From today’s Wall Street Journal:
Ireland’s constitutional ban on abortion violates the rights of pregnant women to receive proper medical care in life-threatening cases, the European Court of Human Rights ruled Thursday in a judgment that harshly criticized Ireland’s long inaction on the issue. (Source)
This ruling, in itself, is not new. For years, the Europeans have been whining about Ireland’s ban on abortion. And for years Ireland has told them to mind their own business. In fact, Ireland’s own Supreme Court ruled in 1992 that abortion should be legalized for cases involving health risks for the mother. So far, this has not compelled the Irish government to legalize abortion.
But this time could be different, unfortunately.
You see, just a few weeks ago, Ireland’s government was on the brink of financial collapse and accepted a huge bailout from the European Union. Money, as we know, always comes with strings attached. In the case of the bailout, the strings relate to the Irish government getting its finances in order so it can stand on its own feet again. That’s strikes me as a normal and understandable condition on the loan. But don’t be surprised if the Europeans take advantage of their new position of strength to coerce Ireland into liberalizing its abortion laws, or any other law that the Europeans find inconvenient.
That’s one reason why economics is so important. When a country puts itself at the mercy of other nations, as Ireland did (and as the people if Israel did many times in the Old Testament, much to the dislike of God) you lose your sovereignty and you’re eventually forced to compromise.
Canada is not in a position of weakness when it comes to government finances. On the contrary, we’re much less indebted than most industrialized countries thanks to 15 years of discipline.
But America is not so lucky. Let this serve as a warning to our American brethren. Neither Democrats nor Republicans are serious about reducing the government’s huge deficit. The more dependent America becomes on Chinese bondholders, the more likely America will be forced to compromise on its values and cave in to Chinese demands, whatever they be.
Military might is not the sole determinant of national sovereignty. You still have to pay for those planes, tanks and soldiers. If China won’t lend you the money, you’re in trouble.