Monday, December 29, 2008

What would they do if .....?

Tansi/Good Day Readers:

We flagged this article because it raises a number of contentious issues. Unlike Mr. Bruinooge we lived through the Henry Morgentaler era. One of the first that jumped out was why has the existence of a parliamentary anti-abortion caucus remained largely secretive on a matter of this importance?

Rod Bruinooge is correct in his assessment Stephen Harper would prefer the abortion debate not be re-opened. Because it can quickly become so politically charged few elected leaders do. Given the Prime Minister's track record to date with Members of Parliament who stray from the Party line, he is also probably correct in stating there could be ramifications for him.

When an individual takes a stand such as this, we can't help but wonder what if, God forbid, a person very close to them such as a wife or girlfriend received news their fetus if taken to birth would be horribly deformed with a very limited life expectancy. The ultimate test - then what? Abortion should never be viewed as a form of birth control, therefore, checks and balances must be in place.

An issue Mr. Bruinooge has missed and might wish to consider is the difference between how Canadian and United States legislators view the death of a pregnant woman by criminal means and the resulting death of a fetus. Here it's one murder there two.

On a similar note, what about human embryonic stem cell research that results in the destruction of the embryo but has the potential to significantly assist Parkinson and Alzheimer patients? Isn't the option offering individuals the greatest choice and flexibility, within reasonable limits of course, the one to be preferred?

Although not a constituent we've previously e-mailed several postings from this site to Mr. Bruinooge's Consistuency Office in his capacity as Parliamentary Secretary to Chuck Strahl Minister responsible for Indian Affairs and Northern Development, as well as, Federal Interlocutor for Metis and Non-Status Indians. We've always received a quick automated "Dear Constituent" reply stressing the importance of our issue(s), how busy staff are and, of course, the obligatory comment about getting in touch shortly. Problem is, there is never any follow up.

Then there's our newly elected St. Boniface, Manitoba Member of Parliament Shelly Glover who at last count still owes us two e-mail replies from weeks gone by. Wonder if she'll telephone us again on the next federal election day telling us how important we are to what she'd like to accomplish and asking for out vote? How quickly they forget!

We are sending a copy of this posting to Mr. Bruinooge at his Consistuency Office since Parliament is prorogued. We will display any response he may provide unless he requests otherwise in which case we'll advise you.

Sincerely,
Clare L. Pieuk

rod@bruinooge.com
gloves@parl.gc.ca
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MP Wants To Reopen Abortion Debate
KIRK MAKIN
December 28, 2008

WINNIPEG — The abortion debate is about to enter a “new era” of advocacy for the rights of the unborn, says a Conservative MP who recently took over the chairmanship of a secretive, parliamentary anti-abortion caucus.

The all-party caucus will publicize what it views as inadequate abotion regulation, and push for legislation to restrict abortions, Winnipeg MP Rod Bruinooge said in an interview.

“I was born in the post-Morgentaler era, and I think I come to this debate under a different context,” Mr. Bruinooge said last night. “I believe that having open debate on important topics like this is essential for any democratic movement. It's a democracy, and we are putting our ideas out for debate.”

Mr. Bruinooge declined to provide details about the membership of the caucus – which he described as “sizable” – on the basis that MPs from other parties fear internal repercussions if their activism is known.

However, Mr. Bruinooge said that his party leader, Prime Minister Stephen Harper, is well aware that he is involved in a campaign to advocate for precisely what Mr. Harper does not want to see – the reopening of the abortion debate.

“I'm under no illusions that this is going to be an easy course,” Mr. Bruinooge said. “There are some parties that suppress pro-life thinking. There could be consequences for those MPs in other parties. I know there have been some political parties that have chosen to remove their members for having a certain philosophical viewpoint.”

Mr. Bruinooge said that an inordinate number of Canadians are unaware that there has effectively been no abortion law since the father of the pro-choice movement, Henry Morgentaler, persuaded the Supreme Court of Canada in 1988 to strike down the existing law.

As a result of the government's failure to fill the legislative void created by that ruling, he said, laws governing organ transplants are tougher than those that pertain to abortion. For instance, Mr. Bruinooge said that it is illegal for an individual to have a kidney removed and auction it off on eBay.

“The bottom line is that people like myself are not going to stop until, at the very least, unborn children have more value than a Canadian kidney,” he said.

“Your kidneys have more protection than an unborn child until the moment it is out of the woman,” Mr. Bruinooge said. “I challenge anyone to debate me on that point, because I don't think you can. It is very true. There is no legal value to an unborn child in Canada. I just don't see that as a good bioethical position for anyone to have, let alone a country.”

Joyce Arthur, co-ordinator of the Abortion Rights Coalition of Canada, noted that since a majority of the Conservative caucus are “publicly anti-choice,” it is not surprising that many are prepared to lobby against a woman's right to choose.

“It's something that the Conservative Party is out of touch with, because Canadians don't want to go back to the abortion debate,” Ms. Arthur said. “People are happy with the status quo. It's working well.”

With a report from The Canadian Press

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