To help mark Fr. Alphonse de Valk’s retirement as editor of Catholic Insight, Campaign Life Coalition reprinted the historian-priest’s landmark book, Morality and the Law in Canadian Politics: The Abortion Controversy. Fr. de Valk wrote the book in 1974 and as Interim editor Paul Tuns says in a forthcoming review of Morality and the Law in Canadian Politics, it retells “the story of the agitation to change Canada’s prohibition of abortion, starting with media clamouring, the moral back-pedalling of certain denominations, the lobbying of professional associations, and finally the political machinations that resulted in the passing of Pierre Trudeau and John Turner’s Omnibus Bill in 1969.”
Jim Hughes, national president of Campaign Life Coalition, told The Interim that when he joined the pro-life movement in 1978, Gwen Landolt told him he had to read Morality and the Law in Canadian Politics. He said it “was an instant education about how Canada got itself into the mess it did.”
More than 30 years later, looking at his bookshelf, he noticed the thin volume and thought to himself, “This is great stuff” and that it deserved to be read by another generation of pro-lifers.
When CLC was preparing the testimonial dinner for Fr. de Valk in October, Hughes thought it was time to reprint the book, so the movement could become aware of the history Father had documented. “I saw it on my shelf, but there were no other copies around,” he said. “Few people knew of Fr. de Valk’s book or the subject he wrote about.” Hughes asked Fr. de Valk if CLC could reprint the book and it was agreed that it was a good idea as long as the proceeds went to pro-life work.
Hughes arranged for Business for Life to cover the cost of printing the book, and the new edition features advertising from Cuneo Interiors and Fritz Construction Services on the insides of the front and back cover. (Both Cuneo and Fritz are Interim adverstisers.) At the testimonial dinner, copies were sold for a donation, but since the Oct. 18 dinner, to help cover the cost of shipping, a suggested minimum contribution of $15 is requested.
CLC is also sending a copy of Morality and the Law in Canadian Politics to all the MPs the organization has rated pro-life. Hughes said, “It is important for our elected officials to know the history and the dishonest campaign to legalize abortion in Canada.”
At the testimonial dinner Interim editor Paul Tuns called Morality and the Law in Canadian Politics, excellent scholarship, telling the crowd that he returns to the volume several times a year for research purposes, especially to hunt down original sources in the thoroughly end noted history. “Every pro-lifer should own Morality and the Law in Canadian Politics,” he said.