Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Why Canada Needs An Abortion Policy

In this essay Joseph C. Ben-Ami shows how out of step Canada is with the international community on the subject of abortion and explains how, moral and ethical issues aside, the lack of a coherent policy in Canada is seriously undermining practical efforts to control a re-emerging eugenics industry and end discriminatory practices such as gender-selection abortion.
From a biological point of view, individual human life begins at conception. This is not a moral argument, but a scientific fact. There may be those who argue that a microscopic cluster of cells cannot reasonably be called human, and that therefore “human life” cannot be said to begin until sometime later in fetal development, but this objection has more to do with the philosophical question of what is human life, rather than the empirical question when does human life commence. Even then, all agree that “human life” begins at the latest when a fetus becomes viable, i.e. capable of survival outside of its mother’s womb. The point is that there is virtually no dispute regarding the value (in contrast to rights) of a fetus as an individual human being, albeit in the early stages of growth and development.

Society regularly enacts laws to protect things of value when it is deemed in the public interest to do so. To cite a few crude examples, we protect localized wetlands from development even when there is no danger to the survival of any species of wildlife or threat of significant damage to the environment. We protect privately owned buildings to preserve the heritage of our cities. We even protect trees on private property to preserve the character of individual neighbourhoods – all in the name of public interest. Why not unborn children? Surely an unborn child is at least as valuable to society as a frog in a local swamp or a brick fa├žade on an old building?
(Published on the Canadian Centre for Policy Studies website.)

No comments: