To Whom It May Concern...

Dear Brad Trost,

I am pro-choice.  Ironically, because I am pro-choice, I accept your right to your anti-abortion beliefs.

To be clear, I do not share your beliefs.  But I don’t have to.  I’m pro-choice.  I support and advocate a person’s right to agency over their body…and belief system. Yes, the complex reality of that simply stated ideal could inspire of life time of blog posts, but that’s the nuts and bolts of it. At the end of the day, I believe people’s minds and bodies are their own to do with what they want.  Even you, Brad Trost. Even though our ethics put us on opposite sides of the abortion issue, I don’t really have a problem with that.

I do, however, have a problem with your description of the International Planned Parenthood Federation.  In a recent interview with the CBC you said, “One of the elements central to [IPPF]s identity is the support and promotion of abortion around the world.”

Um, excuse me…no.

I work for a PP. Obviously I’m biased. I’m also well aware of what the organization does supports and promotes. In IPPF’s Statement of Belief, the organization supports the following:

  • the recognition of sexual and reproductive rights as human rights
  • encouraging people – women in particular – to take control of their reproductive lives
  • gender equality and the elimination of gender bias
  • choice

Choice. Not abortion…choice!  Those two words are not synonymous. IPPF and its affliates do not promote abortion. Planned Parenthood promotes an individual’s right to make informed choices about their sexual/reproductive health and well-being.  Sometimes that includes providing information about/access to safe abortion. It also includes parenting resources/support, referrals and information about adoption.  Despite the name, much of PPs work extends beyond pregnancy to include safer sex practices, testing and treatment of sexually transmitted infections, youth outreach, relationship support, queer-inclusiveness…even abstinence.

Brad Trost, you’re a member of parliament.  And though we may vehemently disagree, I believe that you’re an intelligent man.  You don’t have to like abortion.  While I stand for a person’s right to safe, legal abortion if that’s their choice, perhaps you feel bound to fight against it. Fine. But pro-choice is not pro-abortion. Respecting a person’s decision to have an abortion is not the same thing as promoting it.

Fight it if you have to…just have the integrity to fight fair.


  1. fredjs says:

    Well said.

    Every single argument on the “pro-life” side is self-righteous, bullying garbage. It typically stems from religious tradition (by which I mean stupidity) that demands that women’s bodies are not their own but there are also those who even don’t have religious brainwashing that feel that an abortion is murder, which is absolutely false yet used as the excuse for said bullying.

    If a fetus is a person, why is it not counted by the census? Ask any “pro-lifer” that and they’ll stutter into some other incoherent white noise that does little more than demonstrate their lack of real knowledge and challenge their need to enforce their values on to others, values that are neither based on reality nor equity.

    It’s really simple: pro choice IS pro life. The pro-lifers are anti-woman. Abortion is NOT murder. There’s nothing shameful in an abortion and let’s give women the freedom and space to make their own minds up for themselves, offering the support needed during what is obviously a very difficult process. Anyone who disagrees is welcome to do so but they’d best back the fuck off and keep their opinions as just that.

    Cheers 😉

    • jessicaruano says:

      I was going to comment on this post, but fredjs pretty much sums it up!

      Also, no matter the laws, abortions are going to happen anyway. But thanks to Planned Parenthood and similar organizations, they can occur safely and in a supportive environment – rather than some poor woman trying to figure out how to do it on her own.

      • nadinethornhill says:

        It’s true. Research has shown that those who want to end a pregnancy will generally find a way to do so. When safe abortion procedures aren’t accessible and people take matters into their own hands, the results can be catastrophic.

    • nadinethornhill says:

      Hi Fred,

      Thanks for commenting and sharing your perspective on the matter. Abortion is a contentious, often emotional issue for people on either side of the debate so I really appreciate having your thoughts on this.

      I can accept and even understand the perspective of those who believe that life begins at conception. I can that for many people, religion provides a valuable moral framework from which they approach this issue and that framework, will inevitably lead them to different conclusions regarding abortion than the ones I’ve drawn.

      What I believe as a pro-choice person, is that a person’s relationship with their fetus is their choice. Whether that zygote/embryo/fetus is seen as a cluster of cells, an autonomous person or something else entirely, isn’t my call. What a person chooses to do with,, whether it be to end a pregnancy or not, isn’t my call.

      What Planned Parenthood provides, are options for people to make informed decisions and have access to whatever support they need to ensure their health. If Brad Trost wants to take the organization to task for THAT, then at least he’s being honest. Painting IPPF as global abortion pushers is exactly the sort of self-righteous bullying you’re talking about.

      • fredjs says:

        Well, I can’t agree that religion provides any sensible moral foundation beyond what’s already innate in us, but regardless, you’re right about the choice someone has about their fetus being their own no matter how they see it.

        As an aside…have you ever noticed how a lot of people who are anti-abortion are pro-death penalty? /shakes head

  2. Nat says:

    Amen to that…

  3. rpriske says:

    Despite being pro-choice I rarely discuss the issue. Why?

    Because ANY time I see a man talking about whether a woman should have the right to control her own body, I cringe.

    Men claiming to GIVE rights to women is almost as obnxious as men TAKING rights from women (though not nearly as destructive, I’ll admit).

    So, in other words, Brad Trost should shut hte hell up.

    • nadinethornhill says:

      I understand your reluctance. Regardless of gender, being pro-choice I cringe when I hear anyone talking about whether or a woman has the right to control their own body. Having my own uterus doesn’t give me anymore right to decide what someone else does with theirs.

      And I agree that the notion of being “given” rights is condescending and infuriating. You can’t give someone something that they’re born with.

    • fredjs says:

      Don’t forget that there are a lot of women who are just as anti-choice as men. Hang out the front steps of an abortion clinic in the United States and you’ll see that the insanity crosses both genders. It’s not just an issue of loudmouth misogynists (although there are plenty on the anti-choice side), it’s also a case of those cleaving to a an old, magical book that clearly states that women are property and that those who buy into its insanity have the right or even the responsibility to enforce it on to others.

      And then again, some of these anti-choice folk are just assholes. Sigh.

  4. Fricka says:

    Well said. A group of people are working hard to remind Canada that Trost and Vellacott don’t speak for everyone. In an effort to channel the rage into something positive and have some fun…!/pages/Let-Brad-Trost-know-hes-wrong-Support-Planned-Parenthood-Canada/227102527347207