Prime Minister Brian Mulroney has chosen a hard line pro-abortionist as federal Justice Minister in his post-election cabinet shuffle. Doug Lewis, the former government house leader, was appointed to replace the defeated Ray Hnatyshyn. One of the principal duties of the justice Minister is the coming year will be to draft and guide through Parliament a new abortion law.
Mr. Lewis is someone who comes to the sensitive job of Justice Minister with extreme views on the abortion issue. During the July debate on abortion, he was one of only twenty MPs who supported a pro-abortion resolution put forward by John Bosley. That resolution called for abortion to be completely unrestricted other than to require that the abortion be performed by a medical practitioner. Under the scheme supported by Lewis, abortions could be performed any place for nay reason, and at any time during pregnancy.
The appointment of Lewis has angered pro-life Canadians and is regarded as a sign that the Mulroney government may try to bring in pro-abortion legislation. “It is outrageous and yet not surprising,” said Campaign Life Coalition legal counsel Paul Dodds. “Anyone who believes in the unrestricted killing of unborn children is unfit for the office of Justice Minister. Yet, such as appointment is to be expected following the Supreme Court decision last year. The Mulroney government has been open to permissive abortion legislation.
During the abortion debate this year, the government introduced a gestational law proposal which would have created abortion on demand. The government strategy was to bring forward three abortion options with varying resolutions for the consideration of Parliament. But none of these was pro-life.
One piece of good news to that the new Minister of Health and Welfare, Perrin Beatty is a long time pro-life MP. He has been endorsed as pro-life by Campaign Life Coalition and during the July debate supported the Mitges amendment which would have provided protection to the unborn from the moment of conception. Moreover, in spite of his cabinet position he voted against the government motion.
Having a pro-life Health Minister does not particularly help the unborn at this time and certainly is not going to satisfy pro-lifers. The key post in the coming months is that of Justice Minister. The immediate duty of Parliament is to pass an abortion law that will provide protection to children in the womb. Any impact that a pro-0life Health Minister might make would be over shadowed by the consequences of pro-abortion legislation bought in by Lewis.
Other cabinet selections indicate that the Mulroney government intends to continue with its pro-abortion policies. Barbara McDougall, so outspoken pro-abortion advocate, continues to be in charge of women’s issues as Minister of Employment and Immigration. Her re-appointment is a sign of the government’s intention to continue funding radical feminist and pro-abortion women’s groups such as the National Action Committee on the Status of Women. Two of the six new faces in the cabinet are pro-abortion women from B.C. Both Mary Collins and Kim Campbell are public advocates of a woman’s right to kill her unborn child. On the positive side, the new Minister of Housing, Alan Redway, has a solid pro-life record.
As before the election, pro-abortionists are over-represented at the cabinet table. Less than half of the Conservative caucus approves of a gestational law on abortion – but fully two-thirds of cabinet ministers support it. The possibility of pro-life legislation coming out of Parliament depends on individuals MPs who tend to be pro-life. Such members must be encouraged to back the pro-abortion inclinations of the cabinet to fight for legislation that would protect the unborn.
The time has come for more realism. If American President George Bush foresees an end to abortions in the U.S., why can Prime Minister Mulroney not have the same vision?