Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
Week of November 19, 2007
Most Canadians want law to protect the unborn
Country 'brainwashed' into believing pro-lifers are fanatics, says MP
By DEBORAH GYAPONG
"Abortion was really a man's issue, touted by the Playboy philosophy, because you have to have abortion to dispose of problems created as a result of the lifestyle,"
He noted how his own former leader, Prime Minister Paul Martin, used that tactic, even though he had people in his own caucus who are pro-life. That had led to Harper "practically swearing on a stack of Bibles" that he would not allow anyone in his caucus to raise the abortion issue, Wappel said.
As in previous years, the LifeCanada-commissioned Environics poll, released at the end of October, shows that nearly one third of Canadians support protection for the unborn from conception on.
Another third thinks life should be protected but some weeks or months after conception. And another third want no protection until birth.
Majorities also support parental consent laws for women under 18 (54 per cent this year) and informed consent laws (67 per cent this year), requiring that women receive information about fetal development and possible medical complications before an abortion.
LifeCanada's executive director Gudrun Schultz said Gallup polls done from 1975 to 2000 showed similar results.
"This is not something new we have uncovered, this has been the consistent result of questioning Canadians over the past 32 years," said Schultz. "Many people are surprised to hear that the numbers are so high."
Conservative MP Maurice Vellacott (Saskatoon-Wanuskewin), co-chair of the parliamentary pro-life caucus, said most MPs would probably be surprised too.
"I don't think that most MPs, in the business of their lives, are aware of the Environics polls and the good information there," he said.
Vellacott described a "knowledge gap" among politicians and in Canadian society at large on everything from the viability of life in the womb, technology that shows fetal development, to reproductive technologies and end-of-life issues.
For the first time, the Life Canada poll asked a fifth question concerning whether people would support making it a crime to injure or kill a fetus in the course of an attack on the mother.
A huge majority of 72 per cent would support legislation like this.
Conservative MP Leon Benoit (Vegreville-Wainwright) tried to bring forward a private member's fetal homicide bill in May 2006.
"That was immediately characterized by the pro-abortion lobby as a thinly disguised attempt to criminalize abortion," Wappel said. Benoit's bill died when a House committee deemed it unconstitutional.
Jim Hughes, president of Campaign Life Canada, is not surprised by the strong support women have shown not only for this kind of legislation but also for other restrictions on abortion.
"Abortion was really a man's issue, touted by the Playboy philosophy, because you have to have abortion to dispose of problems created as a result of the lifestyle," he said, noting that Playboy Magazine financed the challenge to the law in the United States.
"It was always a man trying to get out from under his responsibility, leaving the woman to carry the burden."
LifeCanada provides information for other pro-life groups and does not engage in political activity. The study is available at www.lifecanada.org .
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