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Femion » John takes on Ben Wedge

John takes on Ben Wedge

February 26th, 2009

Last week, self-styled conservative columnist Ben Wedge used everyone’s favourite soapbox (the Dal Gazette’s opinion pages) to espouse a radical view on Canadian economics - Abortion hurting birth rates in Canada

Here’s a few prize clips from the piece:

“The data shows that people are more concerned about their careers than their (currently non–existent) family, especially young, professional women like the ones attending this university. As people put off raising a family and opt for only one child, if any, Canada moves further into this hole, since it will take even longer for children to come of age and contribute to our economy.”

In the next paragraph he tries to backtrack and not make it seem like he’s just accused feminism of causing the current recession, but still doesn’t explain who’s going to take care of all these new un-aborted babies. He finishes by saying:

“With one of the world’s highest abortion rates, we need to take a serious look at this issue and preferably cut back on the abortions that are performed merely upon request, for the sake of our future.”

The only good (or rather, reasonable) arguments against abortion are either religious, or a question of ethics (usually couched in religion). Using some bad correlations and factual inaccuracies to find a link between abortion and the economy is just stupid.

This week John wrote back:

“Ireland had an emigration problem, not an abortion problem. Abortion was illegal in Ireland before 1982, and the only change the country made that year was to enshrine that belief in its constitution. Since then, as is common with improved economic power, Ireland’s abortion rate has continued to increase. There is no statistical collation between the legal status of abortion and the rate of abortion in a county, so these results make perfect sense.”

“Ignoring the many obvious problems with this line of reasoning, I’ll say only this: Canada’s growth rate is 0.9 per cent, and the U.S. growth rate rounds to 0.9 per cent. How is this possible with our lower birth rate? Simple: our multicultural policies and welcoming immigration views mean our population growth due to immigration is nearly twice that of the U.S.”

I think he did a pretty good job, but what do I know? I’m just a woman attending university who doesn’t plan on having a family for the next ten years… and his girlfriend.

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