My friend and Professor Margaret Somerville replies to Joyce Arthurs , who contends the abortion debate is over. I have news for you Joyce, its not. The pro life movement will not be silenced. Read the Supreme Court decision in Regina vs morgentaler. Madame Justice Bertha Wilson stated that the state has an interest in protecting the fetus.
We have a new "Ethics and Religion" curriculum in Quebec public schools and two weeks ago I addressed a class of around 60 educators training to teach this. Likewise, not one of them knew there was no legal prohibition on abortion and were shocked to realize that.
Finally, Arthur writes: "We're well past debating whether pregnant women are entitled to the same human rights as the rest of us. The Supreme Court has ruled several times that they are, which is why fetuses cannot hold competing rights."
It seems that she means by this that fetuses cannot be protected by law.
In fact, all the Supreme Court justices in the Morgentaler case agreed that the state had a valid interest in protecting the fetus, at least after a certain point in pregnancy, and that Parliament had the power to enact law on abortion provided the law was consistent with the Charter of Human Rights and Freedoms.
We all need to keep in mind that good facts are essential for good ethics, and good ethics are essential for good law, and nowhere is that more important than in relation to abortion.