At 32 years of age, Lawrence O’Neil is one of the youngest Members now sitting in the House of Commons. A native of Mulgrave Nova Scotia, near Antigonish, Mr. O’Neill is a lawyer and father of three children. His wife is also a lawyer, and is now studying in Ottawa to become a physician. Mr. O’Neil attended St. Francis Xavier University, Dalhousie Univerisy, and the University of Alberta, where he was involved in the campus pro-life group.
Mr. O’Neill feels that his openly pro-life stand was a positive factor in his election to Parliament in 1984. The voters respected his clear stand on the abortion issue, as he was the only pro-life candidate in the riding. He states that he has always been pro-life as a result of the value system in his home during childhood.
At the beginning of his session of Parliament Mr. O’Neil once again submitted a Private Members’ Bill to amend the Criminal Code to provide for an advocate for the unborn child children during meetings of Therapeutic Abortion Committees (TACs). He believes that lawyers should e allowed to inform the TAC, on behalf of the unborn child in question, when applications for abortion contravene the stated provisions of the Criminal Code. Under his amendment lawyers would be able to argue, for example, that an abortion requested ford socio-economic reasons did not comply with the provisions of Section 251. Bill C-230 has not yet been scheduled for debate in the House of Commons.
“If society denies the existence of life before birth, we are articulating the ultimate lie,” says Mr. O’Neill. He believes that the pro-abortion “freedom and liberty” arguments have superficial appeal to the public, while the truth of the pro-life argument is one the public does not want to accept. In his view the rights of the unborn child are parmount, and the pro-life movement must continue to educate public.