On March 30,1990, Justice Minister Kim Campbell announced that the government would not entertain any amendments from the House of Commons Abortion Committee.

Immediately thereafter, some prominent Quebecors, including the president of Campagne-Vie Quebec, wrote Bishop Lebel, President of the CCCB. They repeated certain objections to the Bill from a natural law and moral point of view.

They also pointed out that the delegation’s testimony given before the Abortion Committee on January 31, had led some Committee members to conclude that the Bishops would even accept Bill without amendments. The following statement, issued first in French then in English, expresses Bishop Lebel’s disappointment with the position of the government. It includes the statement: “If the Bill remains as is, it cannot have our approval.” Bishop Statement of the CCCB President on Bill C-43. We are deeply disappointed to learn that the Parliamentary Committee, we made it very clear that although Bill C-43 has some positive elements (rejection of the gestational approach, requirement of grounds, use of the criminal law power), it is seriously flawed. Our primary concern is that “in practical application it will not sufficiently protect the unborn child.”

Our brief to the Parliamentary Committee includes suggestions for amendments to remedy the major deficiencies of “the weak definition of health and the failure to provide any means for confirming that the health standard has been made.” If the Bill remains as is, it cannot have our approval.

We urge members of Parliament to pass amendments in the House, which will improve the Bill and truly protect the lives of unborn children. As we said in our brief: “You have the responsibility of drafting legislation which will profoundly affect future generations. Your recommendations will be a statement about the value Canadians place on human life.

Yours is not an easy task, but we are confident that you have the ability, humanity, and integrity to make a difference.”

Robert Lebel

Bishop of Valleyfield

President of the CCCB

April 6, 1990