Dr. Judy Kazimirski is the current Chairman of the Canadian Medical Association’s [CMA] board of directors.
At the end of April she threw radical feminists into consternation by stating that fetal rights must be enshrined in law. In a speech to the women’s section of the Hamilton Academy of Medicine, she suggested that the rights and legal protection of the fetus should increase as it approaches birth. In fact, she said, “We must face the tough but responsible decision on the question, “At what point do the rights of the fetus surpass those of the mother.”
Judy Rebick, head of the National Action Committee on the Status of Women [NAC], was shocked and appalled by such talk of fetal rights. The courts have clearly established, she said, that the fetus is part of the mother’s body until it is born. Why pretend otherwise, and stir up needless controversy?
Dr. Kazimirsky is a family physician who practices with her husband, also a doctor, in Windsor, Nova Scotia.
She must know the position of Judy Rebick and of the Supreme Court in its latest decision on the midwives case that a baby in the process of being born is not yet a human being.
But the evidence shows she is thoroughly confused.
Last January, the CMA’s delegation appeared before the Senate committee reviewing Bill C-43, the government’s abortion bill. It received a respectful hearing and was given plenty of time to present its case.
It presentation takes up 21 pages of Hansard, whereas Campaign Life Coalition’s, which followed it , takes up only 9.
Dr. Kazimirski was the CMA’s chief spokesman, and as expected, she flailed Bill C-43 from the pro-abortionist point of view.
Her arguments were the familiar ones; doctors were being scared off from doing abortions and this was a bad thing; the bill singled out abortion as the only recognized medical act to attract criminal sanction; it would make physicians the target of extremists; it would deprive women of needed medical care, and so on.
She paid much attention to abortion as a medical ‘service’, but none to the fact that abortion takes a baby’s life. In her view the bill was a threat to the woman justified in having an abortion.
Nevertheless, well on in the discussion before the Senate committee, Dr. Kazimirski introduced the idea of fetal rights, as she did in her speech in Hamilton. The CMA has defined abortion as the active termination of a pregnancy before fetal viability. After this stage, she said, “what you are dealing with is the potential for a person.”
If the pregnancy has arrived at the gestation level where the baby could survive, she went on to say, “you are not dealing with abortion, that is not the issue at all, and you must deal with that baby.” Physicians, she continued are not dealing with only one individual: “they have a responsibility not only to the mother, but also to the potential baby”. (emphasis added)
One of the defects of the proposed legislation, added her colleague Dr. Kluge, is that it does not even mention the fetus.
Dr. Kazimirski’s position—the position of the CMA—is replete with intellectual confusion. The Campaign Life Coalition presentation to the Senate committee came just after the doctors had finished. The destroyed the CMA assumptions in two minutes—though of course the senators did not acknowledge that they had done so.
The physicians maintain that abortion is a necessary medical service; they simply assume this to be a fact. Said CLC spokesman Father Ted Colleton: “How the killing of a baby can be a lawful medical procedure escapes my intelligence.”
He quoted Dr. Jerome Jejune as saying, “If the fertilized egg is not, by itself, a full human being, it would never become one because something would have to be added and we know that does not happen.”
The baby in the womb is not merely ‘potential’ either before or after viability. It is real, or it would not have a heartbeat.
Dr. Judy Kazimirski’s position contains other contradictions. She is a Roman Catholic. She entered a convent when she left high school, planning to become a nun and train as a medical missionary. Today she defends the killing of unborn babies. As has been pointed out again and again, it is impossible for a sincere Roman Catholic to be an advocate of abortion.
Dr. Kazimirski’s prescription for dealing with the problem of unwanted pregnancies is more sex education, more contraception, even though the widespread use of contraceptives increases, not decreases, the number of abortions.
She deplored the fact that the majority of Canadian teenagers are sexually active by the time they leave high school, and called government funding directed to family planning and contraceptive counseling nothing short of pathetic.
“It’s not often that someone comes along who is so authoritative and aggressively articulate” CBC reporter Neil MacDonald said in a profile of Dr. Kazimirski in the Canadian Medical Association Journal (March 15, 1990).
“She injects certainty and moral rectitude into her answers. She lectures MPs and reporters and they love it.”
As we have seen, however, what Mr. MacDonald describes as moral rectitude is moral confusion. The greatest contribution Dr. Kazimirski could make to Canadian society, including Canadian women, would be for her to admit that she had been wrong about abortion.
No reason in the world can justify taking the life of an unborn child, after viability or before it.