Seeking a future without abortion

By  Mary Ellen Douglas And Karen Murawsky, Catholic Register Special
  • May 8, 2009
{mosimage}On May 14, 1969, Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau’s Omnibus Bill passed in the Canadian Parliament. Unlike the vast majority of Canadians who were indifferent to this action, the Créditistes lead by Real Caouette condemned the legislation to the very end. Passage of the bill resulted in the deaths of 3.5-million children in the wombs of their mothers by May 14, 2009.

In 1969, Canadians had become conditioned to change under the Liberal government. Some were shocked about the abortion law but expected that sanity would return and children in utero would be protected. Some believed that since Trudeau had assured it to be so, abortion would only be committed in extreme life-saving circumstances. There were a few perceptive people who saw what was wrong with Trudeau’s proposed legislation. They came to Parliament Hill to testify to the truth. These were the first Canadian pro-lifers. 

Trudeau’s cabinet consisted of 35 ministers, 28 of whom were Catholic. All voted in favour of making legal abortions available in Canada.

Feminists had made abortion the main plank in their platform but the whole juggernaut was fraught with lies. 

In 1985 Dr. Bernard Nathanson, who was the founder of what is now called NARAL Pro-Choice America and had presided over more than 60,000 abortions in his lifetime, was interviewed with Henry Morgentaler, Canada’s leading abortionist. Morgentaler claimed one-million women had died in back-alley abortions. Nathanson, a pro-life convert as a result of his work with ultrasound technology, said, “Henry, we made up that lie around my coffee table. We thought the media would accept the one-million number and they did. Now you (Henry) are feeding me my own lie.” Morgentaler nevertheless continued the one-million lie for years. 

The Canadian pro-life movement became active only after 1969. Groups formed in many cities and towns across the country. A petition signed by one-million people, sponsored by the then national group Alliance for Life, was presented to Parliament in 1975. Trudeau had the boxes shelved in the cellar, unacknowledged. In 1978, Campaign Life was established across Canada and focused on political work. In 1986 it merged with Coalition for the Protection of Human Life and became Campaign Life Coalition (CLC). CLC works to elect, educate and support politicians at all levels of government.

New groups were established and supported: Liberals for Life, Conservatives for Life and Teachers for Life, Show the Truth, the National March for Life, Nurses for Life, the Family Coalition Party, the Christian Heritage Party, LifeChain, 40 Days for Life, REAL Women, the Catholic Civil Rights League, The Interim newspaper, the National Campus Life Network, to name a few.

Pro-life pioneers believed that if they could educate people about the wonders of prenatal life as they were being revealed that abortions would stop. Sadly, it was not enough. Because the Canadian government “allows” abortion, young people, especially of high school age, believe that abortion is a “right” and is morally correct. It became obvious that we required life-protecting legislation, honest, informed public education and a medical community that refused to take the life of humans at any stage of development.

On May 14, 2009, pro-life people will assemble on Parliament Hill, with politicians, clergy, families and students, to demand that elected Parliamentarians craft legislation to end abortion.

This is not a rally or a protest. The very act of coming to the Hill can be inspiring and uplifting. Those members of Parliament who are pro-life are visible and vocal on the Hill. The March is peaceful and joyous and gives confidence to those who have often felt alone in this mission. To meet and converse with those of like mind and spirit energizes everyone. To those who join the first time, especially the younger crowd, it is an opportunity to socialize with each other and with the “old pro-life veterans.”

Prayer is the essence of all pro-life work. A reporter once asked if we were discouraged when we don’t win any political victories. And indeed it is sad that so many Canadians have grown indifferent to the right and dignity of human life. But it is our faith in Christ the Redeemer that spurs us to carry on. The victory over sin was won on Calvary. We only need to do our daily tasks. 

This year marks the 40th year since the Omnibus Bill was passed. The theme for the National March for Life is “Exodus 2009 — A future without abortion.” We look with hope to that future.

(Douglas is president of Campaign Life Coalition Ontario and CLC national organizer, and Murawsky is a former executive director of CLC’s public affairs office.)

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