A few weeks before the REAL Women conference was held, Ottawa’s St. Paul’s University was the site of a conference on reproductive technologies, sponsored by the Ottawa branch of the of the Canadian Federation of University Women.


Although St. Paul’s trains future Canadian Catholic priests, its administration seemed to have no qualms about allowing the university facilities to be used by the likes of Evelyn Gigantes, pro-abortion activist and former Ontario Health Minister, and Dr. Norm Barwin, President of both the Society for the Advancement of Contraception and Planned Parenthood of Canada.

Echoing the lament of generations of birth control advocates, Ms. Gigantes stated that she is disappointed with methods developed to date. What is needed, she said, are low tech birth control methods which provide no danger to women who use them. She also quoted statistics on the rate of teen pregnancies from 1975 to1979 in Ontario, to claim the positive impact of sex education.

She did not indicate, of course, if the pregnancy counted on the deliveries of live children or if aborted babies were excluded from her figures. Numerous studies have shown that the number of abortions increased in societies where birth control is widely used.


The rest of the conference time was taken up by various feminists demanding that women retain the right to make choices regardless of what happens in the field of reproductive technologies


The rights of the unborn child either in the womb or as a victim of new reproductive technologies were not considered in any way of the briefs except in cases of fetal screening for the purpose of eugenics or gender selection; more female than male babies are aborted when fetal screening techniques are employed. This fact has alarmed feminists to the point where the Canadian Advisory Council on the Status of Women has called on the Royal Commission On New Reproductive Technologies to request a ban on “sex selection for social or economic reasons.”