For weeks now, national news organizations have been breathlessly covering a handful of abortion advocates referring to themselves as “reproductive freedom fighters” and their fight to bring abortion access to Prince Edward Island. The Guardian, the Globe and Mail, The National Post, and the CBC are all eagerly quoting every word uttered by the abortion advocates, excited to finally have protestors on the “pro-choice” side of the issue with things to say. However, CBC News inadvertently published an article citing complaints from these Prince Edward Island abortion advocates which interestingly debunks two of the abortion movement’s central claims.
The article is entitled “Group demands information on abortion rights,” and states that “Pro-choice advocates on P.E.I. say a lack of information is one of the reasons the province’s abortion rate is less than half the national average.” The article further cites the fact that “the national average shows that in 2008 for every 100 live births, there were 25 abortions. On P.E.I. the figure is just under 10.”
First, the greatest myth that abortion advocates try to disseminate is proven false: That if direct access to abortion is denied, the abortion rate will stay the same, abortion businesses will go underground, and women will die miserably in the hands of back alley butchers. It is, by far, leading abortion advocate Joyce Arthur’s favourite mantra: Illegal abortion will cause the deaths of thousands of women!
The abortion rate in Prince Edward Island is less than half of what it is in the rest of Canada, presumably because of the lack of access abortion advocates are so enraged about. Which then proves two points: Restricting access to abortion will lower the abortion rate, in defiance of what abortion advocates claim. And second, women who, according to abortion advocates, have little or no access to abortion are not dying gruesome deaths in back alleys—they are simply finding other alternatives—alternatives that incidentally do not involve dismembering a pre-born child. Where are the coat hangers, Joyce? I see only babies.
The second prominent claim of abortion advocates—that they are “pro-choice” and not “pro-abortion”—also collapses feebly beneath the weight of their quoted complaints on CBC News. Consider this: Abortion advocates constantly trumpet the idea that abortion should be “safe, legal, and rare”—that we all have common ground in wanting to reduce abortions. However, in Prince Edward Island, a place with half the abortion rate of the rest of Canada and no visible negative impact, abortion advocates cite P.E.I.’s low abortion rate as a negative thing that needs to be rectified. There really is no explanation for this besides the simple fact that these activists are not pro-choice—they are pro-abortion.
We in the pro-life movement can learn much from the Prince Edward Island situation. First, taking direct action and confronting the culture to address an issue—as the abortion advocates of P.E.I. are doing—does attract attention and can result in a change. Second, restricting access to abortion—even if making it completely illegal is politically untenable for the time—can do exactly what pro-lifers want: Lower the abortion rate. And third, the rhetoric of those attempting to shield a mass grave of pre-born corpses from the public eye once again turns out to be demonstrably false, and obviously so. So much for the coat hanger.