Shame on Prime Minister Jean Chretien, who recently told a Liberal Party fundraising event in Montreal that among the reasons Canada is a better country than the United States is the fact that we have legal abortion. It is sick to suggest that the slaughter of approximately 115,000 unborn babies in the womb is virtuous and a sign of superiority over our southern neighbours. It is also the mark of a confused intellect when one believes abortion is not legal in the U.S., where more than one million unborn babies are killed by abortion each year.

Seeing public debate about important social policy issues as a sign of a country’s sickness, not health, Chretien proudly proclaimed, “We don’t have big debates on the rights of abortion because we decided a long time ago in Canada it is the choice of women, which is not the case in a lot of U.S. states.” Ah, yes, social peace. Social peace at the expense of those 115,000 unborn babies.

According to the Toronto Sun, 1,200 Liberal Party supporters paid $500 to hear and applaud such bizarre boasts. Ironically, cheerleading his own efforts to reform campaign fundraising rules – on an evening in which he raised millions of dollars for his party – Chretien bragged about the Liberal government’s willingness to make tough decisions. Yet, it is precisely this government that has refused to allow any debate about abortion. The Prime Minister’s Office has manipulated Parliament time and time again to prevent private members’ business dealing with life issues from coming to the floor of the House of Commons for a vote or even a debate. Apparently, as a “superior society,” we do not debate such issues.

Chretien told the crowd that, “I’m a proud Liberal and a proud Canadian.” There is much to be proud of in both the Liberal Party and Canadian traditions, but their respective histories on abortion is not one of them.