The Liberals are desperate and trying to shore up support by frightening voters and implying that Conservatives will bring in anti-abortion laws—this along with a ban on gay marriage are the two scariest election outcomes, apparently, that any Canadian voter could imagine.
The Grits have dug up a decade-old student column on abortion by Heritage Minister James Moore. Apparently, he is expected to answer for his anti-abortion views expressed in that column.
According to the Globe and Mail, Mr. Moore’s student paper was:
“Dated Nov. 1, 1999 and titled ‘The flip side of abortion extremism,’ the op-ed discussed legislation in the United States that proposed to ban certain types of late-term abortions.”
It occurs to me that a majority of Canadians would agree that there be some legal restrictions on late-term abortions. However, neither Prime Minister Stephen Harper nor Mr. Moore have given any indication they intend to ban or even restrict the practice.
“Anecdotally, as an ethicist, I have been consulted in a professional capacity on two late-term abortions, both of which were carried out. One involved a 34-week gestation pregnancy, where the mother was an unmarried graduate student from a foreign country; the other a 32-week gestation pregnancy, where the married parents did not want to have a ‘defective child’—the baby had a cleft palate (a relatively minor physical deformity that can be largely corrected with surgery).”
– Margaret Somerville,
As many as 80 per cent of Canadians (See Jan. 15, 2010 Angus Reid Poll) believe there already exists legal restrictions on late-term abortions and insist that such operations are banned in Canada except under extreme circumstances. Would that they were correct.
Actually, few late-term abortions are performed in Canada, but that is because most patients are sent to clinics in the United States that specialize in the procedure, and our Canadian healthcare systems foot the bill. To me, this is the moral equivalent to in-country late-term abortions, a very distressing practice.
Complicating this issue is the fact that when the Supreme Court of Canada struck down Canada’s abortion law in 1988, it also removed reporting requirements making statistics hard to come by. As a result, detailed information is not available for more than half of the abortions performed.
The fact is—so far as I can tell—we have no laws whatsoever governing or limiting abortions in any way, and I’ve done research on this. Abortion is permitted at any stage of pregnancy in Canada. Whatever limitation exists is left to the conscience of medical practitioners and their codes of ethics. And, of course, there are no unethical doctors practicing in Canada. Or are there?
And what about the Liberal Party’s current caucus members who are practicing Roman Catholics. Should Canadians be afraid they’ll ban abortions because of their personal beliefs? Come to think of it, Roman Catholics aren’t too keen on the life-style of gays, so is gay marriage also in peril from a Liberal government?
As much as I personally believe our laws should address late-term abortions, I realize, as so many progressives and conservatives do, that Canadians, in general, are satisfied with the status quo on abortion and don’t want the to reopen debate on the issue. Most Canadian politicians accept this, regardless of their political stripe. If only Mr. Ignatieff had lived in Canada long enough to understand this.