Mrs. Grace MacInnis died in Vancouver in August.  In the 1960’s she was the only woman MP in the House of Commons.  As the daughter of CCF founder J.S. Woodsworth, a one time United Church Minister, she imbibed the socialist worldview with her mother’s milk.  This view interprets Christianity as essentially a social reform movement.

Unabashed champion

As the NDP member for Vancouver/Kingsway in the 1960’s, Mrs. McInnis became an unabashed champion of abortion which she interpreted as a needed social reform on behalf of women.

She contributed greatly to its acceptance and legalization in 1969.

In 1967, however, she rather shocked Canadians, even if only for a passing moment.  At the Senate/Commons abortion hearings she declared on October 3, 1967, that legal abortion was necessary in order to start “work towards a quality population in this country.”

Eugenics – the ‘science’ of selecting ‘perfect’ offspring to continue the human race – became widespread among leading intellectual circles in North America and Europe, but it was made unpopular in the nineteen thirties and forties by one Adolph Hitler.  Margaret Sanger, Planned Parenthood foundress, was a devotee, as were many early feminists.

For one fleeting moment Mrs. MacInnis inadvertently revealed the ugly reality behind the high-sounding but empty rhetoric of abortion as a women’s rights issue.

Ironically today abortion has come to be used to eliminate female babies.

In the same month, a funeral Mass was celebrated in Toronto’s St. Michael’s Cathedral for Mrs. Louise Summerhill who passed away at age 75.

Rather than use the usual funeral liturgy, her pastor, Fr. Stephen Summerville, chose the liturgy of the day for the feast of Mary’s Assumption into Heaven.

The first reading, from the Apocalypse (Revelations), 12:1-6, spoke of the battle between the woman and the dragon and how ‘The dragon stood before the woman who was about to bear a child, that he might devour her child when she brought it forth…”

In 1968, when it became clear that the pro-abortion forces would carry the day, Mrs. Summerhill, a nurse and mother of seven founded Birthright, an organization established to provide help for unwed mothers under pressure to kill their unborn babies.

As a Christian she understood that innocent life must be defended and that if government authorities renege on their duties, the ordinary citizen must resort to new ways of expressing the Lord’s commandment to love one’s neighbour.

At the time of Mrs. Summerhill’s death, there were some 600 Birthright Centres in a dozen countries; over the years they have helped over two million women.  Thus because of the action of one woman who helped save vast numbers of babies from the mouth of the dragon, the ill-begotten work of another woman was partially undone, Fr. Summerville concluded.