Deborah Gyapong, Canadian Catholic News

Deborah Gyapong, Canadian Catholic News

Deborah Waters Gyapong has been a journalist and novelist for more than 20 years. She has worked in print, radio and television, including 12 years as a producer for CBC TV's news and current affairs programming. She currently covers religion and politics primarily for Catholic and Evangelical newspapers.

OTTAWA - The Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB) will outsource its in-house publishing division and cut the position of senior advisor on social justice.

“No area of the conference is not affected by the effort to cut down expenses and maximize productivity,” said CCCB General Secretary Msgr. Patrick Powers. “We have had to rethink the way we do things, to do more and to cost less.

“For many y e a r s the bishops have been grappling with finances,” he said. “The dioceses cannot afford to pay the amount of money required to keep the conference running.”

The per capita rate charged each diocese based on Census data of baptized Catholics has remained unchanged this year, but some poorer dioceses are having trouble meeting their assessment, he said.

Powers said he has met with CCCB employees to explain the fact the conference does not have unrestricted funds and must rein in spending “or the bank will close our doors.”

“It’s always so difficult to see people lose their jobs,” he said. “The bishops don’t take that lightly.”

Details of the outsourcing will be revealed later next month after the arrangements are finalized, he said, noting eight to 10 jobs could be affected.

The bishops have been studying the issue of CCCB Publications for 15 years, Powers said. The key, however, was finding a reputable North American company with a reputation for treating its employees well, he said.

“It is a communications firm we have dealt with in the past,” he said.

The position occupied by Francois Poitras, the senior advisor for social justice, has also been eliminated, said Powers. Among his duties, Poitras occupied the position of secretary to the Justice and Peace Commission.

Powers said many aspects of the CCCB secretariat’s operation have needed updating, especially its technological infrastructure.

OTTAWA - Anti-euthanasia groups are pushing back against Parti Quebecois plans to bring in euthanasia under the euphemistic guise of “medical aid in dying.”

Quebec grassroots group Living with Dignity director Linda Couture said the PQ is masking its euthanasia plans behind the words medical aid in dying without defining them, she said. “Does it mean (lethally) injecting people or not?”

Couture expressed alarm at how fast the government is moving, noting the new government hopes to have a bill passed by June next year.

In early October, radio station CJAD reported Parti Quebecois junior social services minister Veronique Hivon hoped to introduce legislation soon to help people who face unbearable end-of-life suffering. Though euthanasia and assisted suicide are both illegal in Canada’s Criminal Code, and under federal jurisdiction, Hivon said health is a provincial matter. The province could also direct Crown prosecutors not to prosecute cases that fall under the guidelines for medical aid in dying, she said.

Couture said using health care and directing prosecutors in this manner is bringing in “euthanasia through the back door” while hiding behind a vague, nice-sounding phrase.

The province’s plans to move in this direction stem from recommendations of an all-party Dying with Dignity committee that held hearings across Quebec and released a report last March, Couture said. Though 60 per cent of the presenters to this committee opposed euthanasia and assisted suicide, the committee’s report recommended “medical assistance in dying” for those suffering and close to death. It ignored grassroots rejection of euthanasia and assisted suicide, Couture said.

“Everybody’s in favour of palliative care. Let’s work on what unites us not what divides us.”

Couture dared the small group of physicians who are pushing for euthanasia to put their faces on a public poster the way members of a new anti-euthanasia physicians’ organization has. The Physicians’ Alliance for Total Refusal of Euthanasia is led by the renowned Dr. Balfour Mount, considered the father of palliative care in Canada. His organization boasts 24 prominent physicians who have allowed their pictures to be published.

“We are physicians who see any law allowing doctors to intentionally end the life of their patients as contrary to the goals of medicine and the good of our patients, especially the most vulnerable and those who cannot speak for themselves,” says the group’s web site. “We intend to make known to the public the grave dangers inherent in such a law.”

At its web site, the group has a declaration and petition for both doctors and concerned citizens to circulate and send to their provincial representatives.

“To provoke death voluntarily, by lethal injection or any other method, cannot be considered under any circumstance as ‘medical care’ and is contrary to medical ethics,” the declaration reads. “It is never necessary to kill a patient in order to end his or her suffering.”

Euthanas ia Prevention Coalition director Alex Schadenberg said Quebec’s sleight of hand could bring in Belgium-style euthanasia and its lack of safeguards. A study published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal found that one-third of euthanasia deaths in Belgium were done without explicit request or consent. If medical aid in dying means doctor’s giving patients lethal injections, that is euthanasia, he said. Doctors writing prescriptions for patients knowing they will use the drugs to kill themselves is doctor-assisted suicide.

The Catholic Organization for Life and Family (COLF) said Hivon’s plans to introduce a bill are not a surprise because it was part of the Parti Quebecois’ platform. But she questioned whether the government listened to palliative care experts or the democratic results of the Dying with Dignity consultations.

“Medicine, today, can control almost any pain,” said COLF director Michele Boulva. “And, in extreme cases, palliative sedation can be used to relieve patients.”

The pro-euthanasia lobby has been trying to show Belgium-style euthanasia is working well, she said, but a group of Belgian professionals said in a manifesto signed last June that the slippery slope they had warned of 10 years ago when Belgium decriminalized euthanasia had become a reality.

“We are now very worried by suggestions that minors and mentally ill people could also be euthanized,” the manifesto says. “As we expected, once the prohibition has been lifted, we are rapidly moving towards the banalisation of euthanasia.”

“Can you even imagine teaching future doctors how to kill?” Boulva asked.

“COLF encourages Quebec Catholics and all people who have any respect for the inalienable dignity and worth of all human beings to contact their elected members of the Assemblée nationale, asking them with insistence to oppose any attempt to legalize euthanasia. This lethal practice must not enter our hospitals.”

OTTAWA - Pro-lifers targetted 44 Ontario MPPs Oct. 13, including Premier Dalton McGuinty, holding Defund Abortion mini-rallies outside their provincial riding offices to urge them to redirect money from abortion to real health care needs.

“It is illogical to have a health care system that is cash-starved and yet continues to allocate scarce dollars towards the killing of children,” Campaign Life Coalition lobbyist Johanne Brownrigg told 55 to 75 people outside McGuinty’s Ottawa office, which appeared to be closed, with its blinds drawn.

Delisting abortion from Ontario’s health insurance plan would save taxpayers up to $50 million, she said. That could hire more than 200 family doctors to address Ontario’s doctor shortage, 400 nurses to cut hospital wait times, treat 500 additional autistic children, buy 20 new MRI machines every year or make palliative care available in communities that lack it now, Brownrigg said.

“Let’s be clear about this elective procedure,” she said. “It is disingenuous to claim that abortion is necessary for a woman’s health.”

A 2011 Abacus poll revealed 91 per cent of respondents did not know Ontario spends $30 million to $50 million on abortion, she said.

“The more Ontarians know the figures, the less they want to see this waste on an elective procedure.”

Brownrigg said momentum is growing after MP Stephen Woodworth’s Motion 312 revealed “the ugliness of the pro-abortion position” and the unwillingness to even talk about the humanity of the unborn. Unregulated abortion and the underlying lack of humanity attributed to the unborn are spilling over into the “horrifying prospect” of infanticide being treated the same way in the courts, she warned.

Demonstrator Tom Rooney said he was incensed by Ontario Education Minister Laurel Broten’s recent remarks that the pro-abortion position could not be taught in Catholic schools.

“I resent my tax dollars going to pay for abortion because I’m a father, a grandfather and a great grandfather,” said Frank Barrett, who added there are many ways to help women with unwanted pregnancies that do not involve killing the unborn child.

Anne Dareys called the funding of abortion unjust.

“Our whole society is getting old,” she said. “We need young people to replace them to be able to support our social programs.”

Her husband Bruno said women lack information on the health and psychological impact of abortion on the mother. We only know it is a choice, but we know more about second-hand smoke than about abortion’s effects, he said.

The mini-rallies were organized by Campaign Life Coalition youth organizer Allisa Golob, who estimated 2,500 to 3,000 people took part in the cross-province mini-rallies.

“The majority of organizers were young people. However, there were others who stepped up in their communities despite their full-time jobs and taking care of their children and so on,” she said in an e-mail.

Campaign Life is organizing a larger Defund Abortion Rally for Oct. 30 at Queen’s Park, she said.

OTTAWA - The Supreme Court of Canada has reserved judgment in two cases that involve mothers who abandoned their babies because they believed they were born dead.

On Oct. 10, the court heard the case of Ivana Levkovic who left the corpse of her baby girl on her apartment balcony wrapped in blankets inside a bag. The next day, Canada's highest court heard the case of A.D.H., who gave birth to a baby boy in a toilet at a Wal-Mart in Saskatchewan. Thinking he was dead, she fled the store and left him behind. The baby was discovered and resuscitated.

Both women were acquitted by their respective trial judges. Levkovic told the court she had fallen down, precipitating labour and the baby was born dead. Because the body was so decomposed, the coroner could not tell whether the infant girl, who was near full term, died before birth, so the judge acquitted her.

A.D.H. claimed to be surprised to discover she was pregnant and shocked by the delivery, which took place during a 14-minute visit to the store. Her case hinges on whether one's subjective belief — i.e. that the baby was dead — should override an objective standard of what a reasonable person would do under the circumstances.

Both cases touch on the contentious issue of when a child becomes a human being, since the Criminal Code has sections that seem to contradict each other. MP Stephen Woodworth's Motion 312, recently defeated in the House of Commons, sought to address the definition in Section 223.1 of the code which says the unborn child does not become a human being until the process of birth is completed.

Levkovic was charged under section 243 of the Criminal Code which makes it illegal to conceal a dead child's body whether the "child died before, during or after birth," while A.D.H. was acquitted of child abandonment.

On Oct. 10, Chief Justice Beverley McLachlan wouldn't use the word "child" since the terminology is "under contention." At one point she referred to the unborn child as the "thing" or "object" expelled from the mother's body during the process of delivery.

Attorney Jill Copeland and Delmar Doucette argued the law is too vague and creates too great a "zone of risk" for women who may not know whether they might have violated it simply by having a miscarriage. They also argued the section violates the security of the person and the rights of women to make decisions concerning a failed pregnancy as well as violates her privacy rights by forcing her to disclose that pregnancy. They wanted Levkovic's acquittal recognized.

The Criminal Lawyers' Association of Ontario intervened in the case, arguing that section 243 was criminalizing behaviour that is not a crime.

"The act of having a miscarriage is not illegal," attorney Marie Henein told the court. The right of a woman to control her own body is constitutionally protected and sacrosanct, she said, noting societal norms see these rights as settled.

Many of the questions from the bench concerned issues of viability and how likely an unborn child would be able to live outside the womb.

Arguing for the Attorney General of Ontario, Jamie Klukach argued the section has an investigatory purpose.

"The state has an interest in seeing the child and investigating" the cause of death, Klukach said.

Societal values on proper respect to the dead also apply, she said, noting that proper burial and the duty of dignity to human remains have a long common law history. So does the concept of the sanctity of life and the preservation of life. The state must be notified about deaths, she said, and a body "cannot be concealed at the whim of an individual."

Section 243 compels a woman to disclose the fact of the birth, she said. The conduct it proscribes is the intentional concealment and disposal of a body because it could involve the destruction of evidence, akin to the obstruction of justice.

Intervening on behalf of the Attorney General of Canada, Robert Frater said the law was not too vague, nor did it create too wide a zone of risk.

"A woman has to ask herself, 'If I dispose of a dead body and someone finds it might someone conclude that a crime has taken place?' ” Frater said.

OTTAWA - Four Canadian bishops are among the 262 prelates gathered at the Vatican for the Synod of Bishops on the New Evangeliza- tion for the Transmission of the Christian faith Oct. 7-28.

Quebec Archbishop Gérald Cyprien Lacroix, Saint-Hyacinthe Bishop François Lapierre, Nelson Bishop John Corriveau and Antigonish Bishop Brian Dunn will each be making five-minute presentations at the synod. They were elected earlier this year by their fellow bishops to be delegates.

During the annual plenary of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB) in Ste-Adele, Que., Sept. 24-28 the delegates shared draft versions of their texts. The final texts will be published on the CCCB web site ( after they are delivered, the CCCB announced .

Corriveau was the first to speak, focussing on communion during his presentation Oct. 9. He told the synod that building community and promoting a sense of communion, particularly in the face of increasing individualism, is an important part of the new evangelization. The "spirituality of communion" is modeled on the relationship of love found among the members of the Trinity, a creative love revealed to humanity with the incarnation of Christ.

"The call to communion is more than a slogan. It is a conversion of heart," he said.

Lacroix told the bishops he would be speaking on sharing one's personal encounter with Jesus Christ and the willingness to welcome God's saving grace anew each day. He also stressed the role of lay men and women in sharing the Gospel.

Lapierre was to speak of new evangelization in the context of a Church that is increasingly impoverished, with aging priests and fewer interested young people. He said there are new opportunities hidden in these challenge.

Dunn was to examine what the Holy Spirit is saying to the Church in light of the sexual abuse crisis and proposes a deeper sense of listening and reconciliation to reach out to those who have been hurt.

OTTAWA - The legal case of a woman who left the corpse of her baby girl to decompose on her balcony comes before the Supreme Court of Canada Oct. 10, throwing open once more the sticky issue of when an unborn child becomes a human being.

No sooner had Parliament voted down Motion 312, which would have studied this very issue, news broke in the mainstream news Canada’s highest court would be hearing arguments in the Ivana Levkovic case. Levkovic had been found not guilty by the trial judge under the Criminal Codes Section 243 which deals with the disposal of a dead body of a child with intent to conceal she delivered it, “whether the child died before, during or after birth.”

This section seems to contradict section 223(1) which Motion 312 proposed to examine that says a child is not a human being until the moment of complete birth.

The Ontario Court of Appeal ordered a new trial, determining the Criminal Code section would apply according to whether the child would have been viable or able to live outside the womb. The coroner was unable to establish whether the baby had been born dead or alive.

“The pro-abortionists putting out bush fires,” said Real Women of Canada national vice president Gwen Landolt, who is a former Crown prosecutor. “The reality of the humanity of the unborn child keeps popping up.”

Real Women is one of several groups that have intervened in court cases involving Charter issues on life, family and religious freedom, but will be observing from the sidelines this time.

Landolt said it is unusual for interveners to participate in a criminal trial because of the danger of having numerous interventions piling up against an accused.

The Ontario Court of Appeal judges, who are “not necessarily pro-life,” were coming to terms with the reality of the child the woman had concealed and left on the balcony, she said. “They had to come to terms with that.”

The judges’ appeal to viability reminded Landolt of what used to happen in medieval times when a pregnant woman was condemned to death. Midwives would place their hands on the woman’s belly and if they felt the baby moving, the “execution would be delayed because even in medieval times you couldn’t kill an innocent child in the womb,” she said.

The Catholic Civil Rights League (CCRL) will also be watching the Levkovic case with interest, said CCRL executive director Joanne McGarry. “I think it will help inform the debate to move in the direction that yes, a human life is there before birth and if deliberate harm is done to that life it should be punished accordingly.”

The Evangelical Fellowship of Canada (EFC), another group that has intervened in numerous court challenges, is keeping an eye on the arguments but EFC vice president and general legal counsel Don Hutchinson cautioned against reading too much into this case.

“The attention this case has drawn in the last week is largely because of the ‘not-a-debate’ of Parliament and extensive media coverage on the status of the pre-born child,” said Hutchinson, who noted the Levkovic case has two interveners: the Attorney General of Canada and the Criminal Lawyers’ Association of Canada.

Section 223 that Motion 312 proposed to study and this case, which looks at Section 243, are Criminal Code sections related to Section 251 which was struck down by the Morgentaler decision of 1988, he said. Section 251 was struck down because of the requirement women had to go before therapeutic abortion committees before obtaining permission for an abortion. It was struck down under the Charter’s Section 7 concerning the security of the person, since there were not enough committees in Canada to give timely recommendations in cases where the health or life of the mother might be endangered.

At the time, however, all the judges agreed it was Parliament’s jurisdiction to make legislation on the state’s interest concerning the pre-born child and even offered suggestions on how that might be done, said Hutchinson.

“I have no expectation that the decision of the Supreme Court of Canada will impact on the definition or provide protection for the child prior to birth,” he said.

OTTAWA - To mark the Synod on New Evangelization taking place in Rome Oct. 7-28 and the beginning of the Year of Faith, the Catholic Organization for Life and Family (COLF) has released a leaflet urging families to spread the Good News.

In “The Gospel of Everyday Life: an Adventure Worth Sharing,” COLF explains the role of the family as a domestic Church as well as that of lay faithful in evangelizing in light of the teachings of the Second Vatican Council and Scripture.

For decades, Catholic Church leaders have been calling for the new evangelization — “new in its ardour, new in its methods and means of expression” because “too many of the baptized live as if God does not exist,” COLF says.

“Their way of life, their opinions, their choices are aligned with an atheistic or relativistic vision of life.”

Not only baptized Catholics need to hear “Christ spoken of seriously” but so do those “with whom we rub shoulders at work, school or university, in the shopping mall, the subway or bus, in our leisure and volunteer activities."

Woven throughout with quotes from Pope John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI, the leaflet urges people to collaborate with Christ in introducing Him to family members, friends and others.

The leaflet suggests a gentle, humble approach rather than aggressive proselytizing or imposing one’s faith on others. COLF invites Catholics to deepen their personal relationship with Jesus Christ through prayer, study of the faith and more frequent participation in the Eucharist and the sacrament of Reconciliation.

COLF focuses on Jesus the Son of God, laying out the Gospel message in a way that makes it easy to share with others. Invite Catholics who have fallen away to come back to Church, and invite others to “come and see” and be prepared for when a friend might ask, “What must I do?” to know Christ.

Evangelization is not just for priests, bishops and those in religious life, COLF insists, but is part of the call of all the baptized. It’s also the call of families as domestic churches, the leaflet says.

“God is counting on us, as parents, to make our children apostles of the new evangelization,” it says. “Whoever speaks of evangelization is obviously speaking about relationships, because we must enter into relationship with another person to be able to share with him or her the secret of our happiness.

“By nature, we are relational beings, because we are created in the image of God — Father, Son and Holy Spirit, eternally in relationship,” COLF says.

Evangelization, especially in the family, is not composed of “great speeches or theoretical lessons but through everyday love, simplicity and daily witness.”

The leaflet has a section entitled “Riddle time!” that has a question and answer format that is easy to share with children. It also includes a page with discussion questions for adults that would be appropriate for small group discussion.

The document is downloadable from Colf's web site at A workshop guide is also available.

OTTAWA - During the annual plenary of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB) in Ste. Adele, Que., Sept. 24-28, the bishops reaffirmed their ongoing collaboration with their overseas development agency, both respecting its lay-run character and ensuring its Catholic identity.

The lay-run character of the Canadian Catholic Organization for Development and Peace came under fire in recent weeks when its fall education campaign was put on hold after several bishops objected to the campaign for being too political, as first reported in The Catholic Register. The National Post and its sister papers picked up on the story Sept. 26.

The stories saying the bishops intervened, blocked or stopped the fall program are inaccurate, said CCCB president Archbishop Richard Smith in a post-plenary interview from Edmonton Oct. 1.

“The most important thing to emphasize is the bishops are working with D&P on their fall campaign,” said Smith.

The bishops support the principle of D&P’s annual fall educational campaign which raises consciousness about the needs in the developing world “to make people aware of the plight but also the reasons behind it,” he said.

D&P can embark on education programs, but when the strategy includes working through the parishes in local dioceses, “nothing should be taking place without the consent of the local bishop,” he said.

This year’s fall campaign departed from D&P’s plan of focusing on environmental themes to raising questions about Canada’s international aid policies, following substantial reductions in CIDA grants over the next five years. The agency, founded by the bishops more than 40 years ago, was “formulating a campaign as part of a broader movement of development agencies,” Smith said.

“Some of the material was becoming a little more direct political lobbying than we’re accustomed to,” Smith said. Some bishops, Smith included, expressed concern the materials might cause divisiveness in parishes and among donors.

The bishops must ensure “whatever’s done fosters the unity of the Church and is in no way divisive,” he said.

Smith said he spoke to the leadership of D&P about the concerns, which they received graciously, openly and with a “readiness to understand.”

D&P’s leadership “gave some thought to the impact on the life of the Church” of their campaign and told the bishops they would “adjust their literature to reflect their concerns.”

The bishops also heard a report from Toronto Auxiliary Bishop John Boissonneau, from the Liaison Committee composed of D&P leadership and the CCCB’s Standing Committee on Development and Peace, about the progress of documents outlining the principles guiding D&P’s relationship with its overseas partners, contracts with partners, the integration of Pope Benedict XVI’s social justice encyclical Caritas in Veritate into the agency’s work and the training of its staff.

Smith said the documents are “close to final draft stage” and “are still being reviewed.”

In other plenary news, the bishops approved next year’s budget and saw nothing unusual in the present financial pictures of the conference. There will be no hike this year in the per capita rates charged dioceses based on the numbers of Catholics living there.

The bishops also had an off-the-record meeting with Immigration Minister Jason Kenney and that went well, Smith said.

“The conversation was very respectful, open and very frank... It was a welcome opportunity to speak to the minister as a voice for the voiceless,” Smith said. “He certainly did hear us.”

The bishops also marked the upcoming 50th anniversary of the opening of the Second Vatican Council. Smith spoke of how Pope Benedict XVI in his emphasis on the Year of Faith is the clearest voice calling for people to read and understand the documents of the Second Vatican Council so the new evangelization can be based on the beauty of the Catholic faith articulated in them.

OTTAWA - Programs pushing contraception and abortion on the developing world under the guise of women's health care and "reproductive rights" may have an underlying racist agenda, Cardinal Peter Turkson said in a Sept. 28 interview.

"The program being pushed does not reflect the true situation of women in the Third World," the president of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace said. "It derives from a certain thinking that you deal with poverty by eliminating the poor."

Some think poverty has to do with demographics, that because populations are so high they cannot feed themselves so stopping population growth is the key to ending poverty, Turkson said.

"I can think of nothing more fallacious than that," said Turkson, who was in Ottawa for a conference at Saint Paul University on the Second Vatican Council.

"Since when did abortion become a health issue?" he asked, though he noted some argue that without proper access women will "seek it through the back door."

If people are serious about women's health care there are many more things needed than abortion and contraception, he said.

"Why not ask the Africans what they need? Why not ask the Asians what they need for women's health?" he said.

"It's not for people sitting here (in the West) to decide the issues for people in developing world are abortion and contraception. These are not health issues."

The cardinal said he has met people from various ministries in Europe who "think this is the thing to do."

"There will be a racist agenda behind all of this," he said, noting the population control efforts are focused on Africa and Asia.

He used his own life growing up in Ghana as an example of why population control is not the answer to reducing poverty. Neither his father nor mother ever went to school. His father worked as a carpenter; his mother traded vegetables in the market.

"You can think of the income of such a family and yet they took care of 10 of us," he said.

All his siblings completed secondary school; one brother got into the technology field and works in Toronto; another worked for the United Nations in Denmark.

"What it requires is good will on the part of the parents and sacrifice," he said. "It doesn't require sterilization or abortion."

He noted some children of poor families "invariably grow up to pull others out of poverty."

Turkson stressed the Church's social doctrine cannot be separated from concern for unborn life and warned against Catholic development agencies getting involved in the push for abortion or contraception through the guise of improving women's lives in the development world.

When it comes to Catholic groups working under the Caritas Internationalis federation, "we cannot have a group that is Church-based which is at variance with Church teaching," he said.

"We have to move from this schizoid experience of believing one thing and doing another. Our faith should inspire what we do."

People donate to Caritas groups because they see images of famished people or children who need an education, he said. If for any reason agencies collect money that goes to another purpose or ends up some other place that violates the principle of following the giver's intention.

Turkson stressed the inseparability of spreading the Gospel from justice and peace, as well as the inseparability of respect for unborn life from the Church's social doctrine.

OTTAWA  (CCN) — On Sept. 26, as Motion 312 went down to defeat in the House of Commons,  another Tory MP introduced a motion condemning sex selection abortion that continues the building momentum in the pro-life movement.

Conservative MP Mark Warawa quietly introduced Motion 408 just before the vote on fellow Tory MP Stephen Woodworth’s Motion 312, knowing it would become public the next day.  It already has the support of  pro-life groups.

Motion 408 reads: “That the House condemn discrimination against females occurring through sex-selective pregnancy termination.”

Warawa said he began crafting the motion after seeing a CBC investigative report June 12  that used hidden cameras to expose private ultrasound clinics that reveal the sex of unborn children.  Most of the time, when the parents found out the unborn child was a girl, they would seek to terminate the pregnancy because they wanted a boy, Warawa said in an interview from his Langley, B.C. riding Sept. 28.

“This is a problem around the world,” he said. “It should not be happening.”

Warawa called the practice “blatant discrimination against females and should not be tolerated.”

“Gender discrimination should not be happening at any time, of any kind,” he said, noting the CBC report “triggered Canadian outrage because people were ending the pregnancy simply because the baby was a girl.” 

On June 13, all the national parties came out with statements condemning the practice of sex selection pregnancy termination, as did the Society of Society of Obstetricians and Gynecologists of Canada, he said.  Around the same time Environics conducted a poll showing 92 per cent of Canadians thought it should be illegal,
he said.

Warawa had a number of MPs in his office  shortly after the program all saying the practice should be condemned, so he went to work to craft language that addresses the issue but will be acceptable to every national political party, he said.

“It’s very simple, and the focus of the motion is quite narrow, to condemn the practice of gender selection in Canada,” he said.

Canada is going to be one of the first countries to launch the Year of the Girl next month, celebrating women and girls, he said.  He
hopes to get unanimous consent for his motion from all the national political parties so his motion can be passed by the time the Year of the Girl is launched
in October.

If any parties refuse to give unanimous consent, his motion will come for its first hour of debate in March 2013 about six months from now, he said.

Campaign Life Coalition has launched a petition in support of Motion 408, that calls sex selection abortion is “a reprehensible practice that targets baby girls for female gendercide and represents discrimination against women in its most extreme form.” 

“Justice starts in the womb,” said Catholic Life and Family director Michele Boulva in an email interview. “If we can't protect females from discrimination before birth, how can we expect justice and equality for women after birth?” 

Boulva also called attention to the 96 per cent of unborn children with Down’s syndrome who are being aborted.

“As Christians, we know that God wants and loves every human being who is conceived. We are called to care for all and to love each other as Christ has loved us,” she said.