Mallick: Hudak may get skewered on the abortion issue

 

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JUNE 27, 2009 - Supporters cheer as Tim Hudak hears the voting result as he wins the PC Party of Ontario leadership this afternoon. With him are wife Debbie and daughter Miller, 20 months. Tony Bock/Toronto Star

By Terrance Gavan – HN.ca Politics

The poop and scoop from Heather Mallick’s Tor Star article regarding Ontario Conservative leader Tim WhoDat’s thoughts on the abortion issue.

Mallick says that WhoDat will, when pressed on the abortion issue, fall on his sword. Is WhoDat dat literal? Dat unimaginative? Probably. He is after all a good friend of our own Barry Devolin. Who chose to duck this pricky sojourn down the River Styx whenever possible. And the good rural populus of Brock-Haliburton-Kawartha are a god-fearin’ bunch for the most part. So it really didn’t take much ring management for Devolin to scamper midst the thistles like the energizer bunny on pro-buteral horse pills. And Stevie Wonderhair Surprise cleared the decks on the issue before the campaign.

So, we watched Devolin duck and dive through the abortion thingy, and come away with a resounding plurality. But Mallick is right. WhoDat is fighting this scrum on the hustings in Toronto, Ottawa, Hamilton and other urban centers. It will be an issue. But will it define this October writ?

Hard to determine. Probably not. But Mallick and other pundits have to earn their tenured tuppence. So have at it I say.

We’re in the midst of one of the most glorious summers we’ve ever experienced here in Ontario. Heat alerts but no smog? Sir Hard Haired Harper has already promised the women of Canada no revisiting of the bi-polaresque abortion debate. Ontario hunters will once again be free to stock their gun chests willy nilly with all type of unregistered firearms. YAY! I want a Remington Over Under for Christmas daddy! Please. Please. “Sure Joey.”

“We’ll keep this between you and me. Down low. No paperwork and don’t you dare tell your mommy!” Oh!!!! Santa!!!

But we digress.

Is abortion still an issue that can decide an election in Ontario?

Or are there more important Luddite utensils driving this campaign?

To wit: Dalton MacGuillicutty seems incapable of directing a Liberal party that has lost sight of some of its prime directives. Its moral centre as it were. I see a party teetering on the axis of  some moribund social policy and the demands of Bay Street economics.

Balderdash. Zounds and eoiks! Unfetter those fecking hounds of war. Sooner than later. We’re hungry for battle and it’s a good day to die! But sadly. The buses are on standby for the nonce and the only election rhetoric? Foggery and piss from pundits.

But I like this piece by Mallick. Would WhoDat fall on that sword? I’m pretty sure that he’ll try to duck it. But if pressed? He’ll have to come clean. And we know he sits in his good friend Barry Devolin’s lap on this issue. They both find abortion repugnant. If WhoDat was smart he’d run a Hard Hair Harper by the lickspit pundits. Simply wave it off.

I think Mallick’s right though. He won’t. And unlike Devolin he’s got to appeal to urban not rural sensibilities if he plans to win this election.

Mallick wrote:

Ontario Conservative Leader Tim Hudak says he “may have” signed a petition to end abortion funding in Ontario. I’m not clear whether he doesn’t remember or just wishes he hadn’t signed the damn thing.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper is always hissing at his rural MPs that the government is not touching the abortion issue right now so enough already. I think this means that he will indeed reopen the issue after the next election, which may be his final term.

But that’s the problem when politicians won’t tell you what they think and fudge on what they’re going to do. You immediately think the worst. And as a fighter for women’s rights in an era that has pushed them to the side, I can tell you that the worst is generally what’s on the road map.

Hudak thinks it’s sufficient to promise he won’t reopen the debate on abortion rights, although such a debate is not occurring in Ontario and the fact that he thinks it is says a lot about his views.

Hudak can’t run away from this issue and he shouldn’t try. He has to be honest and have the courage to say what he believes. Premier Dalton McGuinty, on the other hand, says he supports a woman’s right to choose. Good for him.

A politician’s promise means nothing, especially since Hudak has to answer to a hard-right caucus that may well demand that since abortion can’t be banned, women seeking abortions must be tormented.

You see, there are many things a province can do to put abortion out of reach for many women. You have to violate the Canada Health Act to do it, but New Brunswick and P.E.I. are willing to do that. Why? Because they can.

The Canada Health Act says that women can’t be singled out to be abandoned. The Supreme Court of Canada allows abortions as they would any other medical procedure. But the province can still encourage the restriction of teaching abortion techniques to young doctors.

In fact, the lack of training in this field is rapidly becoming a problem. Hospitals can quietly cut back on the number of abortions they do. Clinics can have their provincial money cut off.

Abortion is a life-and-death issue for women, meaning that women will do anything to get that abortion. If you have money, you can go out of province. Actually, if you have enough money, you can do anything you please.

But we’re talking about teenagers here, desperate women, rape victims who don’t want to go to the cops, poor women who don’t have the busfare to get to a clinic in the first place, victims of incest who can’t turn to their own families for help, women who would rather die than give birth.

Such women exist, although they don’t get space to write about their personal hell on this page.

The story about Hudak signing the petition emerged on a blog by a smart woman who keeps an eye on things. She noticed that Hudak’s stance, or lack of one, was reported on the ARPA website.

I’m sorry I missed it but I thought it was an Association of Retired People. But it was the Association for Reformed Political Action, which the Star reported is a group that “aims to make members of reformed churches more a part of public debate.” Fine. What troubled me is that the group’s executive director, Mark Penninga, didn’t think the mention on his website, while accurate, was newsworthy.

The blogger “had a chip on his/her shoulder,” Penninga said.

And yes, she did. But what he and Hudak and Harper should understand is that abortion is not a “chip” on a woman’s shoulder, it is her body and her life, her internal sanctity and her choice.

I am warning those who want Canadian women to lose their right to abortion that this will not be a skirmish. It lives in the hearts of girls and women. We will fight you on this.

Ahhhhhh. Election fever!

Catch it.

And come here for your best election coverage in Haliburton County and beyond!

gav@pardontheeruption.com and twitter.com/terrancegavan[/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]