I think most people who read The Interim are aware that I am a Catholic and intend to remain one. But this does not preclude my expressing admiration for the sincere convictions of members of other faiths.

Lately, the Salvation Army has recently taken a courageous stand for their pro-life principles in the case of the Grace Hospital in Vancouver.

What prompted me to write this column is the fact that the Salvation Army has, reluctantly, withdrawn from the Vancouver Grace Hospital. The Army has been responsible for the government and pastoral care of this hospital for 67 years. It is estimated that 200,000 babies have been born at Vancouver Grace which was considered one of the most sophisticated high risk birth facilities in Canada.

War Cry, the official publication of the Salvation Army in Canada, reported the event:
“The closing of an adjoining hospital providing abortion to women would have required us to entertain the possibility of doing such procedures, contrary to our ethical stand. This, plus the increasing pressure to experiment with reproductive technology in areas where ethical considerations are not yet fully understood, again forced us to consider our partnership in providing leadership at the hospital.” Pope John Paul himself couldn’t have put it better!

The decision was not an easy one. The writer of the article continues, “The process of decision making involved a wide spectrum of input. After listening to al parties and reviewing our own mission statement, it was decided that we had no alternative but to withdraw.”

One can only guess that the arguments against the pull-out were both persuasive and compelling – the great good the hospital was doing for the community, the financial implications, spiritual loss to the patients, etc., etc., But somewhere in the midst of all these “goods” would be the bodies of dead babies – babies not only dead, but murdered! Dismembered babies who had exactly the same right to life as the doctor who dismembered them. The Army wanted no part of this.

The media immediately labeled the Army’s decision to pullout as one made on a religious rather than a scientific basis. With all the pro-abortion propaganda being foisted on the public these days, many people need convincing from the medical community that the unborn child is a human being. Here are just a few of the myriad of statements from medical authorities which the Army could have drawn upon to support their decision:
• The late Sir William Liley, knighted by the Queen for his work on fetology, “From the moment a baby’s conceived, it bears the indelible stamp of a separate, distinct personality; an individual different from all other individuals.”
• From “Conception to Birth” by Rough and Shettles, “The entire blue-print for the construction of a person is contained in the chromosomes of a fertilized egg cell.”
• The following statement was written by Nobel Prize winner Professor Jerome LeJeune, and signed by 1300 physicians in France, “From the moment of conception the conceptus is alive and it is essentially distinct from the mother, who provides nourishment and protection. From fertilization to old age, it is the same living being, who grows, develops, matures and dies. For these reasons the termination of pregnancy to solve economic or eugenic problems is a contradiction to the role of the doctor.”
• Dr. Bernard Nathanson, formerly known as ‘The Abortion King of America,” told the court at the Joe Borowski trial in May 1983, that he became “pro-life” when increased study of fetology convinced him that the fetus is a human being.
• Dr. Herbert Ratner, executive member of the United States Commission On Human Life says, “It is now of unquestionable certainty that a human being comes into existence precisely at the moment when the sperm combines with the egg.”

These opinions are based on scientific research rather than religious conviction. They show that the decision of The Salvation Army to withdraw from the governance of the Grace Hospital in Vancouver, while it is primarily based on religious conviction, should also have the support of sincere medical and scientific people, who set a value on human life and would never agree to the killing of a month old baby, who has not become a human being by being born but by being conceived.

I join many in congratulating the members of The Salvation Army, who made this difficult decision. We need more “soldiers” of this calibre if we are to save Canada from moral, spiritual and economic destruction.