Mark Pickup

August 29, 2011

Canada and the United States treat abortion as a right. This is a recent development and an aberration from the course of human history.

The Hippocratic Oath for doctors dating back thousands of years forbade abortion and euthanasia. Since the first century, the Catholic Church has unwaveringly maintained the moral evil of procured abortion. Ancient and persistent common law traditions dating back into the Middle Ages treated abortion as a grave crime. In 1802, England formally made abortion a criminal offence.

In May 1969, Canada changed course from history and the wisdom of the ages by decriminalizing abortion. Abortion advocates assured the public and politicians that a change in the law would not lead to abortion on demand.


They were wrong. The year abortion was decriminalized there were 268 abortions in Canada. The next year, the number rose by 4,000 per cent to 11,000 abortions. That was 1970.

In 1971 the number of abortions in Canada spiked again to 30,949. In 1972, the numbers rose another 25.7 per cent to 38,905 abortions. The numbers just kept rising. By 1982, there were more abortions than live births in the city of Toronto.

I have talked to physicians who practised medicine during that time. They could not remember any request for abortion ever being denied under Canada's 1969 abortion law. As far as they were concerned, the law was so bad it may as well not have existed. In 1988, the Supreme Court of Canada struck down that law.

Today there is no legal protection for unborn children against abortion. A woman can have an abortion at taxpayers' expense for any reason or no reason. She can have as many abortions as she wants - no questions asked.

Thousands of unwanted preborn children are sacrificed in Canada each week on the altar of sexual freedom for their parents. Nearly 100,000 abortions are performed annually in Canada and the vast majority are not medically required.

Abortion advocates of the 1960s said easy access to abortion would eliminate child abuse because only wanted children would be born. They were wrong on that point too.

Canada has been aborting children all day long for more than 40 years and yet the rates of child abuse have skyrocketed.

We have the worst of both worlds. The assertions made by proponents of abortion were not based on evidence they were based on ideology and social agendas. Abortion does not stop child abuse; abortion is child abuse.

Is it possible that abortion coarsens people's consciences and cheapens the value they place on children in general? When the ancient taboo against harming one's young and vulnerable is violated, does it open the door to other forms of abuse?

Once that taboo has been breached against killing the most vulnerable of humanity (like a child developing in the womb) does abuse or killing other vulnerable groups such as the aged, the sick or the disabled become easier?

If so, then the stage is set for the next phase in an expanding culture of death we are experiencing: euthanasia.

Granted, last year a private member's bill in Parliament to legalize euthanasia and assisted suicide was soundly defeated. But do not think that the threat of euthanasia is over. Incurably ill people are quietly and discreetly being euthanized in hospitals across the nation.


Euthanasia proponents are taking a different approach to bring their agenda to Canada. Courts can impose where democratic votes fails.

The British Columbia Civil Liberties Association has launched a legal challenge with the B.C. Supreme Court against Canada's laws prohibiting assisted suicide and euthanasia. It is representing the family of Kay Carter who went to Switzerland for assisted suicide and Kelowna resident Gloria Taylor who suffers from Lou Gehrig's disease.

The latter case is strategic because Taylor is not expected to live long. The B.C. Civil Liberties Association wants her case fast-tracked through the courts. There's more than one way to achieve what advocates of euthanasia and assisted suicide want.

If democracy doesn't work in their favour, they will try to force the issue through the courts.


Canada's Euthanasia Prevention Coalition (EPC) has applied for intervener status to try and stop this challenge to Canada's laws against euthanasia and assisted suicide. It asked my wife and me to be part of its delegation. It has also asked us to explore possibilities of establishing an EPC affiliate for the Prairie region. If you would like to support it, send me an email at