Last Updated: Tuesday - 01/04/2011
May 14, 2001
COLF calls for law to protect unborn
CANADIAN CATHOLIC NEWS
OTTAWA — The Catholic Organization for Life and Family has called for legislation to protect the lives of the unborn.
"Life is the most precious gift that is given to us and it is our duty to love it, respect it and keep it from harm," said the organization, jointly founded by the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops and the Knights of Columbus.
COLF issued the statement in advance of the fourth annual March for Life in Ottawa, which includes a mass rally on Parliament Hill May 11.
The March for Life marks the passage in Parliament in 1969 of legislation that decriminalized abortion.
A youth conference, interdenominational prayer service and a Mass at St. Patrick's Basilica are also scheduled for the event, which ends on the evening of May 12 with a candlelight ceremony at the Canadian Human Rights Monument "in memory of the innocent ones who have died to abortions."
The COLF statement, issued May 4, said that while there are many threats to human life and dignity, there are also daily
actions of human love and kindness, and significant developments at all levels of society in support of life.
It noted that the Supreme Court of Canada in two unanimous decisions this past winter gave "powerful affirmation of the fundamental value of human life."
In one case, the court refused to extradite two Canadian citizens accused of murder unless the United States gave assurances they would not face the death penalty.
In a separate judgment in the Robert Latimer case, the court made what the COLF said was "an eloquent statement about the value of human life and the role of the state in protecting human life especially when it is most vulnerable."
The high court upheld the conviction and life sentence of the Saskatchewan farmer for the 1993 murder of his 12-year-old disabled daughter, Tracy. Latimer had sought a constitutional exemption from the minimum life sentence for second-degree murder, saying he did it out of love for his quadriplegic daughter who was in constant pain.
However, the statement from COLF also expressed disappointment at the court's "refusal" to protect unborn human life in two other major recent cases. Nevertheless, it said, "we have also been encouraged by the court's acknowledgment that Parliament has the authority to do so."
In calling for a law to protect the unborn, COLF said, "We also recommit ourselves to do all that we can in our families, communities and parishes to welcome and nourish life."
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