Support the Pro-Choice Movement
March 8, 2013
Being an ally is important. It signals that you are willing to support a cause that may fall outside your own group’s self-interest recognizing that there are other issues that matter and are worth spending time on. This is why I’m encouraging atheist/sceptic movements to get out there and show their support for the pro-choice movement.
You are likely aware that this is International Women’s Week. While the Women’s Centre here at the University of Waterloo has been hosting a number of events recognizing this fact, today (March 7, 2013) saw a pro-life fair taking place at the campus Student Life Centre. The event is an annual one and the gist of it is that pro-lifers come to campus, put up signs saying things like “Women Do Regret Abortion” and “Men Regret Lost Fatherhood”, and hand out pamphlets spreading myths about abortion. Suffice it to say, a pro-life event during International Women’s Week is a low move. When I think of “International Women’s Week”, I don’t think “time to have an event that at its core is about restricting the rights of women and imposing controls over their bodies”. Something local Conservative Member of Parliament Stephen Woodworth seems to be interested in doing.
For the American readers, and anyone in Canada that may not know, Woodworth came under the national spotlight when he tried to push Motion 312 through Parliament. The purpose of this motion was to examine when life begins. Woodworth made some wishy-washy “scientific” arguments for why we should have this debate, but many, rightfully, saw this as backdoor attempt to reopen the abortion debate in Canada. Another tidbit for the American readers: There are no legal restrictions on abortion on Canada though the stigma surrounding it doesn’t mean things are as simple as walking into any clinic to get one.
Woodworth is returning to the University of Waterloo to speak about his experiences in the pro-life movement and Motion 312. His presence wasn’t welcome at the university before and won’t be now. This is where I encourage fellow atheists at UW to join in with the efforts being taken to protest this visit. Sceptics should take their time to look over common abortion myths, and work at coming up with information to properly inform others.
Now, this post has been made specifically for the current events happening here at UW, but atheists/sceptics across Canada and the U.S. should take time to support their local pro-choice movements, as I’m sure many already are, and make it clear that we will not accept efforts to restrict women’s rights.
About the Author: Chris BurkeChris Burke holds a Bachelors in Environmental Studies: Honours Environment and Business from the University of Waterloo. Next he will be working towards a Masters of Environmental Studies in Sustainability Management. He's an active member of the Atheists, Agnostics, and Freethinkers of Waterloo student group. In his spare time he enjoys reading and playing music.
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