Newfie abortuary one year old

St. Jon’s, Nfld. – On the Morgentaler ‘clinic’s’ first anniversary here, CBC’s regional radio newscast featured an interview with Peggy Meisner, the abortuary’s head nurse and office manager.

She stated that the past year has gone very smoothly. “Except for a couple of rowdy demonstrations in the early days, Right to Lifers have been really very civilized,” she added, implying that opposition to the ‘clinic’ had all but evaporated.

But she claims the ‘clinic’s’ future is still in jeopardy. “Because many desperate women cannot afford the $400-500 fee, the ‘clinic’ provides…abortions at a lower rate, but it can’t continue to operate at a loss.”

In the coming months, she promised, a vigorous community campaign will pressure government to pay for abortions there.

The news item was inaccurate in many respects, says Philomena Rogers, President of Newfoundland Right to Life.

In fact, Right to Life is strong and growing, she states. Speakers are in demand, student groups have formed, last October’s Life Chain was well-supported, vigils are held weekly in front of the Health Sciences Centre where abortions are also performed. Some girls who are being cared for at Right to Life’s Elizabeth House have indeed been turned away from the Morgentaler ‘clinic’ for lack of funds.

Doreen Beagan, The Interim

Nova Scotia

Henry Morgentaler drops suit, for the time being

Halifax. On February 3, 1992, Henry Morgentaler dropped his attempt by means of a Court Order to force the provincial Medical Services Insurance Corporation to reimburse him for abortions.

Nova Scotia pays for abortions committed in hospitals, but not for those done in freestanding abortuaries.

Morgentaler is waiting to see whether the Supreme Court of Canada will uphold the validity of the provincial Medical Services Act in a hearing sometime this fall.

Harvesting fetal tissue

Halifax. The harvester of fetal tissue has begun in Canada.

On December 16, 1991, a team of scientists and doctors from Victoria General Hospital and Dalhousie University transplanted tissue from an aborted baby into the brain of a 61-year-old woman with Parkinson’s disease in the first operation of its kind in Canada.

Dr. Renn-Holness performed the surgery; Dr. Alan Fine of the Dalhousie headed the team in charge. Hospital president Dr Bernard Badley approved, as did Robert O’Neil, president of the Nova Scotia Parkinson’s Foundation.

Medical doctors at Victoria General commit some 1700 abortions annually, ensuring a steady supply of tissue for experiments by the medical scientists.

According to the Globe and Mail (December 17), Dr. Badley sees the issue of abortion entirely separate from the medical use of fetal tissue. “I don’t condone murder,” he said, “but if someone is shot through the head and their organs are available…I see no reason not to use them.”

Dr. Badley didn’t tell the reporter that he fully approves the murder of unborn babies. (see separate story in this issue, page 2)

Reverse discrimination

Halifax. (FNIF) Editors of Pandora, a feminist newspaper, refuse to accept any submissions from men.

But snubbed contributor Gene Keyes was so outraged over the rule he went to the Nova Scotia Human Rights Commission charging discrimination.

Feminist groups are watching the case closely because, they say, women are disadvantaged because of their sex.

Yet Cynthia Haughn of Campaign Life Coalition, Nova Scotia, who subscribes to Pandora, says the magazine’s editorial slant is blatantly anti-male, anti-family and in fact, supports removing all rights from fathers – even in marriage. “It absolutely reeks of hatred and mistrust against men,” she says.

Mrs. Haughn thinks Mr. Keyes has a good case.

“It’s a very disturbing thing that a man who simply wants to speak up in defense of being a man is not allowed to make his own defense,” says Mrs. Haughn.

Pandora’s lawyer is Anne Derrick, Henry Morgentaler’s Nova Scotia lawyer.


Holy Innocents vigil

Kingston, Ont. Campaign Life Coalition (CLC)/Kinston held a “Holy Innocents Day Vigil” outside Kingston General Hospital on December 28, 1991.

About 100 activists, carrying candles, and braving sub-zero temperatures heard CLC president Mary Ellen Douglas point out that “since 1971, more than 13,000 helpless pre-born babies have been slaughtered by abortion at Kingston General Hospital.”

The date chosen was that traditionally reserved for the commemoration of the ‘slaughter of the innocents’ by King Herod shortly after the birth of Christ 2000 years ago.

Baby slain

Toronto, Ontario. A newborn baby was found slain on the lawn of a North York home on January 1, 1992. It was the first reported infanticide in Metro Toronto since 1989. During the 1980’s, 26 infanticides were committed in Metro Toronto.

Pro-life campaigns

Toronto. Campaign Life Coalition/Ontario has initiated a series of actions against the prevailing abortion mentality.

These include “mini-Life Chains” and the picketing of abortionists’ offices and homes. On January 18, 1992, CLC issued the following guidelines:

√ Pray for the guidance and conversion of the abortionist.

√ Research. Confirm suspect is doing abortions. Get full name, office and home addresses, phone numbers.

√ Try to meet with abortionists first. Don’t just start picketing.

•    Send short letter of concern by registered mail or hand deliver. Write from the heart. Ask for a meeting to dialogue.
Allow 7 days for response. If response is positive meet and bring information listed below.

•    If response is negative, send a second letter including the following:
–    alternatives to abortion;
–    effects of abortion, physical and psychological;
–    testimonies of aborted women and former abortionists;
–    U.S. video, Meet the Abortion Providers;
–    bibliography
–    petition (optional) signed by local clergy, doctors, etc.

√ Escalating Plan of Action (If there is no response, or if abortionist continues to commit abortions)

•    leaflet office/waiting room/parking lot
Include name of abortionist, number of abortions done in hospital previous year, make appointment at reception desk to meet with abortionist. Stress that your message be delivered.
•    picket office
•    leaflet neighborhood around abortionist’s home.
•    picket home.

√ Code of Conduct
•    Picket and leaflet in a quiet and orderly manner
•    Don’t treat abortionist as a non-person. He/she too is made in the image and likeness of God.

On January 31, CLC mounted a mini-Life Chain (45 people) at the Queen’s Park site of the Ontario Legislature. On February 5, some 20 people picketed the office of Dr. Joseph Lee, who commits abortions at Branson Hospital in Downsview, Ontario, a Toronto suburb.

On February 10, another mini-Life Chain took place in Toronto, and on February 14 Drs. Denise Robb and Gerry Shime were picketed for performing abortions at Women’s College Hospital in the same city.

Other CLC activities include assistance given to Family Coalition Party (FCP) candidate Don Pennell who is running for the Ontario legislature in a by-election in Brant-Haldimand.


Tom Schuck champions Saskatchewan model

Regina. The Saskatchewan Pro-Life Association (SPLA) Newsletter for December 1991 carried an article by former president and Weyburn lawyer Tom Schuck, entitled “Canadian Pro-Life Movement needs change.”

Mr. Schuck claims that unless the rest of Canada adopts Saskatchewan’s methods, no progress will be made in the pro-life cause.

He claims that by modeling themselves after some American examples, the SPLA has had the following political success:

•    getting almost one-half of the Liberals for Life delegates to the leadership convention in Calgary in June 1990
•    getting 50 per cent of candidates in the October 1991 provincial election to be pro-life;
•    getting the plebiscite question about abortion-funding on the ballot under the former Conservative government of Grant Devine.

(the result of the plebiscite was 62.7 per cent against funding, 37.3 per cent in favor).

NDP caucus re-affirms stand

Regina. The NDP captured 55 of the 67 seats in the Saskatchewan Legislative Assembly in the October 21, 1991 election.

At its post-election convention in late November, the party re-affirmed its support for the now standard anti-family, anti-life positions.

Although the Saskatchewan Pro-Life Association (SPLA) had claimed six of the 55 NDP MLA’s as pro-life, the following resolutions were passed without dissent, some on the initiative of Health Minister Louise Semard:

•    woman’s right to have a safe, legal, therapeutic abortion;
•    public funding of abortion;
•    mandatory sex and AIDS education in all school divisions (resolution from NDP youth);
•    full funding of all contraceptives under the Saskatchewan Drug Plan;
•    enabling legislation to provide for “living wills” and enduring “power of attorney” with respect to medical treatment.

Since the election, the Deputy Minister of Health who served under the previous PC government has been replaced by Duane Adams, who served in the same capacity under the previous NDP government of Alan Blakeney.

In 1980 Mr. Adams commissioned a task force composed of seven women to report on women’s healthy concerns.

In their September 1980 brief this committee called for full abortion funding, free-standing abortuaries, and enforced abortion “access” in all provincial hospitals regardless of local views.


Fairness for families

Calgary. (FNIF) Calgary MP Al Johnson wants fairness for traditional families back in Canada’s tax laws.

Concerned that couples living common-law are benefiting from exemptions aimed at helping single parents, Johnson has initiated proposals intended to clean up the “patchwork” of amendments added over the years to Canada’s 75-year-old Income Tax Act.

Walter and Elaine Schachtschneider of Hamilton, Ontario are among the families that would welcome changes. They’re in the midst of a court battle alleging Canada’s tax system discriminates against traditional families by taking money from Canadian married families and redistributing it to wealthier common-law families.

UN Convention on Children’s’ Rights

Edmonton. (FNIF) Alberta continues to balk at adding its name to the UN Convention protecting children’s rights.

The province is demanding assurances from Ottawa that the Convention won’t undermine parental authority.

Alberta Tory Member of Parliament Al Johnson supports the province’s position: “I guess some of us are saying, well, if we’re not absolutely sure, why don’t we put the reservation in?”

Mr. Johnson and the Alberta government both worry the Convention would interfere with the right of responsible parents to have the last word in how to raise their children.

Pro-family groups echo the same fears.

But defenders of the Convention don’t understand the problem. Brian Ward, who heads the Children’s Bureau, says the Convention actually strengthens parental authority.

Canada delayed signing the Convention for about a year because of provincial disputes. Alberta remains the only province that hasn’t ratified the treaty to date.