Jim Hughes, national president of Campaign Life Coalition, wrote an open letter to Justin Trudeau asking the Prime Minister to stop saying abortion is a Charter right. Hughes writes, “It is unbecoming for the Prime Minister of Canada today to deliberately utter a falsehood and to keep repeating it.”
In the Sept. 29 letter, Hughes explains that “abortion is not a ‘Charter right,’ and it is not a ‘human right’.”
In 2014 when Trudeau announced he would ban pro-lifers from running for the Liberals, he said: “The Liberal party is the party of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. It defines us in the way it defines this country,” he told the Ottawa Citizen at the time.” He added, “And since 1988, the Supreme Court of Canada has recognized that a woman’s right to a choice in this matter is a Charter right. (It) is upheld by the Constitution.”
In his letter to the Prime Minister, Hughes recounts that when the Charter was introduced by Pierre Trudeau in 1981, Campaign Life and the Catholic bishops lobbied to include a right-to-life amendment. Pierre Trudeau said it was unnecessary because the Charter would not impact abortion. In June 1981, Pierre Trudeau stated: “Because the public is evenly divided on the subject of abortion, it was the government’s ‘considered view’ that a position favouring one side should not be enshrined in the charter.”
Hughes said to the younger Trudeau, abortion “has never been declared to be a ‘Charter right’ by the Supreme Court of Canada” and that “the Court has specifically held that there is a legitimate right for Parliament to legislate on the issue, should it so choose.”
As for Trudeau’s assertion that abortion is a human right – a view the government insists upon in multilateral and bilateral agreements and in Canadian foreign aid – Hughes said despite multiple efforts to do so, there has never been a consensus at the United Nations to declare abortion a human right. The “majority of the 193 member states that make up the United Nations do not share your personal view that abortion is a human right,” added Hughes.
The CLC national president concluded his letter saying, “In the future, we respectfully request that you refrain from either stating or implying that abortion is a ‘Charter right,’ a ‘human right’ and is synonymous with ‘women’s rights’ as it is clearly not.”
Hughes told LifeSiteNews the letter is an “opportunity to perhaps inform” Trudeau what happened when his father, Prime Minister Pierre Elliott Trudeau, brought in the Charter in 1982, when his son and eventual successor was 10 years old. Hughes said, “I just reached a point where I was so tired of listening to him implying there was a Charter right to abortion that I went back through my files and found all the materials from when we battled his father on the Charter of Rights and Freedoms and demanded that the unborn be included.”
The letter was also sent to all members of Parliament, because they repeat the misinformation about abortion as a Charter right.