The following letter appeared in the Monday, June 3, 2013 print edition of the French daily LaPresse.(p. A14). I translated it with the help of Google translator.
Feminist and Pro-Life
Can you be a feminist and against abortion? I am in favour of the equality of the sexes. But can we talk about equality when a father has no say about the birth of his child? Yes, I am for the free choice of women to study, marry, have children - or not, including having recourse to contraception - but for abortion, no.
Over the past centuries many women made great strides in acquiring rights for us, women. Yet, I firmly believe that "choice" must be exercised prior to conceiving the child. The woman’s "choice" should not trump the right to life of the child (or the cluster of cells).
For some, this may seem a paradox to be pro-life and a feminist at the same time. However, I was brought to earth by the LaPresse reporting in on female gendercide and sex-selective abortion practices in some countries. There seemed to be a consensus that we should ban abortion based on the sex of the child. I totally agree. I wonder whether there is a real difference between two women who have abortions of female fetuses, one because she knows the sex of the child, and she insists on having a boy, and the other, because she prefers to focus on her career and not have children yet.
Ultimately, the result is the same: abortion. What are the legitimate reasons for doing so? Can we judge that one woman is right because she prefers to save the honor of the family and the other not? And above all, if abortion is such a boon for women, why do they feel so guilty afterwards?
While condemning selective abortions, we praise Dr. Henry Morgentaler who, I admit, has changed the face of Canada. Of course, he was a brave man and full of conviction, but has he made a difference for the better? Why such a refusal on behalf of the media and politicians to reopen the abortion question, to assess, in hindsight, whether it has been beneficial for Quebec society?
Dr. Morgentaler stated that he carried the fight so each child would be desired by their parents at birth. I do not agree. I do not think a child needs to be desired in order to exist. I think of this Indian woman in the story of Isabelle Hachey who took in forty girls abandoned at birth. All these had been rejected, and yet we see that they are happy and they want one thing, to live.
Maude St-Laurent (student in political science)
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