In 2001, Canada was the first country to require health warnings on tobacco packaging, and now the government is once again stepping up its game. On June 19th, 2012, the federal government reached another milestone in their fight against smoking by announcing that all cigarette packages must display the larger and more hard-hitting health warning messages. In a press release issued by the office of the Minister of Health, the Honourable Leona Aglukkaq states that "this initiative continues our efforts to inform Canadians - especially young people - about the health hazards of smoking." Studies show that the use of warning messages on tobacco products, including graphic images, has been the most effective way to inform and educate people on the health risks associated with tobacco use, much to the dismay of large tobacco companies. As of this week, 75% of the front and back panels of the packaging contain graphic warning messages and images. Way to go Canada for being a world leader and for once again taking such a strong and aggressive approach to helping people avoid the pain and suffering associated with tobacco-related illnesses.
But enough about smoking. Let’s apply this same logic to the use of graphic images for showing people the truth about abortion.
If the Ministry of Health can regulate one industry by mandating the use of graphic and disturbing images on their products in order to reduce consumption and save lives, why aren’t they using that same approach on another industry that kills? The answer to that is easy and disheartening at the same time. The government acknowledges that cigarettes kill, and yet they fail to recognize that abortion kills, in a much more direct and cruel way.
For the government to acknowledge that abortion kills, they would first have to acknowledge that the preborn are human beings and should be protected right? As a matter of fact they do just that with one of the new warning labels that states “Second-hand smoke contains many toxic chemicals that can harm an unborn baby”. That’s right folks, the government does not want pregnant women to smoke and harm their unborn babies. If they care so much about unborn babies, shouldn’t pregnant women also be warned that an abortion not only harms but kills their unborn baby if they choose to have one?
The government is being inconsistent and very selective when it comes to choosing which lives to protect. In Canada, tobacco-related illnesses kill 37,000 human beings every year. Abortion kills more than 100,000 human beings every year (at the expense of taxpayers). And yet when pro-lifers show graphic images of what abortion looks like, they are accused of using scare-tactics, being judgmental, mean and flat out crazy. It just doesn’t make any sense. If pro-lifers are those things, so is the Federal Ministry of Health.
Why is the government going out of its way to do ‘what’s best’ for smokers, but not for pregnant women considering an abortion? Why spend so much time and money trying to discourage smokers from smoking when it’s their body, their choice? Why are they so opinionated and in-your-face with smoking-prevention, but so avoidant with abortion-prevention?
I thank groups like Show the Truth and the Canadian Centre for Bio-Ethical Reform and their recently launched Canada-wide New Abortion Caravan campaign, for providing graphic warning messages that expose Canadians to the truth about abortion, and doing what our government fails to do.