Nearly 300 prolifers from across the country assembled at King’s University College in Edmonton for this year’s National Pro-Life Conference.
Operating under the theme “Learn from Yesterday, Prepare for Tomorrow”, delegates heard a variety of presentations outlining strategies and issues of immediate concern to the community.
The growing climate of acceptance for euthanasia or assisted suicide was a central issue for the conference, as was discussion of the implications of new productive technologies. Both topics have become particularly relevant in 1996 due to the actions of U.S. suicide doctor Jack Kevorkian, who like abortionist Henry Morgentaler, breaks the law in an attempt to have it changed. As well, the Canadian government recently unveiled a number of propose laws restricting trade in human embryos, sperm, and prohibiting in-vitro experimentation.
Speakers at the Edmonton conference included Father Tom Lynch of St. Augustine’s Seminary in Toronto, who discussed news areas in bioethics and genetics. Other presenters included Cheryl Eckstein of the Compassionate Health-care Network, Alliance for Life president Chuck Smith and Students for life leader Kathleen Ross.
Henry Van Dergugten of Alberta Pro-Life Edmonton was host for the 1996 conference. She told The Interim that the conference was marked by strong sense of optimism and an emphasis on the power and trust in God.
“It was an amazing conference,” Van Dergugten said.
“So many people were impressed with the view that we can work wonders so long as we have God with us. We have to keep that in mind at all times.”
One of the highlights of the conference was an address by Dr. Joel Brind of Baruch College (City University of New York, a renowned cancer researcher who has devoted much of his work to showing the clear link between abortion and the increased risk of breast cancer.
Dr. Brind said 18 of 23 major studies have shown the abortion-breast cancer link. However the U.S. media and the medical community continue to dispute the findings, to the harm of untold women. Brind was winding up a three-city tour of Canada to promote his findings and to warn Canadian women that political motives often prevent their obtaining full information on the harmful effects of abortion.
Keynote speaker was Douglas Gresham, the step-son of author of C.S. Lewis, who described his work in post-abortion counseling and in working to persuade abortion-performing doctors to give up the practice.
Next years’ National Pro-Life Conference will be held in Charlottetown, P.E.I.