My old friend Stephen Woodworth, master architect of Motion 312, is feeling a little concerned. See, he’s worried that you, dear Canadian, don’t understand what M-312, which deals with fetal personhood, has to do with abortion. Woodworth, his brow furrowed by deep thought, has been wondering and wondering why his motion didn’t pass. Finally, he realized that his brilliant idea was just too complex for people to understand. Thankfully, man of the people that he is, he’s come up with an allegory to help explain it to us.
I’ve copied it below for your reading pleasure:
Part I: Motion 312, Fixed-Wing Technology and Ballooning -An Allegory
Note: The following account is intended to be entirely fictional. Resemblance to any persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.
In the early days of air flight, a Canadian aviation engineer was well-known for his opposition to ballooning (which was the established method of air flight in those days). He actively spoke and wrote against ballooning, penning letters to the editor and articles in professional journals to express this opposition to ballooning.
After years of being stonewalled by an aviation establishment entirely enamoured with ballooning and which was completely unwilling to consider alternatives, he fell into deep thought.
“Perhaps I could find some other issue to pursue on which a majority of Canadians could agree,” he wondered to himself “Could I find some aviation principles on which we might find a consensus?”
After serious analysis, he came up with some aviation principles he felt might be acceptable to everyone. He suggested a process to study the principles of fixed-wing aircraft to determine whether or not they should be pursued. He suggested that the study consider whether or not existing legal prohibitions against fixed wing aviation were consistent with early 20th century aviation science and understanding. He pointed out that Canada was one of only a few advanced nations to completely protect ballooning against fixed wing development.
An honest man, the aviation engineer acknowledged the relationship between fixed wing technology development and ballooning, and even admitted that the development of fixed wing technology might mean fewer people would engage in ballooning.
You can imagine that the ballooning industry rose immediately to the challenge. Their first attack was to indignantly accuse the aviation engineer of being a ballooning-hater whose only motive was to destroy the ballooning industry. “He says he just wants to improve aviation, but his real interest must be to simply destroy the ballooning industry since he must know that fixed wing aviation will mean fewer people will pursue ballooning”, they said.
The engineer protested that ballooning and fixed-wing aviation were not necessarily inconsistent with each other, but the balloonists ignored him.
He pointed out that something wasn’t right if balloonists felt they needed to pretend that fixed-wing technology didn’t exist. They still ignored him.
The balloonists lobbied against his proposed study on the basis that their minds were made up that ballooning was better than fixed-wing aviation, they knew they were right, and so dialogue and review of modern aviation science would be a waste of time. They argued that ballooning was simply better as it existed, period, discussion over.
Finally, the balloonists pointed out that existing Establishment views supporting the ballooning industry had only been established after long and difficult public debate, and that “re-opening” that debate should be avoided since it would provoke passionate or even divisive comment. The engineer’s reminder that the right to study fixed wing aviation had been explicitly preserved and allowed for when protection of ballooning first became popular with the Establishment, was ignored. The engineer knew that these existing differences between fixed-wing technology and ballooning would actually be brought to resolution by his proposal for dialogue and study, but he was ignored.
Many balloonists took to social media, publishing vile and insulting slanders against the engineer and misrepresenting his proposal. He was not deterred.
Members of Parliament who spoke against the engineer’s proposal focused entirely on the necessity of protecting ballooning. Not one even mentioned the subject of fixed wing aviation. Not one questioned the aviation principles proposed by the engineer. They expressed a single-minded preoccupation with ballooning to the exclusion of any consideration of wider aviation principles. A number of professional aviation associations, filled with balloonists, were told that the engineer’s proposed study was about ending all ballooning and were in that way induced to pass resolutions condemning him and his proposal.
In the end Parliament defeated the engineer’s proposal, setting back the cause of fixed-wing technology in Canada for a time. Clear-thinking people were amazed that a modern democracy could accept such a result, turning its back on modern aviation principles.
Now do you understand the relationship between Motion 312 and abortion?
All right, all right, I know what you’re thinking – your small lady-brain can’t quite grasp this. I know. Shhhh, it’s okay, I know. Normally I would be right there with you. Fortunately, I’ve given myself a few injections of testosterone this evening in order to help explain this all to you.
Okay so first of all, ballooning is abortion – which is, I guess, our established method of dealing with unwanted pregnancy? Much like ballooning is the established method of air flight in this story? That’s sort of what he’s saying? He also apparently believes that we’re totally enamoured with abortion; I guess he’s one of those men who think that women totally have abortions for funsies, like it’s a fucking trip to the spa or something. I just love the foot massage they give you after they remove your unwanted fetus.
Anyway, the protagonist of this allegory, an engineer who is both a gentleman and a scholar, hates ballooning, and starts a nasty anti-ballooning campaign. Sadly for him, everyone else loves ballooning and/or no one gives a shit about his letters to the editor and/or this guy really needs a hobby, so his plan is going nowhere fast. In a moment of brilliance, he thinks to himself, “Perhaps I could find some other issue to pursue on which a majority of Canadians could agree“. Obviously he is talking about
fetal personhood fixed wing aviation.
Here’s where shit starts to get nonsensical. See, he wants the Canadian government to “study the principles” of
fetal personhood fixed wing aviation, which all seems fine and normal and reality-based, but then he goes on to suggest that the government, “consider whether or not existing legal prohibitions against fixed wing aviation were consistent with early 20th century aviation science and understanding“. Er, what? So he wants us to examine the legal prohibitions against personhood? Which don’t actually exist? Like, no one is saying that he can’t call his own fetuses “persons”, just that he can’t start assigning personhood to all fetuses ever.
Next comes one of my favourite lines in his whole allegory:
“[He] even admitted that the development of fixed wing technology might mean fewer people would engage in ballooning.”
No shit, dude. If you are trying to pass personhood laws in order to enact abortion legislature, then for sure less people will fucking “engage in ballooning”. I mean, except for the people who go to those back-alley balloon enthusiasts in order to balloon in secret.
Fuck, you guys, I just have to take a minute here to tell you how gross it is that he is comparing abortion to a RECREATIONAL SPORT. Like, terminating a pregnancy is totally comparable to something you do for fun at the fucking county fair. Look, I’m not saying that everyone who’s had an abortion absolutely agonizes over the choice, but I really don’t think that anyone is ever like, gee, I’ve got nothing better to do this afternoon, may as well terminate my pregnancy then go eat some funnel cakes and ride the ferris wheel. It’s still a medical procedure, for God’s sake.
Anyway, so the allegorical
abortion ballooning industry gets all up in arms, thinking that Mr. Fixed Wing Aviation is out to destroy them, because of course that’s what this is really all about. The abortion industry. The secret abortion lobby that controls Canada. The board of shadowy abortion-loving figures. It’s not about women having the right to control their own body. It’s not about bodily autonomy. Women obviously only have abortions because the abortion industry manipulates them into believing that abortions are better than cake and pie combined.
Also, I’m so sure that abortion, especially abortion in a country with socialized medicine, is so profitable. Like, I’m sure Scrooge McDuck is sitting in a cash-filled room somewhere, rubbing his hands and cackling over how awesome killing babies is. Okay, now that is a Disney movie I’d watch.
The rest of the allegory is basically a giant whine-fest about how everyone is so mean to
Stephen Woodworth the fictitious engineer and how he was slandered (vilely and insultingly!) in social media. The engineer is shocked and appalled that the Canadian government wouldn’t even consider his proposal, and apparently men “clear thinking people” everywhere were “amazed” that Canada could be so behind the times.
Now do you understand the relationship between Motion 312 and abortion?
Uuuuggghhhh you guys, this is actually the worst allegory ever. I mean, I totally and fundamentally disagree with Stephen Woodworth, and I could still write a better anti-abortion allegory than this. First of all, it’s so gross and offensive to compare abortion to an activity that people do for fun. Second of all, it’s full of ridiculous half-truths and rife with misinformation. Finally, it ends with the assertion that all modern democracies are enacting personhood laws, which is just untrue, unless by “all modern democracies”, he means, “America”.
Anyway, Stephen, I guess I give your allegory an E for effort. Thanks for coming out, and don’t quit your day job. I mean, please do quit your actual day job of being an MP, but, you know, don’t give it up just to become a man of letters. Unless becoming a writer would mean that you would write allegories about how underfunded the arts are in Canada, in which case: have at ‘er, buddy.