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Canada’s abortion laws are misguided

By  Robert Adragna, Youth Speak News
  • May 27, 2016

Justin Trudeau’s Liberals captivated Canadians during last year’s election campaign with its vision to create a new Canada — a humanitarian Canada focused on making the world a more optimistic and equal place. But in its good-natured desire for rapid change, the government’s efforts to protect the dignity of the human person have been misguided. 

Last week, the Canadian government removed a ban forbidding countries from using federal foreign aid money for abortion. Under the Harper government, the funds were orginally allotted for a specific list of approved healthcare initiatives, which did not include abortion. The Liberals now plan to exert less control over the money’s distribution, allowing each recipient country to assign funds based on its individual legal framework and healthcare priorities.

Louis Belanger, a spokesperson for the Minister of International Development, said, “We believe that programming decisions on these matters should be driven by evidence and outcomes, not ideology.”

Belanger is absolutely correct in his sentiments that scientific medical decisions must be evidence driven. But abortion isn’t merely a scientific decision. It is also an ethical decision and an extremely poignant one given its influence on human life. 

Thus, I think it is essential that society makes a collective, correct choice on whether this practice is admissible. Opinions of some who argue that, in the words of Gleyma Lima of The Huffington Post, “If you don’t like the idea of abortion, don’t get one” rather flippant. It trivializes a serious dilemma. Applying this logic, why not also affirm that “If you don’t like the idea of theft, don’t steal” or “If you don’t like the idea of murder, don’t kill”?

The moment conception happens is the moment in which a human being is conceived. That zygote is part of the family of God’s children with its own soul and special relationship with the Creator. Its lack of bodily features and cellular scale does not preclude Catholics from loving it as a brother or sister, as Jesus called us to love the entire human family. Abortion is akin to the killing of an innocent human being, which all can agree is absolutely wrong. 

When Canadian Catholics see its government support this practice in foreign countries, our hearts reach out to those unborn children. 

Compassion, above all, is at the heart of the Catholic response to abortion. It is not a misogynistic response, attempting to suppress the rights of women by demanding that they carry an unjust burden. It isn’t a fascist one either, working to oppressively restrict the freedom of choice. Rather, it is a response that merely tries to love and care for all human beings. 

As the abortion debate continues in the public square, it is essential that this respect for life remains central to any decisions that we as a society make.

(Adragna, 17, is a Grade 12 student at Bishop Allen Academy in Toronto.)

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