In the May 17, 2012 edition of the Hamilton Mountain News I wrote the following letter:
Title: Encouraging to see number of Right to Life marchers
"On May 10, I had the privilege of joining with thousands of Canadians on Parliament Hill in the annual March for Life. The march organizers, Campaign Life Coalition, estimate there were 19,500 attendees - an encouraging amount of Canadians who would make the trek to Ottawa on a weekday.
There were people from different faiths and backgrounds, young and old alike and from all over the province, including guest speakers from across the country.
I'm thankful to live in a country where I can speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves.
As we move forward in the fight for justice for all, I would encourage Canadians to investigate for themselves the reality behind abortion in Canada.
There are currently zero laws regarding abortion in Canada; please look at www.weneedalaw.ca to learn more. The fact that we are the only country in the Western world without abortion legislation is shameful.
We must commend leaders such as MP Stephen Woodworth for refusing to sit back, but instead leading the way for justice for all Canadians."
Last week (May 31), there was a rebuttal letter:
Title: Keep your religious beliefs to yourself
"I write in response to letters in the May 17 Mountain News in support of anti-abortionists.
If the question of a woman's right to control her body through abortion were ever to be debated in the federal parliament it would surely be under the aegis of a Conservative government.
I quote the words of Tory Whip Gordon O'Connor in the Commons recently: 'Whether one accepts it or not, abortion is and always will be part of society. There will always be dire situations where some women may have to choose the option of abortion. It cannot be eliminated. I cannot understand why those adamantly opposed to abortion want to impose their belief on others by way of the Criminal Code.'
If you wish, counsel your families and those in your religious community against abortion. However, religion in Canada is a private matter. No citizen has any business telling another what to do or believe in moral or religious matters.
Where these overlap within the legal sphere, the law rules where one exists. There is no longer a law governing abortion in Canada, just as there is no longer legalized slavery or legalized exclusion of women from voting.
That situation is not going to change under a Conservative government or one under any other party." -D.S. Fawcett
DEAR FRIENDS...I implore you, please do not sit idly by, please speak up! I would greatly appreciate letters of support written to the editor of the Hamilton News (email@example.com)
I make the following comments about the follow-up letter:
- I did not use the term anti-abortionists - that is a phrase that has been attributed to pro-life advocates as a way of casting our point of view in a negative light. Our frame of reference does not begin as "anti" anything, but rather, "pro" or "for" life. We have also been called anti-choice.
- Debate - the author seems to think that the mere thought of a debate is appalling. I find it appalling that we claim to live in a democratic state and we cannot have a civilized conversation (read: debate) about the sanctity of life. If we cannot debate, how can we claim to have equal representation in Parliament?
- I did not use religion as an argument - the author of the follow-up letter refers to the "letters in the May 17 Mountain News in support of anti-abortionists" - there were 2 letters and neither of which made a reference to religion. My letter was written specifically from a moral perspective in order to advocate for life, not for any one religion's perspective on life.
- Moral matters - the author claims "no citizen has any business telling another what to do or believe in moral or religious matters". My problem with this statement is that if this is to be taken literally, then laws should cease to exist. If no one has any right to tell someone else what to do in moral matters, then laws are wrong. People like Luka Magnotta who recently killed and dismembered his boyfriend should be allowed to go free - because no one has any business telling him that was wrong. This may seem like an extreme response, but I think the author did not think about the extreme ramifications his or her stance would have in society.
- Note the quote "there is no longer legalized slavery" - I found the wording of the author interesting, s/he would admit through their writing that slavery does still exist, just that it is no longer endorsed by society. If we understand that things that were previously held as incorrect (i.e. legalizing slavery, forbidding women from voting, viewing certain members of society as sub-human - negroes, Jews, women), we should be able to learn from that, that perhaps because society subscribes to a particular mindset, does not make it correct.
Now I ask you friends - what are your thoughts? Some of you agree with the pro-life movement, others the pro-choice movement. My question is specifically targeted at the two letters above. Is my response correct? Will any of you write a letter to counter D.S. Fawcett's letter of May 31