One marvels at the apt timing of writer Ted Cox, who on Friday the 16th will talk about his experiences with the Pro-Life movement at the Surrey City Centre Library. Family planning really is the talk of the town these days, and by town, I suppose I mean the entire continent. Those reading about the Republican race might think, perhaps, of Rick Santorum’s campaign and its deflection of discourse toward social conservatism (at the expense of pressing economic concerns). Others might be reminded of far-right polemicist and radio-ranter Rush Limbaugh’s “slut” comment, directed at law student Sandra Fluke for suggesting that contraception is woefully underavailable despite its strong role in quality of life in the United States (which his dinosaurian mind took to be an endorsement of casual sex; The HuffPo responds).
You needn’t, however, go south of the border for news if this is your sort of drama; it’s becoming increasingly apparent that Canada has more in common with our southern neighbours that we admit. Despite Harper’s early promises not to bring the abortion issue forward despite his personal beliefs (one might cynically suggest this was before the Conservatives had a majority), plans are under way for the House of Commons to discuss the Criminal Code definition of “human being” relative to birth and conception, beginning in April. Adding to this the recent news of parents being forced to give their babies up for adoption, we must acknowledge that we as a nation are not immune to grave issues with family planning.
To what extent is family planning important? Perhaps it’s more answerable to ask to what extent family planning is not important. If our kids have their essential educational and life needs met, then already we have the foundation for a happy and healthy society. What countries can truly meet the needs of all their children, whose women cannot even say “no” to their husbands, let alone access contraception? What happens to the children who fall through the cracks as a consequence of this egregious and destructive lack of liberty?
It would be an understatement to say that women’s lib is an integral and central aspect to humanism, but to say its central to civilization as a whole? No, that would be an understatement as well.