In response to Mayor DeVlieger’s rhetorical question “What can you have against life?”
I have nothing against life. I do, however, have strong feelings against the ideology and the tactics of Taber Pro-Life. I do not think this is a view shared by only a few individuals, either. I support women. I support our autonomy over our own bodies. A woman has rights, which are the same as all rights of people from birth to death. After death, a person still has right to autonomy of the body- organs can not be harvested without that person previously giving consent. We can not believe a woman’s right to her own person is less before than after death. From billboards to annual banquet (with a large write up in the Taber Times) to a booth at Cornfest to the cemetery, Taber Pro Life has a visible, palpable presence. And the October “Chain of Life” is coming up. These activities fill me with dread, and anger. I don’t see any effort to reduce unwanted pregnancy. They are all seemingly aimed at shaming/ persuading women to not have abortion after becoming pregnant. Or trying to persuade the average citizen that it is up to us to do something to police what women can or cannot do.
I have seen in my own practice some of the negative influence Pro Life activity can have, on boys and girls, men and women. Shame, fear, guilt. Not one woman, having continued a pregnancy or having had an abortion, ever felt she had made the wrong decision. All were in dread of how others might feel about them, now that the decision was made. That is not affirming life. I am not putting up any benches or billboards. But I will stand up in October, in support of women. I believe she is capable of deciding what she will and will not do with her own body. And it is up to all of us to ensure she has the freedom to do so.