Monday, August 29, 2011

Why does Canada have no laws protecting unborn children?

I'm looking at two documents. One is American, and is called A reason to celebrate: 80+ pro-life laws passed this year.

The second is Canadian, and is called "Striving for a pro-life law".

I look at one, and then the other. I ask myself, what's wrong with this picture? Why do the Americans have pro-life laws and we do not?

The “reason to celebrate” article details pro-life legal successes in the United States this year, of which there were many. Like Nebraska's ban last year on late-term abortions. Like outlawing abortions after 20 or 21 weeks of pregnancy in Kansas Alabama, Idaho, Indiana, and Oklahoma. In fact, US state legislatures have passed more than 80 bills this year, restricting access to abortion, up from 23 such laws enacted last year.

Wow, I thought, how wonderful.

Then I look back at the other paper: "Striving for a pro-life law" written by Campaign Life Coalition.

I realize that Canada has accomplished nothing to create legal protection for the unborn. We have no laws. We have no successes. None. After more that 20 years.

What are we doing wrong?

So I start reading CLC's paper to see if they can answer this question. CLC describes themselves as:
"Canadian national pro-life organization working at all levels of government to secure full legal protection for all human beings from conception to natural death."

The paper provides background on the topic of legal protection, and two different definitions of possible legal protection.

First, is what CLC calls “Compromise” legislation, and they define this as:
“any type of legislation that would explicitly or implicitly accept or admit that killing any category or class of unborn children as lawful, or that unborn children may be lawfully killed in any specified circumstances, whether or not the existing law already permits abortion in these cases. This would include gestational legislation permitting an abortion to be committed based on the age of the developing human being. An example would be legislation that would prohibit all abortions after 15 weeks gestation. This would at the same time be legislative approval for all abortions up to that date.”

CLC seems to be saying in this example, that because such a law would only protect babies older than 15 weeks gestation, and not those under 15 weeks, that such a law would condone abortion for babies under 15 weeks. Therefore, CLC would not support this type of legislation.

Okay, I understand that viewpoint.

But then I say to myself, but our current legal situation is such that abortion is already legally sanctioned for all babies under 15 weeks and older than 15 weeks. So if we had a law that protected those babies over 15 weeks, at least some of the existing inequity would be solved, right? Some babies would be protected. Isn't that better than no babies?

Then CLC gives their definition of an “Incremental Law”. They believe this is:
“any type of law, other than compromising legislation, which would help to stop or curtail abortion or would help to generate a culture of respect for human life, from conception to natural death. An example would be one carefully crafted legislation making it illegal to coerce a woman into having an abortion”.

(Many pro-life people say that CLC’s definition of "compromise" law is really "incremental" law because they see each incremental gain as adding more and more protection to the unborn, one step at a time.)

Last year MP Rod Bruinooge introduced Roxanne's Law, a Bill that would make coercing an abortion a criminal offence. So I wondered, did CLC support this bill? Well Jim Hughes, president of CLC, seemed to say they did.

But then the Interim reported this:
"CLC also took exception with the wording of the bill that conceded the permissibility of abortion (Section 4), that states it "does not apply in the case of a physician who attempts to convince a pregnant female person to have a medical intervention that results, or may result in the death of the child when, in the physician's best medical judgement, that medical intervention is necessary to prevent a serious threat to the female person's physical health." Hughes said CLC cannot support a bill that acknowledges abortion as a permissible option for Canadian women. He told The Interim that he wished that Section 4 was not in C-510."

Again, this is a situation where it is already legal to abort all children, so a law such as C-510 would improve what we currently have today. Isn’t that progress?

Then I asked myself if CLC isn't happy with such laws as these two examples, maybe they should propose some laws themselves? They could in fact even provide the exact wording of a law that they could support, and find an MP willing to table that law.

If they were to come up with such an “Incremental” law as they define it, as long as it would have broad public support, maybe Canada could finally move forward in legally protecting the unborn.

How do we get from where we are now, to our goal of full legal protection, if we don't take small incremental steps along the way? It seems to me that we can't get there from here if we continue on the path we've chosen so far.

We need to work together constructively. We need to propose bills that all pro-life people can support. More important I think, we need to get the people in the mushy middle on side too. How about banning all abortions over 24 weeks? Even the most extreme pro-choicers would have difficultly publicly saying they didn't support such a bill.

I don't think "striving for a pro-life law" will get us anywhere until we change our strategy. It was Albert Einstein who gave us his definition of Insanity:
"doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results."

It's been over 20 years since the Morgentaler decision and we've still had no successes in bringing forth any laws to restrict abortions. The United States has. We have to do something different.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Complicated ethics - not

I am still puzzling why pregnancy reductions, along with sex-selection abortions, could or would, cause any consternation among "pro-choice" people.

Abortion advocates always tell us that abortion is all about it being a "woman’s choice" to end any pregnancy, whenever she chooses, and for any reason she chooses. So why would these two reasons for abortions be any worse than any other myriad of choices a woman can have to abort a child? This strikes me as rather illogical.

But I think I’ve come to actually understanding it. It is because these two particular "reasons" themselves have, or are becoming, widely known. And the reasons don’t sit right with everybody including some "pro-choicers".

In other words, if we ignore these two reasons for having an abortion, all other reasons a woman can have are usually private, so they don’t get put into a public "reason".

"Pro-choicers" simply rationalize a woman’s choice to abort as being a choice she made, but we don’t usually know what the reason was for that choice. We only know she has "chosen" to terminate her pregnancy. And "pro-choicers" will say, that a woman has a "right" to do that.

As an example, there are any number of other reasons women choose to have an abortion. For instance, because she can’t raise a child herself. Or because she is poor. Or because she forgot to take birth control. Or because she will not be able to go to the prom.

Now if we were to take any one of these other reasons and all of a sudden say "We now know that many women are aborting their unborn babies because it will interfere with a woman’s ability to attend her prom", there would be (like in a pregnancy reduction) a lot of "complicated ethics" coming into play here, because now we have provided an actual reason why a subset of women are aborting their babies.

We rightly judge that reason as being valid or not. And many people, even those of the "pro-choice" persuasion, get uncomfortable, depending on that reason.

As long as we stick to that convenient euphemistic "choice" word, it’s much easier to trick our moral compass into thinking any abortion is okay. In fact, we really don’t want to know the reason do we?

Monday, August 8, 2011

No pink for me

I responded to Thinking pink may impede breast cancer support: study with this letter in the National Post:

Why I am not thinking pink
National Post · Jul. 30, 2011
Re: Thinking Pink May Impede Breast Cancer Support, July 28.

There are two reasons why I refuse to purchase any products with the pink ribbon, even though I know women who have had breast cancer.

The first is that the whole "pink ribbon" thing has come to symbolize what has become a huge industry in and of itself. According to Charity Intelligence, breast cancer receives 36 times more money from donors than colorectal cancer. And those dollars have little impact on breast cancer prevention.

Charity Intelligence also tells us that breast cancer is the most funded cancer in Canada and receives 28% of all Canadian cancer funding, even though breast cancer represents fewer than 10% of all cancer deaths.

The second reason is that the breast cancer industry refuses to acknowledge the possibility of a link between abortion and breast cancer. It categorically refuses to even consider any evidence in that area. And it refuses to inform women of that possible link as well.

So I refuse to "think pink".

Patricia Maloney, Ottawa.


This elicited a response from Dr. Gail Erlick Robinson, University of Toronto director, Women's Mental Health Program University Health Network, Toronto.
Dr. Robinson says in 2003 the National Cancer Institute and a panel of 100 experts assessed the ABC studies. They concluded there was no link between having an abortion and an increased risk of breast cancer, reaffirming this in 2010.
"Despite this strong statement, anti-abortion groups continue to claim there is a relationship."


Dr. Robinson's letter elicited this letter from Joel Brind
Abortion and cancer link (II)
National Post · Aug. 5, 2011

Re: No Abortion and Cancer Link, letter to the editor, Aug. 3.
Letter-writer Dr. Gail Erlick Robinson cites the U.S. National Cancer Institute (NCI) to claim there is no abortion-breast cancer (ABC) link. Specifically, Dr. Robinson cites the NCI's 2003 "panel of 100 experts" who concluded so. I was one of those experts, but my minority report was only cited by the NCI without disclosing where to find it (It is posted on My report exposed that panel - organized as a so-called "workshop" - as a political sham.

Dr. Robinson further states: "This finding [of no link] was reaffirmed in 2010." True, but the reaffirmation on the NCI's website was merely a response to the organizer of the 2003 "workshop" who was caught with her proverbial pants down, when she co-authored a paper in 2009 that reaffirmed the ABC link.

Joel Brind, professor of biology and endocrinology, Baruch College, City University of New York, New York.


and from Dr. Angela Lanfranchi:
National Post · Aug. 5, 2011

Despite the NCI's conclusion after its 2003 workshop that abortion is not a risk for breast cancer, that conclusion flies in the face of widely known reproductive risks. An abortion does not turn back the clock and make a pregnant woman "unpregnant." If she chooses to have a full-term pregnancy, she will have a lower risk of breast cancer. Since it was first reported in 1743 that nuns have a higher breast cancer risk, medicine has known that a pregnancy lowers a woman's risk of breast cancer.

If she chooses an induced abortion, she will either remain childless, a well-established risk of breast cancer, or delay her pregnancy until she is older, also a well-established risk of breast cancer. In fact, for each year she delays a full-term pregnancy, she increases her risk of premenopausal breast cancer 5% and postmenopausal cancer 3%.

The NCI also disregarded the cigarette lung cancer risk until the 1960s, 30 years after the first study linking the two was published.

Dr. Angela Lanfranchi, clinical assistant professor of surgery, Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, Piscataway, N.J. 


Yesterday three more letters were published on the National Post's website.

Dr. Andrew Caruk, Kitchener, Ont. Dr. Karuk says in part:
"It seems that no amount of common sense, scientific reason or past experiences will persuade anti-life people to see the truth."
Jakki Jeffs, executive director, Alliance for Life Ontario, Guelph, Ont. Ms. Jeffs says in part:
"Seventy epidemiological studies dating from 1957 have been conducted, and approximately 80% report a correlation between having an abortion and increased breast cancer risk."
Denise Mountenay. Ms Mountenay sums it up nicely:
"The evidence is clear, we hold the cancer society’s accountable for not informing women about the link, and demand them to do their homework and begin a massive education campaign that will truly prevent women from getting breast cancer. That is to promote motherhood and breastfeeding and renounce induced abortions to save lives of women and their children. If only they would remember that one ounce of prevention, is worth a ton of cure. No pink for me!"
I guess I'm not the only person who refuses to think pink.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Just as the unborn cannot speak

LifeSiteNews tells us that Linda Gibbons has been arrested again. This time in front of the Morgentaler clinic in Toronto. Steve Jalsevac tells us:
"Linda’s long, now over 8-years total time in jail resumes again. How many more months or years in jail remains to be seen. Her young, very determined current lawyer has notably advanced her cause, although it is still an uphill battle. Linda does not speak in the court, just as the unborn cannot speak as they are destroyed."

Linda is a true Canadian hero. God bless her.

Friday, August 5, 2011

If men ruled the world

Regarding the book Unnatural Selection: Choosing Boys Over Girls, and the Consequences of a World Full of Men by Mara Hvistendahl: Frankly, I'm puzzled.

Why is abortion for sex-selection any more horrific than abortion because of any other "choice"? There is no difference. Once we allow "choice" to be normalized, which we have done now for over 40 years in Canada, it's all kind of moot.

A woman can abort her child for any reason she chooses, and sex-selection is simply one more of the myriad of choices a woman can make.

She can choose to have an abortion because it is inconvenient, or because she forgot her pill, or because she needs to finish her degree, or because she broke up with her boy friend. Or because...whatever.

Once we started sliding down the slippery slope of choice abortion, all choice abortions are legitimized, sanctioned and yes, even celebrated.

So I was wondering why some women like Mara Hvistendahl seem to bet be getting kind of antsy about the whole sex-selection abortion thing--when all other kinds of choice abortions are completely acceptable.

And then I looked at the title of her book, and I had an ah-ha moment. It's the men. Those darn misogynist men are trying to run the world and if we start aborting all the women, well, there won't be any of us left. And without women, there will be no babies. And without babies, well, the world will end. And the feminists won't be able to run the show anymore. Because there won't be any.

Okay, so back to the drawing board.

Hear ye, hear ye, all ye feminists, especially ye uber-feminists: You can have a choice abortion for any reason, except, you know, that one. You can't choose to abort a child if she's a female. Spread the word.