In early May, the Nova Scotia Supreme Court awarded damages of $725,000 to a woman who had crashed her car into an oncoming vehicle on the way home from having an abortion at the Halifax Morgentaler abortuary in 1993.

A doctor and nurse at the clinic were found liable for letting her drive home after the abortion in a state of extreme distress resulting from “the intense emotional turmoil of aborting what she described as a baby,” as the judge put it. The woman had been distraught, and reportedly asked abortuary staff whether she could take the baby home for burial.

Emotional distress

The judge ruled emotional distress experienced by the mother of four after the abortion caused her to pass out at the wheel. Both the judgment and the amount of the award are being appealed. The defendants were also found liable for injuries suffered by persons in the second vehicle, but a cash award in that instance has not yet been handed down.

Much as I relish seeing the Morgentaler crowd taking their lumps, the outcome of this lawsuit makes me uneasy. I have problems with the concept of big cash awards in civil litigation in general, and in this case it strikes me that:

(a) The woman and her husband are not being obliged to assume their fair share of responsibility for the consequences of a decision they made with their eyes open. The woman, a hospital nurse, was presumably aware beforehand of what she submitted herself and her unborn child to.

(b) This case specifically focused on whether the doctor and nurse were personally negligent, but the whole abortion machine should rightfully be on trial for negligence – not just these two individuals. Abortuary operators, their political activist fellow-travelers, and the gutlessly compliant government are all culpable for not properly informing women of the potential emotional, psychological, and physical harm that can result from the choice to abort a child.

Pro-life assertions that women who undergo abortions are frequently haunted by deep remorse, terrible guilt, and depression — sometimes to the point of becoming suicidal — have been contemptuously dismissed by the pro-abortion lobby as extreme and sensationalist propaganda. Abortion advocates insist that “ending a pregnancy” is just a simple and safe medical procedure, and they discount the chance of lingering psychological or physical after-effects.

One of the most distressing aspects of the Halifax case is the woman reportedly had serious moral and ethical concerns about the abortion, only agreeing to it because her husband was “upset” about having another child.

What’s this? Men pressuring women into having abortions against their will? Where are the hordes of outraged feminists? Here we have another prima facie example of glaring self-contradictions and inconsistencies in feminist ideology.

As with the Clinton sex scandals, feminists are caught in an irreconcilable conflict of loyalties. To admit that women submit to abortions under duress from husbands, boyfriends, and fathers is to concede embarrassingly that the claims of pro-life activists amount to more than lunatic-fringe right-wing ranting.

The pro-abortion lobby has been winning the public relations wars for 20 years, aided and abetted by an overwhelmingly liberal media that can be counted on to give abortion supporters a sympathetic boost, while putting the boots to pro-life “bigots,” and “religious fanatics.”

Consequently, the abortion movement has never been obliged to explain why a child is a dispensable piece of tissue so long as it resides in its mother’s body, but somehow magically becomes a precious human life at the instant its last toe emerges from the womb. The obscenity of partial-birth abortions, in which the doctor essentially stabs the child to death in the birth canal with a sharp instrument before removing the fresh corpse and disposing of it, spotlights the insanely rationalistic sophistry of the pro-abortion position.

It should make even the most indoctrinated abortion advocate a bit queasy that none other than abortion czar Henry Morgentaler himself admitted in an interview on the 10th anniversary of abortion anarchy in Canada that 100,000 abortions per year are far too many.

Euphemistic blather about “difficult personal choices,” “a woman’s right to control her own body,” and “a private matter between a woman and her doctor” (the latter from an abortionist who has never met her before and who has a financial conflict of interest in her decision), do not explain why the deliberate, violent snuffing out of 100,000 Canadian lives a year is not state-funded mass murder.

Feel-good rhetoric

It also ill-serves women, and the men in their lives, who are gulled into accepting convenient, feel-good, abortion propaganda at face value — shielded by rhetoric from the grotesque reality of what they are actually contemplating. That is, until the hideous reality is experienced.

However, being sucked in by political propaganda is not an adequate excuse for abdicating personal responsibility for one’s actions and their consequences. There is plenty of blame to go around. Even though holding the abortuary liable is fitting, it could never redress the gross injustice of abortion itself.

(Ed. Note: The liability award against Morgentaler’s Halifax franchise was made in December 1997 but it was not until the following April that REAL Women’s Reality magazine broke the story. A May 4 media release from Campaign Life Coalition Nova Scotia eventually brought the story to the attention of national media. Media officials claimed they missed the story because the case did not contain the name Morgentaler in the summary.)