With a provincial election only weeks away in Ontario, and fast approaching in several other provinces, we would all do well to remember the basic principle of pro-life voting: being pro-abortion (or “pro-choice”) disqualifies a person for public office. This includes those who claim to be “personally opposed” to abortion, but are unwilling to do anything to stop it.The right to life is the fundamental human right, on which every other right depends. It follows that no matter how attractive a particular candidate’s policies on other issues may be, if he is anti-life, he is unworthy of support.

Pro-lifers are often accused of being “single-issue” when it comes to voting. This is true, in a sense. If you believe that the killing of innocent human beings is gravely wrong, your conscience will not permit you to vote for someone who is pro-abortion — no matter what.

On the other hand, the “single-issue” accusation is quite false. Pro-lifers are concerned about a host of life issues which are distinct from abortion, like euthanasia and reproductive technologies — not to mention the spectrum of pro-family concerns which pro-lifers generally share.

It should also be noted that in fact most people become politically involved because of special concerns about particular issues. The GST, gun control, national unity, the free trade agreement — concerns about each of these issues have led individuals into politics, and have even led to the formation of new parties. Pro-lifers are by no means unique in this.

But in the end, it must be admitted that no issues comes close to being as important as the abortion issue. Some people say that other “social problems” are equally important; but how many of those problems involve the deliberate killing of well over 100,000 Canadians every year?

Some pro-lifers, while agreeing that no issue comes close to being as important as abortion, say it is unlikely our political leaders will restrict abortion in the near future, and that for now, we should vote on issues we know we can do something about.

On this point, it is essential to recognize three things.

    (1) Abortion will never be on our politicians’ agendas, if pro-life voters do not put it there.(2) Even in the absence of major legislation dealing with abortion, the issue almost always comes up. When it does, it is necessary that there be pro-lifers in Parliament and in the legislatures to speak on behalf of the unborn.

    (3) We will never get from the current situation to achieving full legal protection for children in the womb, unless we are continually sending pro-life representatives to Ottawa and our provincial capitals.

Sometimes it happens that there is more than one pro-life candidate in a riding. In such a situation, a pro-life voter should then consider other things: which candidate has the stronger pro-life record; which candidate is more likely to be elected; which candidate’s overall platform is more attractive; and which party is more deserving of support.

Often it happens that there is no pro-life candidate in a riding. In such a situation, a voter might write across the ballot, “No pro-life Liberal,” or “No pro-life PC,” etc. (In other words, there is no pro-life candidate running for the party which that voter would otherwise support.) This is not a waste of a vote, but a responsible act of good conscience. A truly wasted vote is one cast for a candidate the voter does not actually support.

When there is no pro-life candidate in a riding, and the pro-abortion incumbent is influential, some pro-lifers advocate voting against the sitting representative, in order to reduce the power of the anti-life movement in politics.

Whatever the situation, pro-lifers should go to the polls on election day. The absence of a pro-life candidate in a given riding is no reason to stay away.

Since the 1969 abortion law amendment, more than two million Canadian children have been killed by abortion. Since the 1988 Supreme Court decision in the Morgentaler case, Canada has had no abortion law. In Canada today, children in the womb may be killed at any time, for any reason, and by any means, with your tax dollars. One of them died violently in the five minutes it took to read this editorial.

Now is the time to act. Vote pro-life. It really is the least we can do.