In this province the most exciting pro0life event occurred in the Legislative Assembly where a motion urging a ban on all abortions, brought by the Conservative opposition passed and was sent on to Ottawa to all three federal parties.

The motion was introduced by former Minister of Health, Albert Fogarty (a Catholic), and seconded by Prowse Chappell (a member of the Board of Deacons of the local Baptist Convention):

“…Whereas the great majority of the people of Prince Edward Island believe that life begins at conception, and any policy that permits abortion is unacceptable,

“And whereas, the great majority of Islanders demand that their elected officials show leadership on this very important issue and demonstrate the political will to protect the unborn fetus,

“Be is resolved that the Legislative Assembly of Prince Edward Island oppose the performing of abortions…”

No one debating the motion questioned the statements of the preamble.  Although CARAL and others continue to term us “a vocal minority,” our elected representatives know the truth: we are no minority.

A Government amendment added to the motion the words, “except where there are grounds to believe the life of the mother is endangered.” (The Opposition attempted, unsuccessfully, to have it say instead “except to save the life of the mother.”)

The motion, as amended by the Government, was carried and forwarded to the leaders of all three federal political parties, requesting “the passage of legislation consistent with the intent of the resolution.”

This statement is more restrictive than the government’s official policy. There is also some concern that the new wording may invite unintended interpretations.  Nevertheless, pro-lifers are jubilant, and proud of the courage and leadership shown by our elected representatives.  Not surprisingly, though, this breakthrough did not merit coverage by the national media.

It did provide reactions within the province however.  There were further pro-choice mutterings about possible court action, and CARAL accused the MLA’s of being “steeped in ignorance” and motivated by hatred of women.

Status of Women issued news releases declaring, “Clearly the Government agrees with us that there must be provision for therapeutic abortions on PEI. They must now designate one hospital to perform such procedures” (an interpretation totally at variance with the intent of the motion as passed in the House).

Under their familiar rallying cry (“You pro-lifers have not concern to the mother and child as long as the fetus is not aborted,”) Status of Women and other pro-abortion forces immediately began pressuring government to provide support services for mothers in distress.

“With financial assistance from Government, the Diocese, and the Sisters of St. Martha, Catholic Family Services has provided just such services for over fifty years,” Executive Director Sister Mary Power reminded a committee of the Legislature.

Sister Power pointed out that after 22 busy years, the Agency’s support programmes for unwed mothers are now so little utilized that the two residences have recently had to close.

Existing programmes that are not being used do not need to be duplicated, she stressed.

It will be interesting to see how the anti-life forces next attempt to portray churches and pro-lifers indifferent to the problems of mothers and the children rescued from abortion.