Abortion is Canada's national shame

  • May 8, 2009
{mosimage}On Dec. 21, 1967 then Justice Minister Pierre Elliott Trudeau, addressing reporters on Parliament Hill, famously declared: “There is no place for the state in the bedrooms of the nation.” He was speaking specifically about gay rights and generally about an omnibus bill that, among many changes, proposed amendments to the Criminal Code to liberalize Canadian law related to homosexuality, divorce and abortion.

Trudeau became Prime Minister in 1968 and, under new Justice Minister (and fellow Catholic) John Turner, his 72-page omnibus bill, Bill C-150, became law on May 14, 1969. Abortion was decriminalized and permitted in prescribed situations.

Thirteen years later, again with Trudeau as Prime Minister, Canada adopted a Charter of Rights and Freedoms that, in 1988, was used by pro-abortionists to launch a Supreme Court challenge to what they deemed restrictive abortion laws. They won the case and the 1969 law was stricken, leaving Canada with abortion on demand at any stage of pregnancy.

That Supreme Court decision put the onus on Parliament to draft legislation to comply with the charter and also reflect the majority view in Canada, held then and now, that opposes on-demand abortion. But successive governments, Liberal and Conservative, have abrogated that responsibility and today, to its shame, Canada is the only country in the Western world with no abortion law.

Forty years after  passage of Bill C-150, more than 3.5 million abortions have occurred in Canada. That number grows by nearly 100,000 each year. In rough numbers, for every four children conceived each year, one is aborted. Abortion has become a multi-million dollar industry totally subsidized by taxpayers.

That sad reality is memorialized with every step taken by some 10,000 peaceful evangelists who will join hands in Ottawa during the National March For Life on May 14, the 40th anniversary of Bill C-150.

Elsewhere in this issue of The Catholic Register we provide full coverage of the National March For Life and Canada’s dishonourable abortion history.

The obvious reason for the extensive coverage is that on-demand abortion is perhaps Canada’s greatest collective sin and our government’s silence our greatest national shame. But beyond those obvious concerns, there is a worry that abortion apathy, not activism, is rife in Canada, even among Catholics. For that reason it is heartening to see Canada’s bishops, led by Cardinal Marc Ouellet and Archbishops Thomas Collins and Terrence Prendergast, support this year’s March in significant numbers. Their leadership is essential to counter indifference among the masses and fatigue among the dedicated.

For many years the front line on the abortion battle has been manned by a relatively small, albeit committed, group of men and women. They may not have been thinking of themselves when branding this year’s event “Exodus 2009” but there must surely have been days over the past 40 years when many of them felt like they were wandering in the desert.

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