This letter to Justin Trudeau and Chandra Arya, Patty Hajdu, Rachael Harder was forwarded to me.
December 18, 2017
The Right Honourable Justin Trudeau,
Prime Minister of Canada
As Christmas approaches, we are reminded of a young woman 2000 years ago who was about to give birth to her Son. But Mary and Joseph could find no room at the Inn, and so Jesus was born in a lowly stable.
This story touches the hearts of all people of goodwill, regardless of our faith backgrounds, because we intuitively know that a woman carrying an unborn child is in a vulnerable position. A new life is about to be born into the world, and we all want to give her the comfort and support she needs to give her child the best start possible.
I was so impressed when I read an article that appeared in Convivium magazine last year about how you and Sophie were financially supporting the good work of La Maison Bleu, a maternal-child healthcare centre in Quebec. You obviously recognize the importance of supporting pregnant moms in need. Some women have no family to support them through their pregnancies, and so the centres that support women and their babies (materially, emotionally, physically, etc.) address such an important need in our society.
Besides La Maison Bleu, there are many other organizations that support pregnant women in need. They are variously described as Crisis Pregnancy Centres, Pregnancy Care Centres, Birthright, etc. They do not make abortion referrals. Rather, they support women through their pregnancies and will also support women after their abortions.
Given you obviously do support efforts to help pregnant women deliver their children safely, I don’t understand why the Liberal Government (through Minister Patty Hajdu) would disqualify pregnancy care centres (such as the two in MP Rachael Harder’s riding) from the Canada Summer Jobs Program simply because these centres don’t make abortion referrals https://globalnews.ca/news/3914528/canada-summer-jobs-anti-abortion-anti-gay-groups/.
I fully understand that abortion-rights advocate Joyce Arthur has made numerous allegations against pregnancy centres, but such allegations are completely unfounded and have been thoroughly refuted in the document, “Abortion Rights Coalition of Canada Deceitful on Crisis Pregnancy Centres,” available at: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B_QDsYLWnwO6MFo3VlR6b2lFbkk/view.
Many young people across various faith traditions do not support abortion. Many would want to help pregnant women in need, but would feel that they could not work at a place that supports abortion. The Liberal Government prides itself on respect for diversity. Respecting the diversity of opinion on the abortion issue by allowing these young people to benefit from the Summer Jobs Program would show that “respect for diversity” is not just empty Liberal rhetoric, but a value that you and your Cabinet honestly support and are willing to defend.
And what about respecting the diverse views of pregnant women themselves? You cannot deny that there are at least some pregnant women in need of assistance who would want the support of people who share their values on the inherent dignity of all human life. Should we not treat these women with the same respect we treat other women and allow “pro-life” centres to receive government funding as well?
If your answer is that the Canadian Charter forbids the Government from enacting any policy that would protect pregnant women and their unborn children, I can respectfully assure you that you are mistaken. In the Supreme Court Morgentaler decision, all seven Supreme Court Justices agreed that Parliament has a state interest in the protection of the fetus. The Court struck down the specific abortion law that was on the books in 1988, not abortion laws per se and not because it found a Charter right to abortion. The Court made it clear that Parliament could enact legislation that would properly balance the interests of women and unborn children. This is, in fact, acknowledged by legal experts and pro-choice academics (see: http://www.morgentalerdecision.ca/notable-quotes/) --it is not simply “pro-life” or “anti-abortion” rhetoric.
As our Prime Minister, you have the power to ensure that vulnerable pregnant women in Canada will be given the best chance possible to bring their children safely to term. One way of doing this is by not excluding these pregnancy centres from the Canada Summer Jobs Program.
We Canadians are compassionate people. My hope is that our Government’s policies will reflect this and ensure there is always “room at the Inn” for pregnant women in need.
May the Peace and Joy of the Christmas season be with you, Justin, and Sophie, Xavier, Ella-Grace, and Hadrian; and may all that is True and Good guide you and your Ministers in 2018.