No one is more frustrated with the incredible political incompetence of the Canadian pro-life movement than pro-lifers such as I.
A lady friend of mine who has been quite active with Campaign Life Coalition in the past has said that the pro-life movement in Canada, as an organization, keeps failing because of its passive-aggressive tendencies.
The darling little old ladies, as she calls them, shy away from the rough political horse-trading and shock tactics with potential supporters and against their opponents, whereas they will turn quite viciously against their own supporters whenever they suggest changing the overly polite tactics that have failed time and again for the past thirty years.
Think of the campaign (the name of which eludes me) that goes around to university campuses and other public venues showing full-colour pictures of aborted unborn children?
Upsetting? Divisive? Yes. But the shock value has forced people to see what abortion's ultimate effects are. It provokes thought and debate. Yet the Canadian pro-life movement shies away from such tactics, as a whole. And thus the graphic reality of abortion disappears under a fog of euphemisms, and the whole bloody business carries on unimpeded.
Perhaps the best examples of the passive-aggressive tendencies that bedevil the pro-life movement in Canada are being played out on Free Dominion , where it seems that vocal pro-lifers are threatening to abandon the Conservative Party of Canada en masse following the passage of P-93, expressing a vitriol that they should be saving for their opponents.
To go where, exactly?
Do they seriously think that the Liberal Party will be any more receptive to their views? The Liberal Party began appointing candidates by the truckload, from the '93 election onward, simply to prevent pro-life candidates from being nominated through irs own democratic process. The Liberal Party has castrated its own pro-life caucus quite nicely, keeping a few around for window-dressing, as long as they don't actually express their opinions within or without.
What of the Christian Heritage Party? An evangelical Protestant party seems a rather incongruous place for a movement dominated by Catholics. (See for yourself at the CHP website ; a more accurate name would be the Dutch Reformed Heritage Party.)
To abandon the public square entirely? The entire pro-abortion movement, from Dr. Henry Morgentaler to LEAF, would love nothing more. If anything, it would embolden the pro-aborts to push for its ultimate aim: the legalization of forced abortion on whatever spurious medical or eugenic grounds it can find.
P-93 is a disappointment, but it is not cast in stone forever. There is still a significant pro-life base in the party that can be built on. Public opinion, though not pro-life in the main, is decidedly against the current absence of any law on abortion. The "social peace" that currently exists on the issue is an artificial one that will not endure forever, perhaps not for much longer, as medical science and biotechnology raise new issues that keep touching on the definition of human life.
To abandon the field now is not an act of conscience.
It is cowardice.