s rights in Trudeau’s world. The two have become synonymous in the progressive mind. Feticide is now a value that trumps all others.
With the exception of a healthy caucus of socially conservative MPs in the Conservative Party of Canada and Independent MP Derek Sloan (evicted in a clumsy hatchet job by O’Toole), Canada’s House of Commons is a homogenous bloc opposing any threat to abortion. Trudeau has long been passionate about the issue; the Bloc Quebecois, NDP, and Green Party are also 100% pro-abortion. Maryam Monsef, the Minister for Women and Gender Equality, even wrote a delusional open letter to O’Toole demanding that he whip his caucus and denouncing the bill as an attack on women’s human rights—and female dignity to boot.
Nowhere in Monsef’s letter did she actually say what the bill intended to restrict—the killing of a baby girls because they are baby girls. Unsurprisingly, she also failed to mention that the bill was put forward by a woman, and that a super-majority of Canadians support restrictions on gender-selection abortion (and even more of them oppose the practice in principle.) It would be cold comfort to little girls in the womb, one suspects, that Monsef is fully willing to support their right to also abort a baby girl of their own if they make it out of the womb. But this is feminism in 2021; it pits the strong against the weak.
Of course, the media is publishing the same story they publish any time a pro-life MP says something about abortion. The framing is not about the issue; it’s about what O’Toole will do with those pesky social conservatives he courted during the leadership campaign. O’Toole isn’t one of us; he’s pro-abortion and only Peter MacKay was more enthused about the LGBT movement than he was. He released a video for Pride month announcing that he was an ally and that he wanted to join the battle against “homophobia, transphobia, and biphobia”; he voted for the conversion therapy ban. O’Toole is mildly less awful than MacKay, but I wouldn’t vote for him if I lived in his riding. From a socially conservative perspective, I suspect his voting record will be precisely identical to Trudeau’s.
I agree with Scott Hayward of Right Now—we need to elect more pro-life MPs. An overwhelming majority of Conservative MPs voted pro-life, and social conservatives outnumber those who think like O’Toole inside the party. It’s easy to see the failure of this second attempt to condemn gender selection abortion (Motion 408, put forward by the late Mark Warawa, likely failed due to Stephen Harper’s personal intervention) as discouraging, and important to remember that it was doomed from the start. It was an attempt by Wagantall to trigger a wider discussion about the issue, which is what MPs should do when they identify injustice in society. I commend her for her efforts. If Parliament’s abortion absolutists had the capacity for shame, they’d realize who the real defender of women’s rights is.