The Education Minister of Ontario, Canada — a professing Catholic who sends her children to Catholic schools — declared October 10 that the province’s publicly funded Catholic schools may not teach students that abortion is wrong because such teaching amounts to “misogyny,” which is prohibited in schools under a controversial anti-bullying law.
“Taking away a woman’s right to choose could arguably be considered one of the most misogynistic actions that one could take,” Laurel Broten said during a press conference.
“Bill 13,” she asserted, “is about tackling misogyny.”
Passed in June, Bill 13 requires schools to provide “a positive school climate that is inclusive and accepting, regardless of race, ancestry, place of origin, color, ethnic origin, citizenship, creed, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, age, marital status, family status or disability.” The law specifically mandates that schools — Catholic schools included — establish “gay-straight alliance” organizations. Now, it seems, it will also be used to infringe even further on religious freedom by prohibiting Catholic schools from teaching that abortion is sinful.
Broten, in her capacity as minister responsible for women’s issues, had called the press conference “to express [her] disappointment” with a press conference held earlier in the day by three provincial legislators in which they argued that Ontario taxpayers should not be forced to pay for abortions. Those men had the audacity, Broten averred, “to reopen the debate in Ontario about a woman’s right to choose” — “a debate … that has been ended for quite some time.” Their press conference, she added, “was frankly disheartening.” (Note, by the way, that the legislators were not even talking about banning abortion itself, just public funding of it.)
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