Canada

Conservative MP David Anderson (Cypress Hills-Grassland) introduced a bill that would make it a crime to intimidate health care workers to force them to directly or indirectly take part in euthanasia. The Protection of Freedom of Conscience Act, or Bill C-418, is expected to be debated in Parliament May 29, and Campaign Life Coalition is asking Canadians to get behind the private member’s bill that was tabled by Anderson last fall. If passed, C-418 would also make it a crime to fire or not hire health care workers for their refusal to cooperate in any way with killing their patients by medical means. Anderson explained the reason for introducing the bill: “The protection of conscience rights for medical professionals is part of protecting the fundamental freedom of conscience and religion guaranteed to all Canadians in the Charter of Rights and Freedoms,” Justin Trudeau’s Liberal government legalized the medical killing of patients in June 2016, following the Supreme Court in February 2015 striking down the Criminal Code prohibition of euthanasia as unconstitutional. The Supreme Court of Canada has explicitly said that the legalization of euthanasia did not entail a duty of physicians to provide it, however the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario (CPSO) now requires that doctors who morally object to euthanasia, as well as to abortion, provide an “effective referral,” to a willing and accessible physician, to patients who request these services. A group of Ontario Christian doctors challenged the CPSO policy in court as unconstitutional and lost. An Ontario Superior Court ruled in January 2018 that while CPSO policy does violate the doctors’ Charter rights, it is a “reasonable limit” of those Charter rights in the context of “ensuring access to health care.” The group of five doctors and three associations – Canadian Federation of Catholic Physicians’ Societies, Christian Medical and Dental Society of Canada. and Canadian Physicians for Life – have appealed the decision.

Bill Watcott, a Canadian Christian pro-family activist, was charged and has been fined $55,000 for expressing the view that a biological male who identifies as a female is still a male, and a biological female who identifies as a male is still a female. Makes sense, right! But this is “transgenderism” and in Canada it can get you a hefty fine and possibly prison time for stating an obvious fact. Whatcott was defended by lawyer John Carpay, president of the Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedom, and a monthly columnist with this newspaper. Following the conclusion of the case, Carpay stated that “society is full of people with diverse views and the Tribunal’s decision undermines the foundational principles of a free society and jeopardizes the health of Canada’s democracy.” Similar situations are happening in England. Caroline Farrow, a prominent pro-life journalist and Catholic mom of four daughters, faced a police investigation for “misgendering” a young man who had “transitioned,” with the assistance of surgery, to female. Fortunately, because of public pressure, the charge was dropped. But there are several other “misgendering” British cases pending. At some point it is the outrage that leads to police and prosecutors exercising common-sense and simple decency by not pursuing criminal charges in such case is likely to subside. So-called hate crimes against individuals who self-identify as “transgender” need to be excised from criminal law.

Here are some scientific facts by Dr. Neal Houston, provided on Twitter, to share with family at the dinner table and to put before electoral candidates and their volunteers during Canada’s upcoming federal election: By the time the unborn child is 18 days, the baby’s heart beats. At 42 days, brain waves are detected. At 52 days, the baby hiccups and yawns. At 8 weeks, all the baby’s organs function. At nine weeks, the baby has finger prints. At 10 weeks, the baby feels pain. At 12 weeks, the baby smiles. Now tell us she isn’t a child? Why are we allowing abortions at all and even celebrating, as New Yorkers did recently, the right to abort newborn babies? To paraphrase Dr. Seuss: A person’s a person no matter how small.

In the next section on pro-life news in the United States, we highlight actions that individual states and governors are taking to protect the unborn. Our own Canadian governments are being put to shame as they continually push the abortion agenda both within the country and around the world.

United States

The Heartbeat law that bans pregnant women from aborting their child once a heartbeat has been detected, usually between six and nine weeks of pregnancy, has been signed by Ohio’s Republican Governor Mike de Wine. State Rep. Janine Boyd (D), an African-American in the Ohio legislature, astoundingly, presented an amendment to the law to allow for black babies to continue to be aborted. Yes, you read that correctly. She wanted the legislation amended so that black pregnant women could continue to abort their children. Her reasoning? The law without her amendment would continue to ‘enslave’ black women by “forcing” them to continue their pregnancy. Her amendment was defeated with support of both Republicans and Democrats. A pro-life colleague in the House commented: “Every human being is valuable regardless of the colour of his or her skin. To suggest that only black babies should be killed in Ohio is shocking racism not fitting of a Representative of the Ohio House.”

A Georgia House bill prohibiting an abortion (with several exceptions) once a heartbeat has been detected, has been passed and signed by pro-life Republican Governor Brian Kemp. The official title of the legislation is the Living Infants Fairness and Equality (LIFE) Act. Failed Georgia 2018 Democratic gubernatorial candidate, Stacey Abrams, who might be considering running for her party’s presidential nomination, claims that it would be “evil” to ban the abortion of babies once a fetal heartbeat is detected. She further says that the Democrats need to refer to these bills as “forced pregnancy bills.” Similar ‘heartbeat’ bills have been passed in Ohio (see above) and other Republican-held state legislatures in Kentucky and Mississippi. Legal pundits say that when the heartbeat bills are challenged in court they will have little chance of surviving. We’ll have to see.

Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt proudly walks the pro-life walk. He declared that he would sign legislation banning or restricting abortion, “even if it would violate abortion rights granted by the U.S. Supreme Court.” He vowed to sign every piece of anti-abortion legislation that crosses his desk. “I believe that life begins at conception and I am going to protect life every single day that I am governor.” And he will only appoint pro-life judges to the Oklahoma Supreme Court. As LifeSiteNews.com has reported, Oklahoma is the latest state to legislate that pregnant women must be informed of the dangers and consequences if they are prescribed mifepristone, an abortion pill (also known as RU-486). Women seeking the abortion pill must be informed that there is an effective reversal procedure to stop the abortion from taking place, with no harm to the baby. In the last few years, about 200 women have followed the reversal procedure and subsequently given birth to healthy babies. The reversal should begin within 24 hours after taking the abortion pill, but it is still effective up to 72 hours in many cases. Oklahoma is showing that it supports pregnant women and their unborn babies with legislative and personal witness. Go to Life Facts in the LifeSiteNews website for complete information on the abortion reversal procedure and other information that one needs to know about abortion.

The Fix reported that more than 100 U.S. post-secondary schools offer transgender medical coverage for students, including hormones and irreversible so-called “gender-affirming” surgery (formerly referred to as sex-change operations or gender reassignment surgery). Campus Pride, a watchdog that grades universities and colleges based on their LGBT-friendliness, provided a list of the 111 schools that cover transgender student medical costs. While 24 schools offer coverage for only hormones, 87 schools provide coverage of both surgery and hormones. Some, such as the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, also offer “mental health counseling regarding gender identity and gender dysphoria.” Columbia University, The Fix reported, encourages “those who feel that their assigned sex at birth is an incorrect or incomplete description of themselves” to obtain more information through the university’s primary care medical team. The University of Arizona offers the Gender Reassignment Benefit at all three campuses in the state system, including a “precertification form” for those that are just beginning to transition. Other services include breast removal, hysterectomies, and castrations. Ohio State University offers similar services. Both University of Arizona and Ohio State University use Aetna as their primary health insurance company.

International

On April 17, the National Institute of Health and Care Excellence (NICE) in the United Kingdom released draft abortion guidance which the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children (SPUC) says, “encourages services to rush women through the abortion process with little medical supervision.” NICE, a part of the British Department of Health, says its aim is “to make it easier for women to access a termination” and to that end calls for self-referral for abortion and teleconferencing for abortion consultations. The draft also encourages health care professionals to tell women that abortion does not increase their risk of physical or mental health problems. If the new guidelines are accepted, it would also eliminate standard follow-up appointments for women who use abortion drugs to eliminate their preborn child, increase funding for women who travel for abortions, and increase the role of nurses and midwives in the provision of abortion. SPUC calls the suggested guidelines “a reckless approach” and said the direction to health care professionals to tell patients there are no long-term risks to abortion is “hugely misleading.” In 2017, the Quality Care Commission report on Marie Stopes, the country’s largest abortion service, criticized the organization for rushing women through the process. SPUC said that the new guidelines would exacerbate the “cattle market culture of abortion.”

According to Acta Paediatrica, a peer-reviewed publication for pediatricians, a majority of Flemish neonatologists (in Belgium) working in intensive care units favor active end-of-life decisions for newborns. Doctors and nurses at all eight neonatal intensive care units in northern Belgium were surveyed and it found that the healthcare professionals supported killing infants to end intense pain or to end the suffering of parents with children facing serious medical challenges. Technically, infanticide is illegal in Belgium despite the law permitting euthanasia for minors. Belgian Senator Jean-Jacques De Gucht (Open Flemish Liberals) said the study’s finding that six of ten neonatologists and neonatal nurses back newborn euthanasia is evidence that the law should be clarified to ensure doctors are not prosecuted for conducting euthanasia on infants. “It is already done in hospitals,” De Gucht said, “we just don’t have a legal framework for it.” An anonymous physician quoted in the newspaper Het Nieuwsbladsaid: “It’s inhuman to support a baby for better or for worse until it finally dies of itself.” In human to support life?

Cardinal Robert Sarah of Guinea, Africa, has just published, in French, the third in a series of interviews with Nicholas Diat. The new book, scheduled to appear in English in September, is called The Day is Far Spent. In an interview with la Nef, and reprinted by the Catholic Herald, Sarah describes the spiritual and religious collapse of the West, whose source he maintains is in Europe. We highlight here several of those areas where the West is failing. “Western people are convinced that receiving (i.e. depending on others) is contrary to the dignity of the human person.” Cardinal Sarah reminds us that we are “heirs” that receive a history, a culture, a language, a name, a family. This is what distinguishes us from the barbarian. If man rejects the inheritance he has been given, he is “condemned to the hell of liberal globalization.” He also takes aim at gender ideology which he calls “a Luciferian refusal to receive a sexual nature from God. Because it is a gift from God, human nature itself becomes unbearable for western man” who rejects God’s mercy. He takes the U.N. to task for its promotion of “fundamental values” based on a rejection of God. He emphasizes the threat posed by Islam: “Muslims despise the atheistic West. They take refuge in Islamism as a rejection of the consumer society that is offered to them as a religion.” He also warns that if the West “denies its faith, its history, its roots, its identity, it is destined for contempt, for death and disappearance.”