Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
June 1, 2009
Repent Canada, for 2 million unborn deaths
Clergy take to the city streets to support annual March For Life
My Glass is Half Full
By MARK PICKUP
During May, pro-life advocates across Canada held marches for life in observance of the 1969 change in the nation’s abortion law by the government of Pierre Elliott Trudeau.
Alberta held its March for Life on May 7 and was supported by all of Alberta’s Roman Catholic bishops. Clergy from Eastern Orthodox and Ukrainian Catholic denominations also attended. Hundreds of people from throughout the province showed up at the steps of the Legislature, then marched through the streets of downtown Edmonton in witness to the sanctity of human life.
Another March for Life was held in Ottawa on May 14. It enjoyed the full support of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops and had 11 Ontario bishops in attendance.
One might wonder why such attention was paid to the point when the 1969 abortion law came into effect when the Supreme Court struck down any law governing abortion in January 1988. I think the 1969 date is more pivotal because it marked the beginning of the end for legal protection for all human life.
SANCTITY OF LIFE ABANDONED
That terrible day in May 1969 sanctioned the abandonment of the long-held belief in the sanctity of every human life. It established a terrible precedent of killing our youngest at will. Now Canada finds itself in a moral morass where we are killing 100,000 preborn children annually by abortion. Abortion has tattered the Canadian social fabric for the last 40 years.
When Canada’s abortion law was passed in 1969, the justice minister of the day was John Turner. On May 6 that year, he stood in the House of Commons and said this about the bill he was asking Parliament to pass:
“This bill has rejected the eugenic, sociological or criminal offence reasons. The bill limits the possibility of therapeutic abortion to these circumstances: It is to be performed by a medical practitioner who is supported by a therapeutic abortion committee of medical practitioners in a certified or approved hospital, and the abortion is to be performed only where the health or life of the mother is in danger.”
The bill passed. John Turner’s assurances were a hollow ruse. The ink was barely dry on the new abortion law and it was being flouted.
The year the abortion bill was passed into law there were 268 abortions in Canada. The next year the number jumped to 11,000. That was 1970. In 1971, the numbers of abortions in Canada spiked dramatically again to 30,949. In 1972 the numbers jumped again to 38,905 abortions.
The number of abortions kept rising. Things got so bad that by 1982 there were more abortions than live births in Toronto. Either Turner’s guidelines were being ignored or Canada had the unhealthiest women on the planet.
A few years ago, I had a discussion with an elderly retired physician. He was at the zenith of his medical career during the 1970s and 1980s. He told me that he could not remember a single case being refused by an abortion committee. The old man lamented that even under the guidelines, abortion on request existed.
In 1988, the Supreme Court struck down Canada’s abortion law. Today in Canada, there is no legal protection for prenatal life at any point of pregnancy. A woman can have an abortion at taxpayers’ expense for any reason at all or no reason whatsoever.
ANCIENT MORAL CODE
This is a major departure from an ancient moral code. Despite its blemishes and failings, western civilization had a moral consensus that the weakest and most vulnerable should be protected.
For centuries, abortion was considered a serious crime. The Hippocratic Oath for doctors dating back thousands of years forbade abortion (and euthanasia). The Catholic Church has maintained the moral evil of abortion since the first century. Ancient and persistent common law traditions dating back into the Middle Ages treated abortion as a “grave crime.”
ABORTION A CRIMINAL ACT
In 1802, England codified into law what had been considered a criminal offence by custom and made abortion a criminal act. Considering abortion on demand as a right (as Canada and the U.S. do) is a recent development and an aberration from the course of human history.
Abortion is the worst kind of child abuse. It is a form of child sacrifice. It is the abandonment of life and hope.
I fear for my nation. This dreadful acceptance of abortion must not continue without risking God’s judgment. I fear that like the blood of Abel crying to God from the ground, the blood of more than two million unborn children cry against us to the Almighty. We have a patient God, but he does have his limits.
Canada must turn away from its horrible 40-year social experiment with abortion and repent. Perhaps it is not too late. Perhaps God will still forgive Canada. Individuals repent but so can nations.
It was right for Christians and other people of good will across Canada to march for life as a witness against the brutality of abortion.
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