10. Quebec gives special rights to abortion mills
In the spring, the Quebec National Assembly passed new safety and hygiene regulations for all health care facilities in the province. In August, abortion mills and supporters were lobbying to have offices and facilities that provide abortions exempted from the regulations and two of them threatened to close or stop committing abortion procedures if they had to abide by the health and safety changes. Health Minister Yves Bolduc capitulated after pressure from the Quebec College of Physicians, who claimed there was “no need” for safety equipment to be installed where abortions are committed, because the procedure was not a major surgery.
9. Notre Dame honours Obama
Notre Dame University honoured U.S. President Barack Obama with an honorary degree, despite protests that a Catholic university should not give a prominent pro-abortion politician such a distinction. Obama opposed the born-alive infant protection act as a state legislator and immediately reversed several pro-life policies by presidential decree, including the Mexico City policy prohibiting U.S. taxpayer funding of international abortion groups and federal restrictions on the funding of embryonic stem cell research. He also campaigned on passing the Freedom of Choice Act, which is designed to sweep away almost all federal and state restrictions on abortion.
8. Freedom of speech squelched on campus
Police arrested participants involved in the Genocide Awareness Project at the University of Calgary. (The charges were dropped in October.) A mob at St. Mary’s University in Halifax prevented Jose Ruba of the Centre for Bioethical Reform from speaking on campus. Ruba was also shouted down by crowds at McGill University and security would not remove the pro-abortion protesters. Student unions at the University of Victoria and Lakehead University in Thunder Bay would not recognize or fund the activities of student pro-life groups. When it comes to the abortion debate, pro-life students are having a tough time getting their voices heard on post-secondary campuses.
7. HRCs under assault from all corners
In November, an Alberta court threw out penalties levied against pastor Stephen Boissoin from his 2007 conviction for “hate speech” by the Alberta Human Rights Tribunal. Parliament’s justice and human rights committee held hearings on the Canadian Human Rights Commission. Ezra Levant had a best-selling book (Shakedown) about his battle with the Alberta Human Rights Commission after he published the so-called Danish cartoons. In August, Athanasios Hadjis, a member of the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal, released a decision that denounced the CHRC’s aggressive tactics and punitive powers. He called its censorship practices unconstitutional and illegal.
6. Development and Peace revealed to partner with pro-aborts
In March, LifeSiteNews.com reported that Development and Peace, the international development arm of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops, had partnered with pro-abortion groups in Mexico. Later, it was revealed that D&P had also partnered with groups that supported abortion and contraception in numerous African and Latin American countries. After pressure from several bishops, including Toronto Archbishop Thomas Collins, the CCCB issued a report that found no wrongdoing on the part of D&P. Collins responded with a call for further review and tied future financial assistance to the aid agency to reforms that would lessen the likelihood monies would go to pro-abortion groups in the developing world.
5. C-384 is delayed – doesn’t have the votes
Bloc MP Francine Lalonde re-introduced her private member’s bill legalizing euthanasia and doctor-assisted suicide. By September, it became clear C-384 did not have the votes to pass when even some pro-euthanasia MPs spoke out about the problems with the bill, deriding any lack of safeguards. Three times in November and December, Lalonde traded back the date for debate and third reading. Alex Schadenberg, executive director of the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition, and Rod Bruinooge, chairman of the Parliamentary Pro-Life Caucus, accused Lalonde of moving back the date for debate and vote in order to prevent C-384 from being defeated in a parliamentary vote.
4. Anti-life agenda of environmentalism exposed
More than 10,000 politicians, scientists, celebrities and professional environmentalists met in Copenhagen in December to discuss measures to battle climate change, which they blamed on human activity. The Optimum Population Trust offered its solution: aggressive promotion of family planning through the use of contraception in the developing world. National Post columnist Diane Francis created a media stir in an article proposing a global one-child policy modeled on Red China’s.
3. The murders of an abortionist and a pro-life demonstrator
In May, infamous late-term abortion specialist George Tiller was murdered at his Lutheran church in Wichita, Ks. In September, pro-life activist James Pouillon was slain by a Michigan man in Pouillon’s hometown near Flint, Mich. Operation Rescue posthumously gave Pouillon its Malachi Award for Person of the Year. Abortion advocates and many in the media blamed the pro-life movement for Tiller’s death, even though every pro-life group in Canada, the United States and the United Kingdom condemned his murder. Curiously, the media were mostly silent about the gunning down of Pouillon three months later.
2. Pro-life issues derail Obamacare
Despite a push to get comprehensive health care reform passed by the end of August, by mid-December Congress had yet to pass such legislation. The biggest stumbling blocks were related to concerns surrounding the sanctity of life: direct and indirect subsidies for abortion; end-of-life issues including bureaucratic decisions about quality of life; the possible expansion of Oregon and Washington’s assisted suicide regime to other states and the lack of conscience protection for health care workers. Rep. Bart Stupak (D, Mich.) and Senator Ben Nelson (D, Neb.) led the fight against taxpayer funding of abortions in their respective branches of government.
1. Marking 40 years of legal abortion in Canada
A record 12,000 people participated in May in the National March for Life in Ottawa and thousands more in the capitals of eight provinces. They were joined by an unprecedented number of religious leaders, including more than 25 bishops from across the country. Campaign Life Coalition launched a petition drive to have the right to life recognized from the moment of conception to natural death and more than 30,000 Canadians had signed them and at least 25 MPs had presented them before Parliament. 40 Days for Life, which ran in Ottawa and Halifax in 2007, launched nationally in seven more cities across the country in March and September.