by Kamilah Thorpe
MP Niki Ashton recently put forward Motion 5-10, asking parliament to vote: “in the opinion of the House: a women’s right to choose abortion is a fundamental question of equality and human rights.”
This rather bold statement calls into question the human rights of the unborn child, but it also made me reflect on why anyone would be so bold as to say that the right to choose abortion is a fundamental human right.
I think that abortion is only ever seen as a “good thing” when all the other options seem worse. For this reason, I think that abortion can only be disguised as a human right in a society where women do not have any rights at all, and so abortion is seen as desirable because it offers what appears to be a quick fix to a much deeper social problem.
The sad reality is that there are places in the world where women really have no rights. There are places where a woman will be killed, banished, or dishonoured for conceiving a child out of wedlock. There are places where a woman is expected to bear children for her husband, despite any grave physical, emotional, or financial strain this might cause her.
Canada, thankfully, is not one of these places. Here a woman can, and should, receive any aid she needs in pregnancy. If Canadian women feel the need for abortion, it is because we have failed to remedy underlying societal problems.
Abortion is a “Band-Aid solution” that offers women a quick fix to pregnancy, but if we really respected women and their bodies we would stop sweeping pregnancy under the carpet as something gone wrong. We would see it instead as a beautiful reality of womanhood, and of hope in the future of our country.
A woman who feels the need to be rid of her child because of external pressure is a slave to oppression. A woman who feels supported, respected, and honoured to be carrying the next generation inside her body is a woman who is truly free.