St. John’s pro-lifers keep active

ST. JOHN’S—General practitioner Dr. Elizabeth Callaghan offered insights into pro-life priorities at a May 10 banquet organized by the St. John’s Right to Life Society. Dr. Callaghan is past president of St. John’s Right to Life. Funds from the banquet went in support of Elizabeth House, a facility for unwed mothers in St. John’s. This was the second major even for St. John’s Right to Life this spring. In April, the group organized a demonstration outside the city’s Health Science Complex to protest abortion services. More than 1,500 people took part in the demonstration.

Skoke visits N.B. Right to Life

NEWCASTLE, N.B.—Pro-life MP Roseanne Skoke was guest speaker at the May 10 gathering of the Miramichi chapter of New Brunswick Right to Life organization. More than 220 local pro-life supporters attended the gathering. Skoke used the occasion of Mother’s Day to emphasize the important role of families in preserving the traditional values in North America. Her comments came just one day after passage of Bill C-33, legislation prohibiting “sexual orientation” as a basis for discrimination. Skoke, one of 28 Liberal MPs who opposed the bill, said legal recognition of homosexuality is another example of declining social standards.

Group exploits Bastable

LONDON, Ont.—Southwestern Ontario pro-life groups reacted swiftly to the assisted-suicide of Austin Bastable of Windsor. Bastable, 53, took his own life May 6 in Detroit with the aid of American suicide doctor Jack Kevorkian. Alex Schadenberg of the London diocese Pro-Life Office said Bastable, while deserving of compassion, should not be portrayed as a human rights activist. Other pro-life leaders, including Jakkie Jeffs of Alliance for Life (Guelph, Ont.), said Bastable’s case sends the wrong message to others with degenerative diseases. Pro-life groups have criticized euthanasia advocates for exploiting Bastable to promote their cause.

Victims remembered

WINNIPEG—Supporters of Manitoba League for Life remembered the victims of abortion and their mothers during a May 11 vigil at St. Boniface Cathedral. The vigil took place at a monument to unborn babies which was dedicated in 1993 by the League for Life. The vigil included a brief address by Ingrid Krueger, who gave personal account of the impact of abortion. Krueger’s experience led her to begin a counseling service for women who have trouble dealing with the after-effects of abortion. About 70 people attended this year’s vigil.

Sex info line angers parents

REGINA—A sex information telephone line funded by the Saskatchewan Ministry of Health has outraged local pro-life supporters. The Facts of Life Line (FLL) is a 1-800 service for teenagers. The service operates out of the Regina Planned Parenthood office. As reported in Western Report magazine, the FLL provides teenagers with free information on sexual and reproductive health issues as well as abortion referrals. Some parents are concerned that counselors with the phone line promote a pro-condom, pro-promiscuity approach to sex education.

Coalition on the move

VANCOUVER—Voters in the British Columbia election had one more opportunity to learn candidates’ stand on abortion, euthanasia, homosexuality and school prayer prior to going to the polls in late May. The Christian Coalition, led by former B.C. premier Bill VanderZalm, sought candidates’ views on a number of traditional family values. Reports out of British Columbia indicate the Coalition is gaining new members each week. It is attempting to have B.C. Christians speak with a single voice on social and moral questions.

Appeal postponed

VANCOUVER—An appeal of the B.C. Court decision overturning parts of the province’s “bubble zone” legislation has been postponed to June 10. The appeal was originally scheduled for May 15, but Paul Formby, counsel for a pro-life coalition, requested additional time to prepare. The pro-life coalition, along with a group of feminist lawyers and abortion clinic operators, have both received intervener status. The appeal was launched by the NDP government after a provincial court ruled in January that a bill limiting pro-life witnessing near abortion clinics violated freedom of religion guarantees.