Happy Friday, folks. The M3-12 debate is in less than a week and guess who got her first reply from a local MP on the issue? Me! Jean Crowder, New Democratic Party MP for the southern part of Nanaimo and other close parts of the island down that way, sent me this reply to my letter, which I post with her permission:
Thank you for your letter outlining your comments and concerns about Stephen Woodworth's motion M3-13. Please be assured that my New Democrat colleagues and I oppose this motion.
As you know, M3-12 proposes to establish a parliamentary committee to review criminal code subsection 223(1) which states that a child becomes a human at the moment of birth. This is an indirect means to reopen the abortion debate.
New Democrats believe in universal access to abortion services and guaranteed reproductive freedom for all Canadian women, regardless of income or where they live. Abortion must remain a decision between a woman and a health professional.
Thank you again for taking time to speak up on this important issue. Please be assured that we will continue to defend every woman's right to choice.
Jean Crowder, MP Nanaimo-Cowichan
And this is why I *heart* the NDP. Part of their OFFICIAL party platform is being prochoice, at least politically. I have always said a person can be personally prolife because hey, it's a personal decision when/if/how many kids you'll have, but also prochoice politically because you respect that reproduction is a highly a personal choice everyone needs to have, which the government can't interfere with. The last few days on Twitter I've gotten some real thick-headed chaps (and it's almost always men argueing with me) trying to tell me that this *isn't* about women's rights, discrimination, or our health, but the innocent lives of babies.
You can't separate the two, not biologically, not legally. A fetus is not and cannot be legally defined as a person. Human, obviously (which is why the wording in the criminal code section mentioned above *does* need a tweak), but person? Legal being with all the rights and responsibilities given by our society? No, they can't and the Supreme Court has already decided this multiple times. Yes, not too long ago both African Americans and women were not considered persons by law, and that changed and it was good. The difference between an African American or a woman (or hell, a baby) is that they're autonomous individuals. They're born, breathing, existing on their own. Even enslaved, oppressed and/or helpless, these people exist as individuals and are protected by our laws.
My fetus, whom I affectionally call Raisin, and Gabe, who was Muffin, depends on me for its survival, on my body and blood and own wellbeing to grow and thrive. Without me and the environment I provide, it cannot exist. It must be my choice, and every woman's choice, whether to host such a life, to put herself at risk of all the simply unpleasant to downright dangerous conditions that come with pregnancy, labour and delivery. Anything less is to become a second class citizen, to become enslaved by my own biology, and that must not happen. Besides, women have always found a way to avoid continuing pregnancy they do not want. We're willing to suffer and even risk death to have an abortion through non-medical means. Keeping abortion legal keeps it safe, and keeping it accessible saves women's lives.