Stephen Woodworth

Stephen Woodworth

February 4, 2013

On Jan. 28, Canada marks the 25th anniversary of the Supreme Court of Canada decision that struck down Canada's law regulating abortion.

Since the Morgentaler decision, as it is known, Canada has been the only country in the Western world that has no laws restricting abortion until the moment of complete birth.

The result has been the killing of more than 100,000 preborn children a year.

Pro-abortion advocates have argued the Morgentaler ruling recognized the "right" to abortion. But the Supreme Court did not recognize such a right.

MP Stephen Woodworth said there is no right to an abortion and the Supreme Court judges who wrote the 1988 decision would be upset and disappointed their recommendations have not been acted upon.

Justice Bertha Wilson, who wrote the decision, left it to Parliament to get advice from all relevant disciplines and then determine the point at which an unborn child's development should be protected, Woodworth said. "She thought it might be some time in the second trimester."

"The courts never took the extremist position advanced by some people today that rights of a mother mean we must pretend a child is not a human being before birth," he said.

Michele Boulva, director of the Catholic Organization for Life and Family, said, "Sadly, an entire generation has been born and grown to adulthood in a Canada where free access to abortion is the order of the day."

However, it is members of this young generation who are quickest to express their dissatisfaction with the legal vacuum that allows the destruction of innocent human life, Boulva said.

Campaign Life Coalition President Jim Hughes said the pro-life movement continues to grow, and the torch being passed on from generation to generation is "not just flickering, it's burning brightly."


Ruth Lobo Shaw, 25, of the Calgary-based Centre for Bio-ethical Reform (CCBR), is among the new pro-life activists who have never known anything but the present abortion-on-demand regime.

"This issue is compelling to people in my generation because we don't like being lied to; we are seekers of the truth," said Lobo Shaw. "The truth is that abortion has decapitated, dismembered and disemboweled our friends, siblings and peers. We want it to stop."

CCBR is dedicated to making abortion "unthinkable" by exposing graphic images of what abortion does to the baby in the womb. The shock tactics have become increasingly popular among young pro-abortion activists who claim they are effective in changing hearts and minds.

But young activists are also pushing for legal changes, arguing that surveys show most Canadians would support gestational law that protects later-term pregnancies.


Mike Schouten, head of the campaign, said youth are essential to the pro-life movement. "As with other social reform movements, they are the ones with vision, unbridled enthusiasm and, most importantly, the ability to reflect on the efforts of their predecessors."

Woodworth said changing the law depends on Parliament deciding whether Canada is abandoning the principle every human being has equal dignity.

Boulva said the past 25 years have made it clear that the human impulse to preserve life "will not be quashed simply by repeatedly denying that life exists where common sense and science tells us it does."