On July 26, 1991, Judge James Karswick of the Ontario Provincial Court overruled the wishes of the parents of a pregnant 12-year-old girls and said that she could have an abortion – to protect her health, Toronto papers revealed at the end of October.

The parents who belong to the Pentecostal Congregation believe that abortion is equivalent to murder.


Canadian Abortion Rights Action League (CARAL), spokeswoman Jane Holmes said – as expected – “this is a positive thing for the girl.  The religious viewpoint of some people  should not be allowed to jeopardize her health.”

Margaret Purcell, National Organizer for Campaign Life Coalition, was quoted in the Globe and Mail (October 23, 1991) as saying that the decision allows the state to usurp the role of parents: “You can’t get your car license until you’re 16, but suddenly it’s all right for a 13-year-old to be mature enough to make a decision regarding her child’s life.”

Judge Karswick’s decision was made despite the parents’ declaration that they would be willing to help the girl get through her pregnancy.  Instead the judge listened to the girl herself, who expressed a desire to terminate her pregnancy and to Peel Children’s Aid Society, which had asked for interim custody of her.

“The interest of the unborn child or fetus, has no representation at this hearing,” Karswick observed.  “Indeed, the recent decisions of the Supreme Court of Canada have indicated a refusal to recognize the legal status of the fetus.

“I have reservations about making an order which so deeply affects the fetus, or unborn child, in circumstances where there is no legal advocate for this interest.

“However, I am bound by the weight of the recent pronouncements of the Supreme Court of Canada,” the judge stated.

Children’s Aid Society

What has not been explained so far is the role of the Children’s Aid Society and its possible role in seizing the child from her parents.

As for the judge, he has contributed directly and voluntarily to a further assault on the family and the right to life.

Atrocious as the March 1991 judgment of the Supreme Court of Canada on the ‘Midwives case’ (Sullivan and Lemay) may have been, their ruling that there is no “human person” or human being for the purposes of the Criminal Code until a baby is fully born, did not imply that 13-year-olds may overrule their parents.   Now it does!