Patrick Craine

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‘Abortion is legal in Canada’: Harper gvmt opposes homicide investigation in 491 babies case

Patrick Craine
Patrick Craine

OTTAWA, Jan. 31, 2013 (LifeSiteNews.com) - Stephen Harper’s Conservative government is opposing a call by three MPs for the RCMP to investigate StatsCan data that reported that 491 babies were left to die after they were born alive following failed abortions.

Responding in the House of Commons Thursday to questions on the pro-life MPs’ open letter, Harper insisted simply that “abortion is legal in Canada.”

“Is this government’s support for abortion so strong that they’re now going to turn a blind eye to documented cases that suggest infanticide?” responded Jim Hughes, national president of Campaign Life Coalition.

Many reports in the mainstream media Thursday have twisted the MPs’ letter, written Jan. 23rd to the RCMP Commissioner, as a call for late-term abortions to be investigated as homicides. But the crux of the MPs’ concern is that the babies died, not during abortion, but after they were born alive and thus recognized as persons under Canadian law.

The Opposition New Democrats took the media’s lead during Question Period on Thursday.

“These conservatives are trying to get the RCMP to investigate abortions as murder,” said Megan Leslie, the party’s deputy leader. “Will the Prime Minister make it clear that he and his government understand that abortion is not murder?”

In reply, Prime Minister Harper said: “All members of this House, whether they agree with it or not, understand that abortion is legal in Canada and this government, myself included, have made it very clear that the government does not intend to change the law in this regard.”

Though the Prime Minister was responding to Leslie’s framing of the issue as a concern about abortion rather than infanticide, the same cannot be said for a reply given to LifeSiteNews Thursday by the office of Minister of Justice Rob Nicholson.

LifeSiteNews sent a question to Nicholson spokeswoman Julie Di Mambro on Thursday morning about the MPs’ call for an investigation, making clear that the MPs’ concern is about babies “born alive” after failed abortions.

Di Mambro responded in the afternoon with the same quote from Harper insisting that “abortion is legal in Canada.”

“The Prime Minister addressed this issue today during Question Period,” she said.

LifeSiteNews replied to Di Mambro spelling out that the concern is specifically about infanticide rather than abortion, but she has not yet responded.

“We’ve warned all along that abortion opens the door to infanticide because there’s no substantial difference between the child before birth and the child after birth,” said Hughes. “This is the very argument offered by infanticide advocates like Peter Singer.”

“First we have a judge in Alberta letting a woman walk free after strangling her newborn because abortion’s legal,” Hughes continued. “And now our Conservative federal government won’t investigate infanticide because ‘abortion is legal’?”

“Could it be that we’re witnessing our country’s descent into acceptance of infanticide before our very eyes?” he asked.

The StatsCan data was found in October by pro-life blogger Patricia Maloney in the federal agency’s online database. The data, confirmed with StatsCan by LifeSiteNews in November, indicates that between 2000 and 2009 there were 491 babies in Canada who died after they were born alive following failed abortions.

The 491 deaths reported to StatsCan are listed in CANSIM table 102-0536, under code P96.4, which is titled “Termination of pregnancy, affecting fetus and newborn.”

In an e-mail to LifeSiteNews in November, StatsCan’s Owen Phillips explained that this code indicates the cause of the born child’s death was an abortion. He said these are not stillbirths, which have a different table.

The case sparked outrage across Canada and beyond, though it was ignored by mainstream media until today.

Pro-life activists have long known that babies are often born alive and then left to die after failed abortions, but did not know how frequently this occurred in Canada.

Jill Stanek, a former nurse in Chicago turned pro-life blogger, has described witnessing babies being born alive after failed abortions, then being brought to a “soiled utility room” and left to die. Her testimony sparked the state’s Born Alive Infant Protection Act.

“My experience was that they [the babies] survive as short as a few minutes, to once, almost as long as an eight hour shift,” she said in 2008.

In one instance, she said she heard that a child was being left, and she “couldn’t bear the thought of this suffering child dying alone.” “And so I cradled and rocked him for the forty-five minutes that he lived.”

In another grisly case, abortionist Kermit Gosnell was arrested in 2011 after allegedly slitting the spinal chords of hundreds of newborn babies who were born alive in the process of an attempted abortion.

The three MPs who wrote to RCMP Commissioner Bob Paulson were Maurice Vellacott (Saskatoon-Wanuskwein), Leon Benoit (Vegreville-Wainwright), and Wladyslaw Lizon (Mississauga East-Cooksville).

“These incidents appear to be homicides. Therefore a thorough police investigation is required, and I am formally requesting you to pursue that,” they wrote.

The MPs note that Section 223(2) of the Criminal Code recognizes a child’s legal rights “after proceeding fully from the mother’s womb.” So, they say, “there should be 491 homicide investigations or prosecutions in connection with these deaths.”

A spokesman for the RCMP told LifeSiteNews, however, that the agency will not confirm or deny whether an investigation is or will be underway. “We do not comment or confirm or deny what may or may not be the subject of an investigation,” he said.

The spokesman also said they “cannot confirm” if the results of any investigation would ever be made public, adding that in general after the RCMP conducts an investigation, the results “may be made public.”


Contact Information:

Prime Minister Stephen Harper
pm@pm.gc.ca

Justice Minister Rob Nicholson
mcu@justice.gc.ca
(613) 957-4222

Find contact info for all Canada’s Members of Parliament.


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Michelle Kaufman, New Zealand Correspondent

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Abortion group targets pro-life doctors, nurses with new website: New Zealand

Michelle Kaufman, New Zealand Correspondent
By Michelle Kaufman

Pro-life health practitioners and crisis pregnancy centres in New Zealand are the target of a new website designed to intimidate those who choose not to refer for abortion or prescribe contraception.

The website, My Decision, is created by the Abortion Law Reform Association of New Zealand (ALRANZ). 

The site lists health practitioners and crisis pregnancy centres which they believe women should avoid.  The incomplete list includes the names of individuals or organisations, the region and town, and whether they are a doctor, nurse or other provider. 

Women are asked to submit their stories of “hostile or unhelpful health professionals.”  The stories are non-identifying and can be edited for length or clarity.  At the time of writing only two stories had been posted.

In an earlier blog post, ALRANZ mentioned that the new website, which was still under construction at the time, is “aimed at shining the light on ‘conscientious objectors’… who deny people the reproductive healthcare they want or need.”

Right to Life NZ says they believe the site is “denigrating the good name and reputations of health professionals who believe that abortion is a harmful choice.”

Click "like" if you are PRO-LIFE!

Under New Zealand law, health practitioners can object to providing reproductive health services according to their conscience.  However, there is one caveat – they “must inform the person who requests the service that he or she can obtain the service from another health practitioner or from a family planning clinic.”

 “Sonscientious objection is a fundamental right and one that must be preserved if we are to continue to live in a free and civil society,” said Chris O’Brien, Vice President of Right to Life NZ. “We risk tyranny if this right is taken away.”

“There are very good doctors that appear on that website” said Dame Colleen Bayer, whose Dunedin Family Life Crisis Pregnancy Centre is also named.  “These doctors speak truthfully and have real care and concern for their patients.  Women do themselves a disservice to discount them based on this information.”

The resource section on the My Decision website links to ALRANZ, Family Planning (an affiliate of International Planned Parenthood Federation and an abortion provider), and the website Abortion Services in New Zealand. 

The Abortion Services website is sponsored by ISTAR Ltd, a registered Charitable Trust which is the sole importer of mifepristone into New Zealand.  ISTAR also provides Manual Vacuum Aspiration equipment for early surgical abortions.

ALRANZ, was instrumental in the writing of the Greens abortion policy, which was unveiled earlier this year.  That policy aims to take abortion out of the Crimes Act making it more accessible.  The policy also targets health professionals who may conscientiously object to ensure they refer patients on to a “neutral practitioner”.

More information about freedom of conscience in healthcare 


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The government is proposing allowing the killing of pre-born babies suspected of being disabled and those conceived through rape or incest.
Thaddeus Baklinski Thaddeus Baklinski Follow Thaddeus

Northern Ireland considers allowing killing disabled unborn babies: pro-lifers condemn

Thaddeus Baklinski Thaddeus Baklinski Follow Thaddeus
By Thaddeus Baklinski

Northern Ireland’s leading pro-life group, Precious Life, has condemned this week's announcement by Justice Minister David Ford that a consultation on changing the abortion law will be "ready by autumn." The government is considering allowing the killing of pre-born babies suspected of being disabled and those conceived through rape or incest.

“Abortion is a serious criminal offence in Northern Ireland,” said the director of Precious Life, Bernadette Smyth. “The law here protects unborn babies, and David Ford as Minister for Justice must ensure that all children are legally protected."

Last December, Ford revealed he would be undertaking a consultation to consider changes to the law after he heard the stories of two women, who complained that they had not been allowed to abort their babies who had been diagnosed with anencephaly. Instead, they said, they had traveled to Britain for abortions.

Abortion was refused under Northern Ireland’s laws because the diagnosis of anencephaly for the child poses no medical threat to the mother.

Click "like" if you are PRO-LIFE!

On Monday Ford told the BBC that the Department of Justice would bring forward its consultation paper on changing Northern Ireland's abortion laws by the fall.

However, Smyth warned that “the core ethical principle which must underpin this discussion is that every child deserves the right to life regardless of how short their life may be, and regardless of the circumstances of their conception."

She vowed that Precious Life will launch a public campaign in support of the life of all unborn babies.

“We all feel enormous sympathy for parents in these traumatic and distressing cases," Precious Life stressed in a statement. "But parents in these difficult situations deserve much more than our sympathy – they need a professional support system in place, which will provide them with help, support and resources.

"Precious Life are resolved to work towards a solution that loves and protects both mother and baby. Once again we call on the Health Minister to immediately establish perinatal hospice services for parents who have received a poor or difficult prenatal diagnosis for their baby,” said Smyth.

 

Contact:

Justice Minister David Ford
Department of Justice
Stormont Estate
Belfast, Northern Ireland
BT4 3SG
Phone:(028) 9076 3000
Email: via website (http://www.dojni.gov.uk/contact-us.htm)


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80% of parents who have an unborn child with spina bifida choose abortion. But Chad Judice (pictured with Eli) knows that life is worth it.
Dustin Siggins Dustin Siggins Follow Dustin

Abortion? No way. Dad says son with spina bifida is a ‘gift’ to the family.

Dustin Siggins Dustin Siggins Follow Dustin
By Dustin Siggins

What is the most pro-life, pro-God influence in your life? According to Catholic author and speaker Chad Judice, his five-year old, disabled son has been a tremendous source of happiness and faith for even the hardest of hearts.

In an op-ed published in The New York Post, Judice writes that when he and his wife found out their unborn son Elijah had spina bifida, they were offered the option of abortion. While they chose life, it didn't stop them from fearing the worst for their careers, eldest child, and Eli.

"That evening...Ashley cried as she read to me from the literature we’d been given," writes Judice. "It said 80 percent of parents who receive a spina bifida diagnosis choose abortion."

"And it told us that our son might have learning disabilities and be paralyzed from the waist down, unable to ever walk."

According to WemMD.com, the two most common forms of spina bifida have few, if any effects, on those who have them. However, the most rare and most aggressive form of the disability can result in significant problems for life:

  • Little or no feeling in their legs, feet, or arms, so they may not be able to move those parts of the body.
  • Bladder or bowel problems, such as leaking urine or having a hard time passing stools.
  • Fluid buildup in the brain (hydrocephalus). Even when it is treated, this may cause seizures, learning problems, or vision problems.
  • A curve in their spine, such as scoliosis.

Eli's form of spina bifida was severe, but -- as it turned out -- manageable, writes Judice. Despite surgeries and "medical challenges," he was out of the hospital within thirty days, though seizures and surgeries would continue to challenge the family. At five-and-a-half, he is entering kindergarten, learning to walk with modern technology, and "his intelligence is at or above average, and he's very talkative."

But perhaps the greatest miracle of all, Judice says, is the effect Eli has had on those who are outside of the family. His story has helped "some pregnant mothers...to reject abortion," and "rekindle the dormant faith of some...drawing them into a life with more room for God and family."

One of those rekindled Christians was a man who, after years in prison, prayed for Eli "as he recited The Lord's Prayer." According to Judice, "it was the first time he’d prayed in 30 years."

Since Eli's birth, Judice has written two books about his son and their family. "Waiting for Eli: A Father's Journey from Fear to Faith" was the first, and has received praise from Father Frank Pavone of Priests for Life. According to Pavone, it is "an inspiring story of faith, hope, love, and the power of prayer."

"The world judges the value of human life by physical perfection, but God sees things differently. To Him, we are perfectly lovable in our imperfection. Uplifting in its reverence for human life in its most fragile stages, WAITING FOR ELI will encourage pro-life activists everywhere, from the most seasoned to the newly initiated."

Also unstinting in praise was the Chair of the Committee for Pro-Life Activities, Archbishop Daniel Cardinal Dinardo, who writes for Judice's website that the book "chronicles [Judice's] spiritual journey from fear of one’s personal limitations to self-abandonment to the divine mercy of God’s providence."

The second book, "Eli's Reach: On the Value of Human Life and the Power of Prayer," received the "Best Book by Small Publisher" award in 2013 by the Catholic Press Association.

"I think of Eli as God’s special gift to my family," Judice wrote in the Post. "And as I share about him, Eli’s story softens hearts and brings people to a greater appreciation of the beauty and sacredness of life."


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