Political action during the upcoming New Brunswick election is the best way for pro-life supporters in the province to get their message across to those who need to hear it.

That was the message delivered recently as more than 50 delegates from across New Brunswick gathered in Fredericton for a Campaign Life Coalition New Brunswick provincial election-readiness workshop.

Jim Hughes, national president of Campaign Life Coalition, told the delegates that “political candidates depend on you, they need you and now is the time for you to become active and get your message to them so they understand their election success may depend on their position on life issues.”

Hughes showed the delegates a provincial election questionnaire that begins with the question, “Do you acknowledge that human life begins at conception (fertilization)?” He said, “One of the reasons we’ve included fertilization in this question is because the pro-aborts have started saying that anything before conception doesn’t count.”

Another question asks, “Will you support legislation which will acknowledge the right of health care workers to refuse to participate in procedures which are in violation of their religious or conscientious beliefs?” Hughes said that in the past, most health care workers felt they had to participate in morally offensive procedures such as abortion because of their job. He said that now they are feeling more empowered and willing to speak up for their beliefs: “Governments must be prepared to protect the rights of these workers.”

CLC New Brunswick is urging pro-life supporters to meet individually with all candidates in their ridings and get the candidate’s response to the questionnaire. The questionnaires will then be gathered and analyzed, and the results distributed to all pro-life supporters and organizations in the province, so that everyone will know where the candidates stand on the life issues.

New Brunswickers feel strongly about the abortion issue. Peter Ryan, president of CLC New Brunswick, said, “60 per cent of New Brunswickers are opposed to abortion and 58 per cent do not want abortions to be paid for by the provincial government.” He said the province “is much more pro-life than any other province in Canada.”

Regardless of public opinion, abortions are still committed in New Brunswick. Last year, roughly 500 abortions were carried out at the Morgentaler abortuary in Fredericton, 300 at a Moncton hospital and 200 at a Fredericton hospital. Late last year, doctors in Moncton decided they would no longer do abortions, so the Fredericton hospital is the only one in the province now providing hospital-based abortions.

Medical standards in place at the Fredericton abortuary were questioned by Dr. Tom Barry, a family physician in Fredericton. He is concerned that basic standards of care, available in a hospital situation, are not being practised at the Morgentaler abortuary. He gave the example of post-abortion care, in which women are turned away from the abortuary and must go to a hospital if bleeding or other complications develop.