The pro-life fine print
Make no mistake: the Family Coalition Party is as pro-life as it has ever been. They just want to pursue a new direction. In their new party platform, the words “abortion” and “pro-life” never appear. While one assumes that an opposition to abortion is still a part of their rather full slate of social, economic, and energy policies, we are embarrassed by the need to ask if it is. Indeed, their platform leaves us wondering: what is the point of speaking for pro-lifers in a voice so low that no one can hear it?
It is certainly true that being pro-life means many things in addition to opposing abortion – but that is, surely, the sine qua non. That one cannot even infer such a stance from the FCP’s “Life-Respecting Health Care” positions is quite distressing and disappointing. Why does their platform outline ideas on “respect for the environment,” but makes no claims about “respect for the unborn?”
The FCP would insist that they have not changed their message, but merely their emphasis. But a change in emphasis is a change in message. There are always other parties with plans to “deal with bloated government spending.” What pro-life Ontarians need is a party who will raise the pro-life issue when no one else will. The FCP should, therefore, return to – and embrace – its traditional role as the party that has the courage to break the consensus of silence on the most important political issue possible. It should boldly and loudly defend the unborn from legal prenatal infanticide.
There is a lesson in the myth of the “hidden agenda” that mainstream conservative politicians are often accused of harbouring: when a party avoids the abortion issue, it risks losing old friends without making any new ones. The FCP should proclaim its pro-life position in big letters, not hide it in the fine print.