Last Updated: Tuesday - 01/04/2011
February 5, 2001
Pair launch drive for abortion vote
WESTERN CATHOLIC REPORTER
EDMONTON — Marshall Deslauriers and Joanna Prysko want the Alberta government to hold a referendum on tax-funded abortions.
So the two members of Annunciation Parish are collecting thousands of signatures on a petition urging the Alberta Legislature to call for a vote on the issue to be held during the forthcoming provincial election.
The petition urges the Legislature to include the question "Are you in favour of the Alberta government using your tax dollars to pay for abortions?" in the provincial election.
The pair hope to collect 50,000 signatures by the end of February and are currently soliciting support from Christian congregations across Alberta.
"We are trying to tell the government we don't want our tax dollars to be used to pay for abortions," Deslauriers said.
According to the pair, Alberta funds each abortion to the tune of 60 per cent of its cost, which they estimate at $600. More than 10,000 abortions are performed in Alberta each year.
They want the government to direct the funds it currently uses to fund abortions to child care or palliative care.
"Alberta has the same ability as New Brunswick to stop paying for abortion (on demand)," Deslauriers said, noting that province does not pay for abortions done in free-standing clinics.
A major drive to end tax funding of abortions in Alberta ended in 1995 when the Progressive Conservative Party convention voted to continue paying for abortion. The Committee to End Tax-Funded Abortion, which spearheaded that drive, gathered 20,000 names on petitions as part of its effort.
The new petition drive is part of Deslauriers' and Prysko's overall strategy to bring public attention to the pro-life cause.
On Jan. 29, they took part in a Right to Life rally in front of the Law Courts buildings, marking the 13th anniversary of the Supreme Court decision that struck down Canada's abortion law. About 100 people walked around the courthouse demanding legal protection for the unborn.
"We need legal protection for the unborn in this country," Prysko said after the rally. "Laws have to be changed to reflect protection for all life, from conception to natural death."
Deslauriers and Prysko were stirred to launch the petition drive by Prime Minister Jean Chretien's statement that Canada has social peace on the abortion issue and that it is not necessary to talk about it.
"We believe that Jean Chretien's social peace is nothing more than murderous silence," Prysko said.
"They talk about social peace because they are afraid to change the status quo. They are afraid of the backlash from the pro-abortion people."
Those willing to take part in the petition drive may contact Deslauriers at 15631-100A Ave., Edmonton, T5P 0L5, phone (780) 486-1967. Her email is firstname.lastname@example.org.
Copyright © 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009 -- Western Catholic Reporter
Our mission: To serve our readers by bringing the Gospel to bear on current issues in the Church and in secular culture through accurate news coverage and reflective commentary.