Wouldn’t abortion laws put women into prison? (J.O. Willowdale, Ontario)

The argument is a red herring.  The law in the past cracked down on abortionists, not on women.  In this book, Women and Abortion: Prospects of Criminal Charges, Paul D. Wohlers, J.D. wrote: “No evidence was found to support the proposition that women were prosecuted for undergoing or soliciting abortions . . . There are no documented instances of prosecution of such women for murder or any other species of homicide.”

Henry Hyde, the pro-life Congressman from Illinois, in answer to this same question, said that in a study of a ten-year period when abortion was still illegal in New York State, not a single instance of a woman prosecuted for abortion could be found.

In Canada, women were not charged for having abortions when Morgentaler was charged.

My MP wrote of the Mitges Motion: “any females having an abortion for whatever reason would be guilty of first-degree murder,” Is this true? (M.O., Toronto, Ontario).

Your MP should study the Criminal Code.  In Canadian law the offence of abortion was not called “murder.”  In his introduction to David Dehler’s book, The New Canadian Ethic: Kill Our Unborn Children, the Hon. Lionel Choquette, Q.C. praised Dehler’s “razor-sharp legal mind” for avoiding the term “murder.”  He said of Dehler, “He knows that the Canadian Criminal Code defines murder in such a way to exclude the killing of unborn persons from this category.”

For the woman, an illegal abortion was “an indictable offence.”  In theory, she was “liable to imprisonment for two years,” but in practice women were rarely, if ever, punished.  It was recognized that the woman was often under great pressure and felt trapped.

What exactly is an abortifacient? (A.L. Mississauga, Ontario).

An abortifacient is an agent that causes abortions. The term “abortifacient” comes from two Latin words: Abortus, meaning “abortion” and facere, which means “to make.”

Abortifacients act either by intercepting the fertilized ovum or blastocyst before implantation in the uterus by preventing implantation or by dislodging the blastocyst, embryo or fesu (according to the stage of development) from the womb.  The new tiny human is then aborted, and in many cases the mother never knew she was pregnant.  The blastocyst stage of development is approximately one week after fertilization.

In May 1979, the Catholic Doctors Guild of Toronto issued a Statement on Abortion in which they warned that many so-called contraceptives are, in reality, abortifacients.  These do not prevent conception; they kill human beings already conceived.  “Some of the newer low-dose estrogen birth control pills and intra uterine device act by preventing implantation of the already fertilized ovum, and are therefore abortifacient and are to be condemned.  A similar action is ascribed to high dose estrogen, the so-called “morning after” pill.  The use of any or all agents which act in this fashion is morally wrong.”

How big is the abortion problem in North America? (L.O. Scarborough, Ontario).

Take a look at the numbers:

–          Every year an estimate 1.5 million pre-born children are killed in the United States, plus at least another 100,000 in Canada.

–          The total number of unborn children killed annually is greater than the combined population of Nova Scotia and New Brunswick (June 1, 1988, 1,598,300).

–          Every two years the number of pre-born babies killed in the United States is greater than the total population of British Columbia (2,984.000).

–          In Canada, the number of unborn babies who are destroyed annually is equal to 78 per cent of the total population of Prince Edward Island