Well, Canada, what now?

So, the Liberals stood up Canadian women for a pink party at Stornoway.  The NDP has a turncoat who needs to be removed from the party.  And the anti-choice crowd is partying like they have not partied since before the Morgentaler decision of 1988.  Me, I don’t feel too festive.

I am angry.  I am angry with Parliament, for all the stupidity they’ve engaged in over the past 2+ years, but exceedingly so for this latest attack on women.  It could send a woman into a tailspin.  Fortunately, I’m stronger than that and have bounced back quickly and with more gusto than before.  I am angry with myself, too, for not taking seriously this attack by the anti-choicers, for not catching the pattern of Harper’s attacks.  Never underestimate Steve Harper is the lesson I have learned here.  He is as mean and scary as they come.

So, peeps, what’s next?  How do we take back what is being taken from us?  How do we take back our democracy?

A Celebratory Kind of Day!

Today is the day that replaced Imbolc, an ancient celebration of the goddess, Brighid. Imbolc marks the midpoint between the Winter Solstice and the Vernal Equinox. Today is the Feast Day of the Purification of the Blessed Virgin Mary.  And, today is the birth day of Birth Pangs!

Last year, a group of “radical,” “militant” and “feminazi” feminists who hang out at the Bread and Roses discussion boards launched Birth Pangs, an irreverent and relevant blog that keeps a close eye on the anti-choice, aka fetus fetishist, aka compulsory pregnancy, aka zygote zealot crowd. Demonstrating that feminists do, indeed, have a sense of humour, Birth Pangs sheds a slightly satirical light on the ludicrous, illogical and just plain ridiculous arguments and ideas of those who would have women barefooted, pregnant and back in the kitchen.

Pop by for a visit. Stop in and say hi. And don’t worry, the feminists don’t bite. (Well, not very hard, anyway!)

And here’s an Imbolc poem, a gift to the scruffy band of feminists who dare to challenge and inspire.

Horoscope: Ground Hog Day

Brighid, ancient Hag,
in winter brings new life,
kindles sacred fires to melt Earth’s blanket.

She travels with you, as long ago
when she moved among Galatians and Brigantians.
Long before Patrick danced green among the Celts
Brighid quickened life.

Old Brighid, young Maiden, Mother, Crone
hides within Christianity’s cloak, blessing houses
with candles blessed at Candlemas, the cross-quarter feast day
to celebrate winter’s passing halfway through,
her fires lighting houses, whole communities.

Sainte Brighid, even after decanonization,
even after her fires were snuffed, still
lives. Christianity celebrates the purification
of their blessed virgin, Mary. A ground hog
carried Brighid’s memory across an ocean.

© 2008 BW

Proudly Prochoice

Celebrate 20 years of choiceThe 1988 Supreme Court of Canada’s Decision on R. v. Morgentaler, the decision which struck down Canada’s old abortion law, is a document well worth the time it takes to read. It provides the historical context for there being no new abortion law in Canada and it clarifies why men need to keep their laws off women’s bodies.

Chief Justice Brian Dickson, in the Majority Report, said:

Section 251 clearly interferes with a woman’s physical and bodily integrity. Forcing a woman, by threat of criminal sanction, to carry a fetus to term unless she meets certain criteria unrelated to her own priorities and aspirations, is a profound interference with a woman’s body and thus an infringement of security of the person.Canada Celebrates 20 Years of Choice

I’m celebrating that part today. And I’m celebrating the part by the late Justice Bertha Wilson who wrote a Minority Report which took the decision of the Majority even further. She said:

This decision is one that will have profound psychological, economic and social consequences for the pregnant woman. The circumstances giving rise to it can be complex and varied and there may be, and usually are, powerful considerations militating in opposite directions. It is a decision that deeply reflects the way the woman thinks about herself and her relationship to others and to society at large. It is not just a medical decision; it is a profound social and ethical one as well. Her response to it will be the response of the whole person.

It is probably impossible for a man to respond, even imaginatively, to such a dilemma not just because it is outside the realm of his personal experience … but because he can relate to it only by objectifying it, thereby eliminating the subjective elements of the female psyche which are at the heart of the dilemma.

So there ya have it! A w00t! for Wilson! A w00t! for Morgentaler! And a w00t! for prochoicers everywhere!

Now let’s get this problem of access to the procedure sorted, please.

I’m pro-choice and I vote

Blog for Choice DayI type this in support of the US choice movement, now celebrating 35 years since the Roe v. Wade decision.  I would hope that in the upcoming presidential election in the USA that voters vote for the candidate who is decidedly pro-choice on the matter of reproductive freedom.  Reproductive freedoms are women’s rights and women’s rights are human rights.

Unused Utes Unite

If BP says so, it must be true!

So, on Sunday be sure to celebrate

International Day of the Unused Uterus

To commemorate the International Day of the Unused Uterus, there will be candlelight vigils at maternity wards around the world. Demonstrators will symbolically shut their vaginas by applying an X made of duct tape to the crotch of their pants. (Heavy denim recommended.)

Please take part in the International Day of the Unused Uterus: she is counting on you to speak up for her!

Blog for Choice

Women bloggers from the USA have issued a call inviting bloggers worldwide to mark today, January 22, 2007, as a day to blog for choice. Tell us and your readers, they say, why you’re pro-choice.

coathangerFor me, that’s an easy job. I am pro-choice because I believe reproductive freedom is a human right. If women are to ever be equal participants at all levels of society, then the freedom to reproduce at a time of her choosing, or not at all, is entirely up to the individual woman, and not her husband, her family, her government, her doctor, her church, her god(dess).

E. May Back-peddling

Elizabeth May does not *get* it! She’s blown it for the Greens!

I am one who worked towards women’s reproductive freedom in the 80’s. I rejoiced in Justice Bertha Wilson’s words in the Supreme Court decision that overturned the Criminal Code of Canada restrictions on abortion in 1988. I am greatly disheartened that May and the Green Party of Canada have re-opened this issue. Though they spout a (weak) pro-choice policy, they — and May, in particular — appear to have no respect for my right to control my body.
Furthermore, try as she might to do otherwise in in her response to Rebick, May makes a religious argument, not a moral one. And Canada, thank goodness, has managed to keep the Church and the State separate. Shouldn’t we try to keep it that way?

I have to wonder if the socially conservative will ever find peace. Is it not clear that so long as we have a society where children are considered a liability, where women are abused and mistreated simply because they are women, where the wages for parking lot attendants are more than childcare workers, where isms abound, there can be no discussion around abortion?
May’s talk to the Catholic nuns, it seems to me, was nothing more than politicking, vote-grabbing. Now she’s back-peddling. And, by recording her talk and broadcasting it, the Green Party of Canada has opened their doors to social Conservatives looking for a new home. Even more politicking and vote-grabbing. And, as always, it’s on the backs of women, at the expense of hard-won women’s rights.
I am appalled, not only with May, but also with myself, for thinking that she could make a difference for women in Canada, for thinking I could support the Green Party of Canada. Hah! It’s just more of the same-old, same-old.

Well, until you turn to the provincial Greens where the Leader, Sandra Finley, is a pro-choice feminist, no ifs, ands, buts, or maybes about it.

Why Canada Needs the NDP

First, the comments that follow are focused on the federal wing of the New Democratic Party.  The federal and provincial wings are two very different kettles of fish!

Second, I’ve tried to stay out of the flak going on in the blogosphere and in the media about the NDP.  The party, like all organizations of human beings, has issues.  And, truth be told, I have serious concerns about the strategies, communications policy and messaging of the NDP since before the last election.  It’s as though the inner circle has lost touch with the grassroots — not the Party’s grassroots, but the grassroots from which Leader Jack Layton comes.  The sense I get is that rude children are running the show and that’s not good for the Leader, for the Party or for Canada.  I would urge Jack to ground into his roots as an activist and lead from there.

Third, in light of all this, The Jurist over at Accidental Deliberations has invited responses to Why Canada needs the NDP?  And it’s a good question, one I’ve pondered all day.  My answer for me is simple. Canada needs the NDP because it is the only federal political party that recognizes a woman’s fundamental right to reproductive choice.  Not only that, it will insist that all New Democratic Members of Parliament toe the line when the issue is addressed by the House of Commons.

Suffice it to say that Canada needs the NDP because Canadian women can count on the NDP to stand up and be counted when it matters.