By Michael Coren

In an ongoing series, National Post writers are being asked a simple question: If you had the power to change a single thing about Canada, what would it be? In today’s instalment, Michael Coren argues that Canada’s lack of an abortion law is a national disgrace.

It is tragically ironic that the most vital and profound issue facing this country is considered by many of its citizens and most of its establishment to be at best irrelevant and at worst a dangerous digression championed by zealots. The issue is, of course, abortion. And Canada is almost unique in the civilized world in having no abortion law at all. In other words, any unborn child can be aborted and in most of the country the taxpayer will finance the procedure.

Can we, however, genuinely regard ourselves as part of a “civilized world” if we treat our most vulnerable with such indifference? What is supposed to be the safest place for a human being — the womb — has been transformed into a slaughterhouse for humanity, with more than 100,000 abortions in Canada each year.

The biting hypocrisy of Canada’s attitude toward the unborn was demonstrated particularly clearly last week when it emerged that a Winnipeg woman had been murdered in February for refusing to have an abortion. Even though the general and natural response was to regard this crime as being especially repugnant, and as the taking of two lives, her killer cannot be charged with double homicide. Instead of simply intellectualizing the instinctive and accepting the self-evident truth of unborn life, we twist and turn to deny what we know to be true.

If, for example, an obviously pregnant women sat in a bar smoking heavily and drinking profusely, the reaction would be one of disgust. If the same woman told friends that she wanted an abortion, the reaction would often be entirely supportive.

The inconsistency applies equally with dis-ability-based abortion. Our country boasts that it cares deeply for the handicapped, yet provides

publicly funded testing so that handicapped children can be aborted. The gene for Downs Syndrome was discovered by a man who thought it would help us to prepare for Downs babies and improve their lives. Instead, it’s being used to commit a form of pre-birth genocide on some of the most innocent, loving and beautiful people on Earth. Leave your car in a handicapped parking spot and you’ll be fined. Abort your handicapped child and you’ll receive government financing.

Some of the contradictions around the subject are acutely political. The Canadian feminist movement has campaigned obsessively for abortion rights but now finds itself in a quandary because so many female unborn babies are being selectively aborted in the developing world.

We swim against the tide of natural law and pretend that life is not life and killing not killing. With the help of overwhelming propaganda from the media, the entertainment industry, activists and politicians, an artificial world has been constructed.

But we still know that it’s not tissue, it’s not a fetus, it’s not an accident and it’s not unwanted. Most of all, it’s not about “choice.” The right to choose implies that the equation involves one person. It doesn’t. A baby is a separate being, accepted by science as being unique at conception. It has its own distinct DNA, its own genomic character. At 12 weeks, an unborn baby is complete. It matures but nothing new develops. A toddler is different from an unborn child only to the extent a teenager is different from a seven-year-old. In other words, it is always a person. With inalienable rights and privileges.

The fact that it is dependant on its mother while in the womb is irrelevant. A newborn baby is also dependant on an adult to feed it and keep it alive. So for that matter are the seriously ill and the aged.

We have allowed the cult of the self to blind our vision of what is good and bad, right and wrong. Choice has become taste, sexual love has become appetite, people have become disposable. Unless we allow the weakest to be born we are denying what underpins the very compassion, fairness and progress we claim to admire. Some rights are more important than others and none is more sacred than the right to life.

-Michael Coren is a broadcaster and author.

© National Post, October 26, 2007. Reprinted with permission.