In late May, responding to the government’s plans for a resolution on forthcoming abortion legislation, Jim Hughes, president of Campaign Life Coalition addressed an uncompromising letter to all Members of Parliament to “reflect the views of millions of Canadians” and oppose any resolution that fails to recognize the right of unborn children to the full protection of the law. The Interim here reprints the complete text of the letter:
“The Government’s resolution dealing with possible abortion legislation tabled in the House of Commons today is completely unacceptable to Campaign Life Coalition. The resolution has been presented as offering three options on abortion policy. One allows for abortion on demand, one is being labeled as ‘pro-life’ and the main resolution itself is presented as a ‘compromise.’
None of the three options is in any sense pro-life. The option which is given that label allows for abortion in the case of a threat to the life or health of the mother. It is a law which would allow for even more abortions than were performed under the law struck down by the Supreme Court. Under the so-called pro-life proposal, abortions could be performed in private facilities including doctors’ offices and the committee of three approving doctors would be replaced by two doctors.
The proposal which is commonly called a compromise is a gestational law which would leave abortion unrestricted in the early weeks of pregnancy and place only limited restrictions in the later weeks. Thus, abortion would be available on demand in the early months of pregnancy. This is of course no compromise at all and simply gives those who lobby for abortion on demand substantially all that they want.
The three options do not represent the range of public opinion on the issue of abortion. None of them reflects the view of millions of Canadians that unborn children deserve full legal protection. Each option reflects in different ways the sort of pro-abortion mentality promoted by NAC and others who believe that women must be given the right to kill their unborn children.
Each of the options is simply a program for easy access to abortion and an increased number of aborted infants. Campaign Life Coalition urges all Members of Parliament to oppose the entire resolution and each of the three options contained therein.”
The pro-abortion option and media as pro-life reads as dubbed by the Government follows:
Such legislation, giving pre-eminence to the protection of the fetus, should prohibit the performance of an abortion except when:
– two independent qualified medical practitioners have, in good faith and on reasonable grounds, stated that in their opinion the continuation of the pregnancy would, or would be likely to, endanger the life of the pregnant woman or seriously and substantially endanger her health and there is no other commonly accepted medical procedure for effectively treating the health risk; but grounds for such opinion are not to include
(1) the effects of stress or anxiety which may accompany an unexpected or unwanted pregnancy, or
(2) social or economic considerations.
The above proposal will not provide legal protection for the unborn. The old section 251, now struck down, was also meant to exclude social or economic considerations (see the May 1969 debate in Parliament) though the text of S251 did not mention it explicitly. Similarly, a committee of three doctors was supposed to have safeguarded the interpretation of the term ‘health.’ Despite years of denial or proponents of legalized abortion, the three doctor committees became “rubber stamp” committees even before the day the new bill became law. A two-member committee will be even less restrained, especially now that abortion clinics are being legalized where two abortionists can sign the required document.
No one should think that people like Scott, Smoling and Morgentaler, who have defied the law for 20 years, will be restrained from doing abortions by terms such as “seriously” or “substantially” or “social” when such terms have no known legal or medical description.