Pro-life demonstrators are seen near the Supreme Court in Washington June 15, 2022. (CNS photo/Tyler Orsburn)

Editorial: Abortion reality

  • June 30, 2022

For pro-life Canadians, any euphoria, never mind triumphalism, over the fate of Roe vs. Wade in the U.S. must be traded immediately for reality-based practical thinking.

Those who’ve remained steadfast over long years of setback deserved a moment of brief relief. But sober assessment serves up the reminder that the legal battle and the Supreme Court victory occurred on foreign soil in a juridical and political milieu very much unlike our own.

While that might still, in other circumstances and on other issues, offer hope as a harbinger of a broader North American cultural shift, it is realism, not pessimism, to point out the high probability that for Canada the response could well be for the worse. We need only look to the grim advancement of anti-life ideology in the concatenation of evils grouped under the odious euphemism of MAiD to see why. Our politico-media class has waded so deep into the swamp of the culture of death that the vast majority of its members find the waters warm and the lotus blossoms addictively tranquilizing. A result? In 2023, Canadians will live inside the moral nightmare of our State medically killing the mentally ill.

We should be prepared, then, for the politico-media class to put its apparently irresistible powers behind transmuting abortion into a constitutionally-entrenched social good. At the moment, abortion as a medical act exists in a legal void. Unlike the U.S. circumstance, and despite repeated prevarications to the contrary from the Prime Minister on down, it has never been declared a right in Canada. It’s necessary only to read the 1988 Morgentaler decision to acknowledge that fact. It might help to read the history of the Mulroney government’s entirely constitutional attempt in the early 1990s to repair the legislation Canada’s Supreme Court struck down in Morgentaler. Parliament legitimately seeking to legislate on abortion negates any claim of supposed inviolable right to the procedure.

Given that, we should not be surprised if Prime Minister Trudeau chooses to embed in the Constitution Act itself, and by extension the Charter, wording that elevates abortion access from merely legally permissible to the status of inherent human right. Farfetched? Consider the Prime Minister’s words after the Roe v. Wade overturning: “We will never allow attacks on women’s rights” to abortion. His use of the Royal “we” is itself instructive. Justin Trudeau is, in fact, only an MP who is but first among equals in a transitory government. But here, he spoke with the prerogative of a Sovereign extending his will beyond mere electoral time.

Those who might argue constitutional change is too mechanically complex to be a probable option need to catch up on their reading. Quebec unilaterally rewrote the Constitution only last month with barely a peep from the politico-media class. 

At the very least, pro-life Canadians must practically canvass the prospect that even the foreign victory in Roe v. Wade might mean something wicked this way comes. 

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