[Posted at Bene Diction Blogs On, Dec. 15th, 2010]
Following the defeat of "Roxanne's Law" in the House of Commons earlier today, evangelist Faytene Kryskow writes that she and the other proponents of Roxanne's Law are nothing if not persistent.
In a statement that her lobby group posted on the Internet this evening, Kryskow--I assume she writes on behalf of her group--found it "absolutely stunning" that Harper and his cabinet voted against the proposed law.
But she remains optimistic. "This is not a defeat as much as it is a step on the road to victory..." Kryskow writes.
Her title to her statement, which says that the law was "opposed" not "defeated" in the House gives a clue. Just win the last vote!
But the vote count today would give me pause. If memory serves, when Mulroney's Tories were in power, with healthy majorities, pro-lifers in the House tried, and failed, to pass abortion restrictions based on the term of the pregnancy.
If "Roxanne's Law" was "no brainer" legislation, the fact that the pro-lifer vote in the House is shrinking would indicate that pro-lifers have a lot more work to do.
If I were to summarize my big problem with the act, it is that it may not have been based on solving a valid problem. The "Roxanne" of the law, the Crown Counsel and the defence in her case agreed, died due to her relationship with a man. Whether or not an coercive abortion was at issue was not addressed in court...but many advocates of the law said that it was. This struck me, and pro-choicers on the other side of the issue from me, as a dishonest foundation for the bill.
And any legislation that needed to be "tightened up" before a final, third reading, is sub-par, and not worth being the "main bill" for pro-lifers to try and pass.
Faytene Kryskow doesn't say that she and the other pro-lifers supporting this bill made a mistake, but they may be doing so in a backhanded way. Kryskow plans to encourage more women who believe they have been coerced into abortion to step forward. (Thus creating, from their point of view, the idea in the public mind that there is a problem.)
"When the vote comes back around, in another form, we will have a great chance at a strong victory," Kryskow writes.
If Stephen Harper thought he was now done with pro-life legislation--voting today against "Roxanne's Law"--he will have to realize that he is not done, as Faytene's views may be shared.
Neither side of the issue will be giving up, and laying down their rhetorical swords. At any rate, whatever side you endorse, it would clearly seem that the pro-choice side's rest on this issue only lasted for the latter part of an afternoon.
And Faytene Kryskow is hoping to make today's vote a Phyrrhic victory for the pro-choice side.