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- Prairie provinces cave on abortion pill:Within days in June, the last two provinces holding out on funding the Mifegymiso (abortion pill) – Manitoba and Saskatchewan – caved to pressure from pro-abortion activists to pay for the abortion drug through their provincial health plans. Both justified it on the grounds of increasing access to abortion in remote and rural areas.
- Ford betrayal on sex-ed:Ever since the Doug Ford government announced it would review Ontario’s sex-ed curriculum after being elected in June 2018, it was clear the Progressive Conservative government would not protect elementary school-aged children from LGBQT+ indoctrination. When Education Minister Stephen Lecce released the revised curriculum in August, it resembled the old Kathleen Wynne sex-ed program, leading Parents as First Educators to say “exactly nothing of the Wynne sex-ed has been repealed.”
- Court throws out euthanasia restriction: The Superior Court of Quebec ruled that the federal law restricting euthanasia to those patients for whom natural death was “reasonably foreseeable” was unconstitutional. Justice Christine Baudouin accepted the argument that it led to needless suffering. Euthanasia opponents said the ruling ignored the importance of palliative care and would mean that there is death-on-demand for people who may still have a long life ahead of them.
- US pushes back against idea of abortion as human right:Twice in 2019 the Trump administration released statements stating that there is no human right to abortion and that international agencies including the United Nations were wrong to promote abortion as part of its sexual and reproductive health agenda. America’s letters condemning abortion as a human right were co-signed by other nations including Brazil and Hungary.
- Conscience rights under assault:In May the Ontario Court of Appeal ruled that doctors in that province must provide an “effective referral” to a medical professional who will carry out abortion or euthanasia requests or prescribe birth control. In November, an Alberta legislative committee recommended that a private member’s bill by Dan Williams that would protect the conscience rights of workers not be voted upon by the full legislature. Williams vows to continue to fight for conscience rights.
- Unplanned success in Canada:Unplanned, the film based on the story of Abby Johnson, the abortion worker turned pro-life activist, had trouble getting distributed in Canada when it was released in the U.S. in March. But after a campaign to convince theatres to carry it, Unplannedwas shown in limited release in select theatres. It made more than $350,000 in just 49 theatres and was second in per-screen average, behind only the latest Spiderman movie, despite there being no advertising campaign to support it. Justin Trudeau’s chief of staff Katie Telford tweeted concern that the movie was being shown in Canada, providing some necessary publicity.
- Andrew Scheer’s betrayal: Andrew Scheer vowed not to reopen the abortion issue when he ran for the Conservative leadership. But after months of the Liberals attacking him and his party over the possibility the Tories would legislate on abortion if they formed the government and noting that Scheer opposed same-sex “marriage” nearly two decades ago, Scheer held a hastily called press conference to say if he became prime minister he would “ensure” any legislation on abortion would be defeated. He did not elaborate what that meant, exactly, but it seemed to violate his long-stated belief that MPs could exercise their conscience on such matters.
- US state abortion laws:Several U.S. states passed significant restrictions on abortion, including Georgia and Missouri who enacted so-called heartbeat bans that outlaw abortion once a heartbeat is detectable (typically six weeks), and Alabama passed a law outlawing all abortions even in cases of rape and incest. Courts have prevented these laws from coming into force, and they are expected to make their way to the Supreme Court of the United States.
- Trudeau’s funding of abortion:In May, Justin Trudeau announced that his Liberal government would give more than $7 billion over the next decade for “reproductive and sexual health services” including carrying out abortions and promoting legal and cultural change in developing world countries where the law or public opinion does not permit it. Critics call it 21stcentury ideological colonialism.