Abortion shot into Trinidad and Tobago’s headlines this week as a minister said his government was committed to protecting the life of all babies. The minister also demanded that the country’s first female opposition leader disclose her position on women’s reproductive health as well.
Here in Canada, the Conservative government has also cut funding to international groups that fund abortions in the developing world. Many see this as merely a political move by the Tories to agitate their right wing base.
Regardless of geography, the public must view these political moves suspiciously as possible attempts to further fracture voters along party lines.
It’s easy as a Catholic, myself, to be swept up in such rhetoric and then base my vote and political support on a political party whose manoeuvres pander to my religious views.
A blog entry by the head Salt and Light Fr Thomas Rosica reminds us that being pro-life is not the activity of a political party. Moreover, being pro-life cannot be limited to opposing abortion.
Pro-life means understanding that other circumstances also deny persons their dignity and their right to a full life. Issues like lack of access to proper education, health care, adequate nutrition and dignified work are some on the list. Rosica said:
In my view, “the whole picture” many Trinidadians must discern is whether political parties truly want to uplift our nation.
As the nation goes to the polls on May 24th, we must ask: Which political party’s policies and actions truly recognize, yes, the unborn, but also the dignity of our elderly.
Is anyone caring for the single mother or the rural community that doesn’t have water or an electrical supply?
Does anyone care about the continued destruction of the nation’s natural resources.
And speaking of the unborn, which party has a plan that will ensure mine and your grand-children can enjoy the same standard of life that we enjoy today.
Who has a realistic plan to reduce the murder rate. Let’s focus on the real issues.