Canada’s birth rate
Canada’s birth rate dropped again in 1986, according to a recent Statistics Canada report. The average for the country is now down to 14.7 per 1,000. The highest birth rate is among the very small population of the Northwest Territories: 28.8; the lowest is in Quebec down to 13 from 13.1 in 1985.
Replacement rate, or zero population growth, is 11 per 1,000. All European and North American countries with the exception of Poland, Ireland and Malta, are now dying nations. Quebec shares the bottom rank with Germany and Denmark.
“Women’s Clinic” at Catholic Hospital
Ontario’s Minister of Health announced in the Legislature on December 18 that St. Joseph’s Health Centre in Toronto has agreed to set up the second Women’s Health Centre in Toronto. It will receive $200,000 to set up the clinic and $313,000 a year for operating expenses.
The prime purpose of the Women’s Centres is to expand the availability of abortions through a comprehensive referral system. The first such centre was announced for Peterborough, but has been postponed until opposition to more abortions has died down in that city. The second Centre was announced for Women’s College Hospital where the Health Ministry is spending $1.5 million to set up a central abortion referral system for all of metropolitan Toronto. Women’s College is a centre for abortions already and no protests were expected or received.
The Women’s Centre at St. Joseph’s will not be involved in abortions and from the Health Ministry’s viewpoint there is no need for that. It suffices to have a “Women’s Clinic” at a Catholic hospital. This will give credibility to the other centers.
When a reporter suggested that the Minister had chosen St. Joseph’s to offset criticism from pro-life groups, Mrs. Caplan deflected the charge by saying Women’s Health Centres are far more than the provision of abortion services.
Right to Life groups of Southwestern Ontario placed a full-page advertisement in The London Free Press on January 13, 1988. The ad protested the Ontario government’s decision to expand abortion facilities. Do you believe in the family unit? The ad asked. Now is the time to defend it!
Whether Londoners will do so remains to be seen. They will soon have a chance to prove it now that MPP Ron Van Horne, Liberal, has resigned his seat in London South. The date for the by-election has not been set as yet. The Family Coalition Party (FCP) will run a candidate in this riding.
The Association for the Prevention of Handicapped Children has formulated a bill introduced into the French parliament allowing parents to kill handicapped babies under three days old by withholding life support measures. This includes babies with Down’s Syndrome. Foundress, Yvonne Jegon says her motives are caring rather than murderous.
The Catholic Archbishop of Paris, Jean-Marie Lustiger disagrees. He called the bill “a case of legal barbarity unworthy of our time and our civilization.”
Feminist reject PCs
The National Action Committee on the Status of Woman (NAC) has declared war on the Mulroney government. Its federal election kit calls for the defeat of the Progressive Conservatives because “our concerns have been twisted or ignored.” As an example of this “twisting.” NAC pints to the proposed anti-pornography legislation. According to NAC it should deal only with violence against women and children, not attack obscenity.
The Mulroney government has gone out of its way to placate. NAC and other feminists Government grants to feminist groups amount to close to $13 million annually. Non-feminist women’s groups, such as REAL Women, have been refused funding, because they oppose abortion and other anti-family measures.
Edmonton abortionists charged
Edmonton city police raided the clinic of Dr. Charles Ringrose on December 15, and charged him with performing an illegal abortion. The Criminal Code charge carries a maximum penalty of life in prison on conviction.
Dr. Ringrose had his license suspended ten years earlier, in 1977, four years after the Alberta College of Physicians and Surgeons had received the first complaints. Dr. Ringrose sued the College, lost his case and then attempted to sue four Queen’s Bench justices, who had ruled against him. His license to practice medicine in Alberta remained suspended. His wife stated that he continued his medical practice as a “hypnotherapists,” rather than as an obstetrician and gynecologist.
Dr. Ringrose was one of the first Edmonton doctors to prescribe birth control pills when this sale was still prohibited. He was a member of “Doctors for Repeal of the Abortion Law.” In 1971, this group convinced the Canadian Medical Association to pass a resolution stating that “there is justification on non-medical grounds for the deliberate termination of pregnancy.
Britain to lower age
On January 22, 1988, the British parliament gave parliamentary approval to a bill banning abortions for unborn babies beyond the age of 18 weeks. British law has permitted abortions up to 28 weeks gestation since 1967. That year Britain was the first Western country to follow Sweden which legalized abortions in 1935.
The new bill narrowly passed in second reading and now goes to committee which may well push the limit upwards. Also the sponsor of the law Liberal David Alton said he would support an exemption to the law if the unborn baby was mentally or physically handicapped.
Until October 1987, David Alton was chief whip of the Liberal Party. In September he shocked the party faithful by resigning as chief whip in order to pilot the above amending Bill to the 1967 Abortion Act. Alton announced his decision at the annual meeting of SPUC, the Society for the Protection of the Unborn Child, of which he is a member. His Liberal Party leader, David Steel, is the father of the 1967 Act.
U.S. rejects Planned Parenthood
Two major U.S. pro-abortion groups suffered defeats when the Senate Appropriations Committee voted against restoring U.S. “population assistance” funds to the Planned Parenthood Federation of American (PPFA) and to the United Nations Fund for Population Activities.
PPFA had spent a reported $1.5 million in 1987 on an advertising and legal campaign to overturn the “Mexico City Policy.” The latter denies funds to private organizations which promote abortion or campaign for the legalization of abortion in other nations. In an April 1987 speech PPFA President Faye Wattleton called legal abortion “a universal human right to which every person on this planet is entitled.” According to the United Nations, abortion on demand is legal only in eight out of 126 less-developed nations.
The vote was also a defeat for the Population Institute, a Washington-based lobbying organization which had waged a two-year battle to restore funding to UNFPA.