Official statement by Archbishop of Vancouver, regarding the morality of support for 'gestational' legislation.
Archbishop Michael Miller, CSB, Archbishop of Vancouver, has issued a statement on the morality of support for ‘gestational’ legislation. This statement has been issued to guide the consciences of Catholics within the prolife movement within the Archdiocese of Vancouver.
Archbishop Miller says in part:
"This teaching [in Evangelium Vitae n. 73] makes clear that legislation which intends to limit the harm done by a pro-abortion law is not itself cooperation with an unjust law but rather "a legitimate and proper attempt to limit its evil aspects." A law aimed at limiting the number of legally authorized abortions does not entail the approval of those abortions that it fails to criminalize.
In order that the attempt to pass a "more restrictive law" is not misunderstood, even implicitly, to "authorize" any act of abortion, the "absolute personal opposition to procured abortion" of the legislator making that attempt, and by extension of the prolife activist or organization, must be "well known."
In the absence of a "pro-abortion" law within the Criminal Code of Canada, that is, of a law that explicitly permits abortion, some think that gestational legislation — or any incrementalist legislation — might create a new law that implicitly authorizes abortion. However, in Canada, a series of court rulings, a failure on the part of the federal Parliament to pass criminal legislation, and a variety of provincial laws, regulations and funding formulas intended to provide access to abortion, have the effect of a defacto legal regime that permits abortion with almost no restrictions. Legislation intended to restrict access to abortion would not create a new legal situation in Canada which would authorize abortions, but instead would intend to limit the number of abortions already authorized under the law. Moreover, such legislation intends to limit the harm done to public morality by the injustice already present in the defacto legal situation."