Warwara, Harper, Mercer

Please tell me. What in the current situation appalls you more? Mark Warwara being squashed by Harper for seeking to express his views on sex-selective abortions, Prime Minister Harper for his level of control of the parliamentary caucus and of the civil service, or the following statement by Mark Mercer, chair of the philosophy department of Saint Mary’s University in Halifax?

It’s not for Parliament to voice an opinion on women’s reasons for having abortions, for human fetuses are neither in fact persons nor recognized as such in Canadian law. They are not persons for they have no interests; they lack the self-consciousness necessary for having interests.

Since they lack interests, human fetuses cannot be wronged. They cannot, therefore, be wronged by being discriminated against, not on grounds of sex, not on any grounds.

Warawa’s motion, then, makes no sense. No fetus is wrongfully discriminated against when it is aborted on account of its being female, so sex-selective pregnancy termination involves no wrongful discrimination for Parliament to condemn.

Now this is not to say that the fact that some women in Canada choose to abort fetuses because of their sex is no proper concern of civil society or even of the Canadian government.”

This is objectionable on many grounds. Assuming, arguendo, that fetuses are not yet human, we recognize and extend rights to animals not to be treated cruelly, even if we do not recognize them as humans.

Even accepting the argument that a fetus is not yet human, until birth, fetuses are at least on their way to becoming humans by reason of birth, unless they die for natural or unnatural reasons. Mercer asserts that parliament can declare what is about-to-be-born-human not human and therefore of no status in law. Just imagine attaching such reasoning to Jews, women, blacks. Or yourself. Not being human, they have no interests, and therefore cannot be wronged. Harmed, maybe, killed, certainly, but not wronged. It is a nice distinction, between harm and “wrong”, and the basis of much cruelty and state-sanctioned slaughter.

A seal has no status, and therefore cannot be wronged when it is clubbed to death. The fact that the conscience rebels against the slaughter of fetuses needs to be assuaged by Dr. Mercer, the Mengele of Canadian fetuses.

If the extension and protection of human rights has proceeded historically in western societies from a few, rich, adult white males to all adult white males, thence to women, thence to outsiders, slaves and children, what logical or moral principle is to prevent such rights on any grounds from being extended to what would become a human but for abortion or death in delivery?

I do not argue here that fetuses are human from conception, only because I think, even on Mark Mercer’s deplorable  premises, an Act of Parliament could extend human rights to a fetus in the same manner as they have been extended to other classes, ages, races and sexes in western societies.

But if fetuses are human from conception, then Mercer is an proponent of murdering them on an industrial basis. I do not think it is necessary to adopt the full Roman Catholic position on abortion, however, to find Professor Mercer’s doctrines odious. The snot we blow from our noses is not of the same moral status as a fetus, and all of Dr. Mercer’s doctrines cannot make them so.

So which is more appalling, readers, Warwara’s suppression, Harper’s suppressing, or Mercer’s appalling doctrines?




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Using the Poff’s logic, and lacking human interest, we could logically, post birth abort, about 95% of the Humanities staff at most universities..


You do realise that the Professor was only quoting the law as it exists don’t you? He wasn’t inventing stuff or making personal suggestions.
A foetus is not legally speaking a person and as such has no legal interests. You may not like that but it is in fact a reality. If the foetus has no interests then selecting to have an abortion because your foetus is female. male or anything else is the sole preserve of the only person with interests person involved – the mother.

Your willful disregard for the actual law and its ramifications in order to attack someone with whom you disagree speaks volumes. The other fact that you chose to isolate this segment from the rest of the Professors article where he goes on to suggest remedies to the idea of sex-selective abortions suggests a less than honest approach to the whole topic.


This is a refreshing post. The commentator who attacked you obviously missed your entire line of reasoning. To add to your theory, if, as prof. Mercer ascertains, a human is only a human if they are self-aware, then should we strip infants of legal protections? What about those with severe mental disorders or those in a coma? I think not and if is about time Parliament, and academia, accepted this.

Keep up the good work. I really enjoy your blog!


Quoting the law at me,harebell, is like quoting the edicts of Stalin on class enemies and show trials at me. Kill another million! Who cares? They are unpersons, class enemies, Jews, people we don’t like.

Trying to establish personal rights on the basis of consciousness, perception of one’s interests, or like phenomena, as does the Professor in question, would, by a similar basis of reasoning, deprive the senile, the not yet mature, or anyone Parliament deemed not to be capable of having capacity to perceive their own interests, of their right to liberty and life itself. There would be no standard or criterion outside Parliament’s will to determine rights to life. How about retroactive abortions, such as killing the already born, because Parliament rules them mentally incapable? Not capable of having interests to protect? My cat has interests to protect. All the more so does a fetus have an interest in being born.

You need to hear what you sound like, harebell. You sound like a Nazi talking about Jews, or a Communist of the Thirties Soviet Union condemning another million or so class enemies to death.
Nate and I see the specious reasoning protecting you from self-awareness. Why can you not? The fact that our glorious Supreme Court may agree with you is part of the problem, not the solution. A fetus doe snot have the moral status of snot, shit or urine, no matter what nine Volvo drivers in ermine robes may say on the issue.


Pro-abortion zealots are beyond reason. You can point out that “humans are not defined by consciousness” and so on, but it will have no effect. And they have won, at least in terms of the larger culture. The pro-life movement is fooling itself if it thinks that grandstanding in Parliament or arguing with people who think that there is nothing wrong with killing an innocent human will lead anywhere. So, in a way, I agree with Prime Minister Harper. There is no point fighting this out in Parliament, it only insures that socialists will win elections. The war to end abortion will take centuries– much like the struggle to end slavery. Start convincing the people around you, especially the young. But there is no point arguing with fools– even if many are high i.q. fools– and there is no point trying to win this fight in the political arena.


Thank you, Bigred, for your depressing views. I think you may be wrong, but I fear you may be right, in your prediction.

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