Perhaps the most surprising detail that emerged from Justin Trudeau’s spontaneous, undemocratic pronouncement about the commitment to abortion which future Liberal candidates must espouse is his evident ignorance about the Charter of Rights and Freedoms which his own father shepherded into Canadian law. In his zeal to build a party that, in his words, is both “the party of the Charter” and “resolutely pro-choice,” he failed to confirm if the two were actually related.

In fact, they are not. Abortion is not a right guaranteed in the Charter, and the Liberal leader’s repeated appeal to this non-existent constitutional right illustrates his ignorance of the laws of the country he would lead. As Archbishop Richard Smith pointed out in his column in the Edmonton Journal: “Far from thus establishing a constitutional right, the Supreme Court justices indicated in (the Morgentaler) decision that Parliament could act to restrict access to abortion.” Smith then went on to quote the then-chief justice who observed that “protection of fetal interests by Parliament is also a valid governmental objective.”

How ironic that it falls to an Archbishop to quote case-law which corrects a party leader about the source he claimed to justify his absurd, fictitious, and tendentious so-called “right.” We must therefore conclude, along with the Archbishop: “What we have in our country is not a constitutional right to abortion, but a failure of political leadership to address the matter.”