Canada has had no abortion laws for some 31 years now. When U.S. vice president Mike Pence visited Canada last week, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau made a point of raising the abortion issue with him by expressing his concern over women’s access to abortion in certain U.S. states. Many observers thought this inappropriate, given that the purpose of Pence’s visit was to promote the new trade deal between the two countries.
With recent changes to abortion laws in some American jurisdictions, a debate long thought settled is clearly not so. What has become clear after years of abortion’s availability is that it has not cured the social ills it was expected to solve.
A relatively unique characteristic of the abortion debate is that, while the issue has its extremely polarized opponents (who favor a total prohibition of abortion) and proponents (who want free abortions on demand), most people do not find themselves in either of these two camps. For most people, the availability of abortion is acceptable under certain conditions and not acceptable under other conditions.
Where one draws the line on abortion can be an extremely complicated consideration, taking into account many factors beyond the procedure itself.
What is not helpful is the inaccurate information surrounding the recent changes to abortion laws, the nature of abortion itself, and the assumed incompatibility with regard to being ‘pro life’ or ‘pro choice.’ Worse, there is still a great amount of confusion with regard to the very definitions of words and terms like ‘life,’ ‘rights,’ ‘person,’ ‘individual,’ ‘fetus,’ ‘embryo,’ ‘informed consent,’ ‘morality,’ and other terms necessary to be able to view the issue in an objective light.
The abortion debate is a perpetual one, regardless of existing or lacking legislation. The best that can be hoped for in any attempt to reconcile varying views and convictions on the matter of abortion is to ensure that the facts and moral issues involved are made clear and precise. Informed opinion and informed consent are essential. However, even if this goal can be reached, it is unrealistic to expect that any abortion legislation will be regarded as being Just Right for all concerned.
PROGRAMMING NOTE: Just Right will be taking a brief holiday break for the balance of June, but will return with all new episodes again in July when our regular scheduled weekly programs will resume.