Abortion in Canada Should Remain Legal
“Abortion is not a crime in Canada but it is an area of the law” (Duhaime, 2010) that isn’t black and white. It has been completely legal since 1988 and our government should keep it that way. For as much as some people are anti-abortion or ‘pro-life’ they need to understand that women have abortions for a variety of reasons one being that an abortion can actually benefit the unborn child. Those who are anti-choice also claim that abortion is wrong because it violates the rights of the fetus, but what about the rights of the woman?
It is a woman’s right to decide what she does with her body and though it is much debated; a fetus by logical argument is not a person and does not hold any rights. Finally, even if abortion was made illegal as it was many decades ago, desperate measure to abort unwanted children would be taken by many expecting women, with dire consequences. It is from these four statements that one can say that abortion should continue to be legal in Canada. “It is not always in the best interest of the child to be born” (Jacob, 2006).
A great example comes from the book Abortion under Attack. It features a story from a girl whose father never wanted her. She “suffered emotional abuse of hearing on a regular basis that she was unwanted and unwelcomed. ” (Jacob, 2006) A lot of children are sadly born into this type of unloving environment when a mother is too poor to afford an abortion and doesn’t have the support to take care of the child or when they are born into a strained relationship. When a child is born to parents who don’t want them, would it not have been in their best interest to have been aborted?
Rather than be subject to emotional or physical abuse or loveless lives in group homes, they could have never had to experience any of the pain; they never would have known. The fetus is not a conscious being, so when it is aborted it feels no pain; it is as if it never existed. In other cases, a child who born to a woman who heavily used drugs throughout her pregnancy won’t have a fair chance at life. Why put an infant or child through that type of stress and withdrawal.
A potential mother who is a heavy drug user should abort any baby that would have been consummated during the times she was using because that will cause unnecessary harm to the unborn child therefore it is not in the best interest of the child to be born. Another instance would be when a couple wants to have a baby but a healthy relationship isn’t in place. By healthy relationship we’re talking about one that isn’t full of anger and violence. If you bring a child into an unhealthy environment, full of negative energy it has a great impact on their development.
An example of how negativity can affect the development process is seen in Dr. Emoto’s book Messages in Water. In his book he does an experimental study of whether negative words like “you fool” have a different effect on water formations than positive words such as “love” or “appreciation” (Emoto, 2008). He found that negative phrases and words create large clusters or will not form clusters, and positive, beautiful words and phrases create small, tight clusters. In basic terms negative words and positive words have different effects on the structure of ones make up.
So bringing a child into a negative environment isn’t fair to them in two ways, the first being that they weren’t asked to be brought into the situation and the second being that they are going to be emotionally abused or traumatized from the constant violence. From this one could conclude that it would have been in the child’s best interest if they were never born and brought into the situation. “Only persons have a right to life, human organisms are not persons before birth therefore human organisms do not have a right to life before birth. (Jagger, 2009) A fetus is completely dependent on a mother to survive, if removed from the womb it would die. A human can independently survive when put on its own. So one can conclude that because a fetus is not viable without being attached to something else, it is human-like but not human; if anything it more closely resembles a parasite clinging to a host for life. At birth the fetus becomes human because it can now independently breathe, move, eat etc.
Now a pro-life believer could now say, ‘Would a person who is living off a kidney dialysis machine, and cannot live independently not be a person’? To answer that is the key to why a fetus is not a person. As soon as one can live independently they can be considered to be a person, if after that they become dependent they still remain persons because they have already functioned independently and crossed the line from human organism to human. Almost all of abortions are done in the first two trimesters of pregnancy, and during this time a fetus is not independently viable. The amount of abortions done in the third trimester, or after “quickening” is such a low percentage it does not make sense to make a law against it because it is so unheard of.
The general understanding with an abortion is that you shouldn’t do it after you’ve felt the baby move, or once it is viable. This is a understanding that lies in the morals of humans, there is no need for a law against it because people will 9 out of 10 times make the morally correct decision. In the odd case where a third trimester abortion does occur, it is only done after evaluating all possible options and weighing all the consequences, we need to keep abortion legal so people can make the choice for themselves.
Women have been fighting for their rights for decades, and taking ownership of their bodies was part of that. In 1988 Dr. Henry Montagentaler opened up several illegal (at the time) abortion clinics and challenged section 287 of the criminal code which condemned abortion. The Supreme Court ruled that section 287 offended the charter and was no longer in effect. His fight made abortion legal for all Canadian women. (Arthur, 1999) He gave women a choice, the choice to continue the pregnancy and keep the child, continue the pregnancy and give the child away or legally abort the pregnancy.
The court case of Daigle v. Tremblay displays this choice in action. In Quebec 1989 Chantal Daigle became pregnant and wanted to abort the baby as she did not feel ready or capable of being a parent but her boyfriend Mr. Tremblay tried to get a court ordered injunction to prevent her from doing just that. His plea was dismissed in the Supreme Court and it became known to all that the father has no legal rights in a mother’s abortion decision, and a fetus is not a person under Quebec law it holds no rights.
From this case we can see that a woman’s rights override the rights of a fetus, if it is considered to have any. Women can’t be condemned for abortion because they aren’t doing anything wrong other than fighting for their rights as they’ve done for so many years. People should “not judge the choices others make,” (Piehl, 2007) as many “people say that women who have abortions do so for selfish reasons” (Piehl, 2007) but usually they’re wrong as It’s out of love. Many who “endure the pain of abortion do so to provide the quality of arenting they want for their children that they already have, to ensure financial security or to complete education. (Piehl, 2007) When viewed from this perspective we can see that when a woman gets an abortion she is doing so because she wants the best for her child.
Why bring a child into a world where you cannot properly provide for them? From this we can see why abortion can be a good thing and why it should remain legal. “Between 1926 and 1947, 4000 to 6000 Canadian women died as a result of bungled illegal abortions. (Arthur, 1999) This was due to the lack of resources used by the people conducting the procedure. This in its self, shows us that women are going to dominate their bodies whether it is legal or not, so the best thing to do would be to keep it legal so a safer and cleaner procedure can be offered. “Childbirth itself is also unusually painful…it is hazardous to women’s health and indeed their lives. ” (Tooley, 2009) To make a women go through the exquisite pain of childbirth when she may not be ready to mother a child is quite cruel.
There are many different procedures for abortion, but all have to be done with care or the life of the mother is put at risk. We need to keep abortions legal so that doctors can be adequately trained in the different procedures and fewer Canadian women will die as a result. A wise man once said “The state has no business in the bedrooms of the nation” in reference to abortion. (Arthur, 1999) Though abortion was illegal up until quite recently we should keep it that way.
To take away someone’s choice about their bodies is an infringement on human rights, and the fetus has no rights as it is not a person. We also have to understand that with such a big issue, even if it was made illegal people would continue to do it, so we may as well have them doing it in a safe manner. Abortion is quite a controversial issue in Canada, and all over the world but it should remain legal in Canada because we all need to have a choice, whether it is believed to be moral or immoral is irrelevant; we, as human beings need to have the option to make a choice and live with the decision.