When I first read that Dalton McGuinty Junior, the son of the late Dalton McGuinty Senior, had been elected  leader of the Liberal party and saw his smiling face in the paper, I felt optimistic about the future of the Liberal Party’s position on abortion.  However, my enthusiasm was short-lived.  On CBC Radio’s Metro Morning, the day after his election, Dalton made the following statement:

“It’s true that I am a Roman Catholic, but I can tell you , as a public representative, I represent Protestants, Muslims, Jews, atheists and Roman Catholics—half of whom, by the way, believe in woman’s right to choose.  I am not prepared to let any one religion impose its beliefs on the rest of the population.  I believe in a woman’s right to choose.

Like father, like son?

I have in my possession a paper written in 1988 by the elder McGuinty, who was then M.P.P. for Ottawa South, giving his views on the abortion question.  I can’t help wondering if his son ever read it.  Her are some quotes from the paper, which is entitled “A Statement on Abortion.”

a) Abortion is not merely (or mainly) a religious issue. “There is a tradition which goes back 2,000 years B. C…whose Oath, until abandoned by most medical schools a few decades ago, would Oath, until abandoned by most medical schools a few decades ago, would have doctors take every means to protect the life of the unborn child.  Put aside that one may believe their God expects.  Even assume that there is no God.  Then the greatest thing left to us is life.  The essential fact of human existence is the worth and dignity of every human being, regardless of whether the human being is unborn, ill or handicapped.”

b) Let there be no mistake.  The gestational approach to condone abortion at any state, is to be pro-abortion.  Abortion at any stage of pregnancy is a direct attack on the life of the unborn.  The life at stake is the result of relations between humans.  It is human life.”

Mr. McGuinty Sr. then quotes a statement by Toronto doctors, addressed to the members of the federal government (February 1988).  The doctors are speaking from scientific, not a religious point of view;

“It is no longer a question that, in very biological sense, the life of every human being begins at conception.  From the moment of conception to the moment of death the human being is at all times a human person. Any attempt to legislate the beginning of human life as occurring as some point other than conception, would be based no biological fact,  but on arbitrarily chosen terms. Such a definition or such a law would, therefore, not be based on the scientific truth.”

Mr. McGuinty Senior was probably basing his remarks on statements made through history and accepted by science.  Here is the pertinent quote from Hippocrates—500 B.C: “I shall never, no matter who may demand it supply a homicidal drug. I shall never supply a woman with an abortive pessary…

That was written some 500 years before the birth of Christ and more than 500 years before the birth of Christ and more than 500 years before the Catholic Church ever came into existence.  Dalton’s statement: “I am not prepared to let any one religion impose its beliefs on the rest of the population” displays a total misunderstanding of one of the most important ‘political’ issues of our time.

In September 1948, the World Medical Association held a conference in Geneva and herewith is on of their official statements:

“….I will maintain the utmost respect for human life from the time of conception: even under that, I will use my medical knowledge contrary to the laws of humanity.  I will make these promises, solemnly, freely and upon my honor.” Canada signed this declaration.

For the record

As Mr. McGuinty, Junior is not going to allow his “Faith” to interfere in any way with his service of Caesar, he will not be interested in the official teaching of the Church.  But other readers may be.  The “Catechism of the Caktholic Church No. 2270 states:

“Human life must be respected and protected absolutely from the moment of conception.  From the first moment of existence, a human being must be recognized as having the rights of a person-among with is the inviolable right of every innocent being to life.”

In No. 58 of the Gospel of Life, Pope John Paul 11 says: “The moral gravity of procured abortion is apparent in all its truth if we recognize that we are dealing with murder and, in particular, when we consider the specific elements involved.  The one eliminated is a human being at the very beginning of life.”

In No. 90 of the same encyclical, the Pope speaks more directly to elected officials: “This task (of defending life) is the particular responsibility of civil leaders.  Called to serve the people and the common good, they have to make courageous choices in support of life, especially through legislative measures.

God give us men.  A time like this demands strong minds, great hearts, true Faith and ready hands.  Men whom the lust for office cannot kill.  Men whom the spoils of office cannot buy.  Men of honor.  Men who will not lie.  Men who stand before a demagogue and damn his treacherous flatteries without blinking.  Tall men; sun-crowned, who stand above the fog in private thinking and public office.