On December 12, CBC reported “Anti-abortion (sic) protest bent rules on Parliament Hill.”
What fascinated me is how CBC appeared to be more interested in trying to sniff out whether the Conservative government is “anti-abortion,” and therefore, may have bent the rules in favour of this Pro-Life group staging their silent protest. (Full discloser: I am strictly non-partisan, and dangerously cynical about all things political). The CBC was more interested in the possible political interference story than the fact that abortion for gender selection left the Parliamentary lawn with a decidedly pink hue on October 2. As reporter Dean Beeby states:
A visually striking anti-abortion protest on Parliament Hill technically broke several rules on the use of the public space, but federal officials made special exceptions to allow the event to proceed anyway.
The group was permitted to stake 100,000 small flags on a strip of the front lawn of the Hill early on Oct. 2. The mini-flags — blue for males, pink for females — represented the “approximately 100,000 preborn children terminated through abortion each year in Canada,” said organizers…
“This event is a silent, peaceful and tasteful demonstration of a statistical fact regarding elective abortion in Canada,” Schutten wrote to an interdepartmental committee that oversees use of Parliament Hill.
I tried to find if CBC, or any news agency covered the story on October 2 when the flags were first planted. I could find no evidence that CBC covered the story at all.
In response to the December 12 story, CBC’s Facebook friends expressed an overwhelming negative sentiment for this “anti-abortion group” (sic), and had absolutely no concern about the fact that gender specific abortions means considerably fewer girls are allowed to live. This is because the conversation has been lost to the notion that the decision to abort, entirely belongs to a woman’s right to choose what is happening to her otherwise healthy fetus. Little thought is given to a society that is experiencing gender selection decidedly not in favour of girls – as they are systematically eliminated from the gene pool.
Coincidently, I came upon Bombay Law Student, Hardi Goradia writing in her blog “Fifty Shades of Reality.” In India, gender selection abortions, foeticides, and infanticides of female children are, sadly, all too common. In her blog, The Tragedy of Neonaticide, she writes:
Now India has since time in-memorable has had preference for sons over daughters. A recent study found that 50,000 unborn girls were aborted every year. Surprisingly a UNICEF report in 2006 revealed that 10 million girls were killed by neonaticide! The practice is prominent in Gujarat and north-Indian states where there are low recorded rates of female children. The act of killing unwanted baby girls is a long standing sociocultural problem across the whole of the Indian-subcontinent owing to the patriarchal nature of our society.
I imagine, if you’ve read this far, you have a reaction. Perhaps you want to argue how crazy I am to wade into a topic you may be convinced is none of my business. Perhaps you agree that something is actually wrong with female de-selection but remain pro-choice. Perhaps you are concerned about fetal rights (since they have none now).
But I am not interested in the littler question of fetal rights (important though it be). I am much more interested in positioning the discussion in exploring the enigma of our worth to the One who created us for Himself.
I contend that our price as humans is undermined by a perspective that so devalues human personhood – that the elimination of a pre-born child, male or female, says something about us as a society; it says something about what we value and devalue. Most profoundly, it says something about what we lose when we’ve lost perspective on “whose we are.”
I lament that women suffer in an in-between DMZ, often forced to carry the stranger who is a child to be born, and often forced to abort a girl child if that amazing fact is found out pre-maturely. I lament that some children are born into poverty, hate, and abuse, but I do not accept that poverty, hate, or abuse are good enough reasons to abort life, any more than I would accept these as good enough reasons to take life in any other circumstance.
This is my way of planting a flag to point you to the One who created you – to whom you belong. He who beckons you, values you, and imbues worth on you & the child you may carry or care for. Without this perspective, I suspect all we have are sides to choose – and that is very unsatisfactory to me.
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It is remarkable that even in the 2nd Century, as the Letter to Diognetus reveals, there was a conspicuous Christian bias in favour of life:
… Christians cannot be distinguished from the rest of the human race by country or language or custom… they live in their own countries, but only as aliens. They have a share in everything as citizens, and endure everything as foreigners. Every foreign land is their fatherland, and yet for them every fatherland is a foreign land. They marry, like everyone else, and they beget children, but they do not cast out their offspring. They share their board with each other, but not their marriage bed… they busy themselves on earth, but their citizenship is in heaven.
Jesus said, “The thief comes only to steal, kill and destroy; I have come that you may have life and have it to the full.” May you come to know this One who comes to you with life.