Many of us - including myself - don't remember living in a world where abortion was outlawed.
Those days, when once you got pregnant, no matter in what circumstances you may have found yourself, you had to go through the hard path of forced pregnancy, labour, birthing and motherhood, were not that far behind us. In fact, for Canadian women, this dark period only dates back to before January 28th, 1988.
For those of us who were born - or, for some, conceived - before that date, it means that our mothers never had the choice to give birth to us. We are a generation of people to whom, when we were teenagers and yelled at our moms that we have never asked to be born, they could have fairly replied that they, too, have never ask to get pregnant and become a mother.
But still, how come is it that many women - and men! - of our generation don't seem to care much about the protection of reproductive rights, and despite the recent rise of the political (i.e. religious) right are not willing to show much interest - let alone support - in the defense of Canadian women's constitutional freedom to choose and right to sexual liberty?
On January 28th, 2008, we will celebrate the 20th anniversary of the decriminalization of abortion in Canada. If you want to share ideas about what to do, or just get in touch with other people who want to mark this special day, please go to 28janvier2008 or write to firstname.lastname@example.org.
In the mean time, please check out the CBC/SRC archives where you'll find audio and video clips from the 80's on the dangers of illegal, back-alley abortions in Canada (remember Canada, "le plus meilleur pays du monde"?), Dr. Henry Morgentaler's work in helping women in need and challenging Canada's abortion laws and anti-choice violence in Canada.
And if you find yourself in Montréal on October 26th, go see Four months, three weeks, 2 days, a film about a young woman trying to obtain an illegal abortion in 1987 Romania. This film won the Palme d'Or at the 2007 Festival du film de Cannes.
(Here's the trailer.)