When pro-choice social commentator Camille Paglia wrote that she sanctions "murder" when it is called "abortion," pro-lifers were horrified. They should have cheered.
Her article -- published recently on Salon.com-- only briefly touched on abortion. But the offending comments were made as part of an attention- grabbing one-two punch. Paglia wrote that she is "a firm supporter of abortion rights," but then went on to say: "I have always frankly admitted that abortion is murder, the extermination of the powerless by the powerful … which results in the annihilation of concrete individuals and not just clumps of insensate tissue." Almost every pro-abortion activist lives in a zone where they conceal what abortion really is -- though they know that the procedure involves killing a person each and every time. The difference between them and Paglia is that they don't come out and say it.
For the average Canadian, the whole issue has long been obscured by euphemistic language. "I believe in a woman's right to choose" is the standard eight-word refrain. We can thank Paglia for unpacking that sentence. The "choice" involves choosing the annihilation of concrete individuals at the hands of the powerful. (One pictures an innocent serf being dragged to the gallows under a medieval prince.) The "right" claimed is an absolute authority over another person's body.
Deceptive language makes it too easy to ignore what Canada's abortion-on-demand status quo actually involves: The annihilation of some 100,000 concrete individuals every year. Remind Canadians of this, and most will express opposition -- or at least ambivalence -- to the anything-goes legal status quo.
This is why pro-abortion activists themselves obscure the discourse -- and fear the plain facts on display in a simple ultrasound scan. Shelley Gavigan of Osgoode Hall Law School spoke to this fear at a conference at the University of Toronto this past January when she acknowledged the "dominant ideology" of the unborn child. "If you must acknowledge the discourse of the unborn child," she told the largely pro-choice crowd, "if we must reinsert the vernacular of the unborn into the discourse, [then the] pregnant woman and the unborn child speak with one voice and that voice is hers."
Translation: Those with power can do whatever they want to the powerless.
Since it's election time, let's discuss hidden agendas. Everyone actively engaged in the abortion debate knows what Paglia writes. "My body, my choice" is a fallacy. It's not one body, and killing the innocent is not generally viewed as just another "choice."
To be fair, pro-lifers have not player their hand well, either. Mashing themselves between homemade sandwich boards and roaming the streets outside clinics has only ensured a place on the fringe beside conspiracy theorists adamant that 9/11 was an inside job.
But when influential writers of the pro-abortion persuasion reveal the truth, now that's something people might listen to. Paglia is factually accurate. She comes to a repugnant conclusion, but allows the rest of us to hear the facts and therefore, to truly choose.The same can't be said of most pro-abortion feminists.
Andrea Mrozek is the manager of research at the Institute of Marriage and Family Canada.