The following is my recollection of what events took place during and after the meeting I attended with Deacon Thomas Pillisch.
On March 19, 1984, Deacon Thomas Pillisch and I attended a public meeting held by Bob Kaplan our member of parliament.
Discussion on whether or not North York should have the Dome stadium took most of the time during the meeting. There were a few questions concerning the Budget, unemployment and job creation. After a period of time we were told that we could ask questions dealing with any topic that we thought was important and wanted to discuss with Mr. Kaplan.
Deacon Thomas asked Mr. Kaplan if he supported the present law on abortion which made it legal to kill approximately 60,000 innocent unborn babies every year in this country. He replied that he did. Thomas then stated that according to the 1977 Badgely Report, commissioned by the government, most abortions were performed for, social and economic reasons. He then asked Mr. Kaplan if our Constitution’s Charter of Rights and Freedoms, Section 7, protects the life of unborn babies. Mr. Kaplan said the matter of whether or not the fetus was human (which would entitle it to all of the civil rights found in the Charter) was before the courts at this time.
Later on during the meeting I asked Mr. Kaplan for his definition of the term “everyone,” used in the Charter to indicate who was eligible to have basic civil rights. He told me that he did not have a definition. I told him several times that he was being very evasive and continued to press for an answer. After I had mentioned that biology had proven conclusively that unborn babies were as human as he was and thus entitled to these civil rights, he made a smart remark that I was talking about biology, while he was talking about law. This resulted in some laughter in the room. Due to the fact that he had to rush back to Ottawa I was unable to respond to this rather infantile remark.
At the conclusion of the meeting I talked with two ladies who claimed that a woman ahs the right to control her own body. They were probably one of the people who had heckled Thomas and myself. The first lady told me that life began at five months after conception and, in replying to this, I told her that she could go to any bookstore and there she would find book showing the developing baby and stating that there is definitely life from the moment of conception. I said to her that you are killing a part of yourself and that this is selfish. The second lady was an agnostic and I asked her if her life was protected by the law, if the unborn baby’s was not. I also told her that her rights ended where the rights of the unborn baby began.
Talking to Thomas later on in the week, he reported that he had told his children that he had become rather discouraged. They told him not to be – that even Jesus didn’t win many friends when he was here on earth. We both agreed that one of the main reasons for the self-centered attitude shown by many of the people at the meeting, was ignorance of when life really began and also of the dire consequences of allowing abortion.
Prior to the meeting, I had called several people and asked them to attend. Due to the fact that I had not given them enough notice, most of them were unable to make a definite commitment to attend. The result was only one question concerning the legal protection of the unborn child was asked.