By Faye Sonier
In Saturday’s Bushwhackers embarrass PM piece, Sun Media’s National Editorial Writer Mark Bonokoski proves that you don’t need facts to write an opinion article.
He labels three Members of Parliament, Maurice Vellacott, Leon Benoit and Wladyslaw Lizon “obviously stupid bushwhackers” for having asked the RCMP to investigate late-term abortions as homicides. Had they done so, I would have been the first to tell them that their efforts were a waste of time given the state of the law in Canada. Abortion is legal through all nine months of pregnancy in our fair country.
But that’s not what they did. The MPs asked the RCMP to investigate 491 cases of possible homicide. Between 2000 and 2009, 491 newborns survived attempted abortions and subsequently died after birth. We don’t know how they died, but they did. According to the Criminal Code, the same one Bonokoski alludes to reading, when human beings are born they are considered human beings in law. And when human beings are killed or neglected to death, we expect the police to investigate.
The MPs didn’t hide their motives or the language of their request. They clearly set out both in the letter they sent the RCMP, which was posted on Mr. Vellacott’s website and recirculated widely. All Bonokoski had to do was read it.
Bonokoski then attempts to summarize the decision by which the Supreme Court of Canada decriminalized abortion. Unfortunately, it appears as though he didn’t read that either. The Court said the existing abortion legislation was unconstitutional, and Parliament was free to pass abortion legislation that would be. They even offered suggestions as to language for constitutionally acceptable legislation. Parliament just hasn’t done so. There is, in fact, no constitutional right to abort your child in Canada. Joyce Arthur of the Abortion Rights Coalition of Canada even admits to that.
Lastly, he argued that since he doesn’t have a uterus, he cannot form an opinion on abortion and that this position isn’t a cop-out, but a fact. He’s wrong. It’s a total cop-out.
I’m not a woman who has suffered abuse, but I have an opinion on domestic abuse. I’m not a man, but I have an opinion on funding for prostate cancer research. I’m not a slave, but I have an opinion on human trafficking. I’m not a soldier or live in a war zone, but I have an opinion on Canadian military engagement. I’m not an Aboriginal person, but I have an opinion on the Idle No More movement.
Perhaps he believes that he must have first-hand knowledge of every human experience before he can form an opinion, but this seems like an odd, if not impossible, position for a national media editor to take. And I can assure him that the rest of the society doesn’t function that way. We form opinions and vote accordingly, even though we haven’t walked a mile in every Canadian’s shoes.
Bonokoski, a senior media personality, formed and shared outrageous opinions on the actions of three MPs and Canadian abortion law seemingly without having read the MPs’ request to the RCMP, the relevant provisions of the Criminal Code or the Supreme Court of Canada’s decision on abortion. Who says you need to do research and rely on facts to write an opinion piece?