NewsMon Dec 17, 2007 - 12:15 pm EST
Abortion Featured on Front Page of Saturday Sun Newspapers Across Canada
By Hilary White
OTTAWA, December 17, 2007 (LifeSiteNews.com) - The Sun Media Group, a company that runs daily tabloid-style newspapers in many major cities in Canada, ran a series of articles this weekend covering abortion as the 20th anniversary of the Morgentaler decision looms. In its 1988 Morgentaler decision, the Supreme Court of Canada struck down Canada’s abortion law, leaving Canada as the only country in the world with no mention of abortion, and no restriction whatever, in its legal canon.
Writing for the Ottawa Sun, Ann Marie McQueen begins Saturday’s series by repeating without investigation the abortionists’ claim that abortion "is safe, requires little recovery time and almost no medication". But she goes on to admit that the original 1969 decision that legalized abortion created an open season in which "There are no limits on when" in a pregnancy a woman can have an abortion, a fact still not widely comprehended by Canadians.
McQueen’s articles point to an overall conclusion that, despite polling consistently showing Canadians want some limits on abortion, the real successes in the pro-life education movement have been in the US. Canadian society remains profoundly "liberal" on acceptance of abortion.
The coverage in the Ottawa Sun was led by a large photo of a pregnant woman’s torso with the word "abortion" across the cover. The photo took up the whole front page in the Ottawa paper. The articles appeared also in the Toronto Sun, Winnipeg Sun, Calgary Sun and Edmonton Sun.
"Abortion is treated like any other medical service," she begins. "Except it is most definitely not. We don’t talk about abortion in Canada because for the most part, we don’t want to".
In her coverage, which definitely leans to the pro-abortion side but provides more balance than is usual in Canada’s mainstream media, McQueen even bends Sun Media editorial policy referring once to the "right-to-life movement". Still "anti-abortion" is the Sun term used for pro-life advocates in the articles, even though those involved in the movement are also fighting infanticide, euthanasia, cloning, embryonic stem cell research and a whole range of attacks on human life that are beyond abortion. At least the so-called "pro-choice" side is accurately called "pro-abortion" in the Sun series.
McQueen’s coverage carries quotes and statistics from the main hitters in both the Canadian abortion lobby and the pro-life community. Planned Parenthood’s Guttmacher Institute’s statistics are given unquestioned and undeserved credibility despite the pro-abortion movement’s extensive history of wildly exaggerating or distorting facts to suit their agenda, especially regarding the numbers of deaths from illegal abortions. (http://cnews.canoe.ca/CNEWS/Features/2007/12/12/4723088-sun.html)
The Sun writer extensively cites statistics by abortion groups that claim there are still some practical restrictions on abortion but they appear niggling by comparison with the blunt admission, from a non-pro-life source, Prof. Margaret Somerville of McGill University, that "Canada is unique in the Western world for having no prohibition on abortion at all. You can have an abortion the day before you give birth in Canada and that is perfectly legal."
Following this, McQueen went on to interview Calgary’s foremost pro-life educator Stephanie Gray. Gray is the founder of the Canadian Centre for Bioethical Reform, an educational group that uses large graphic images of aborted children to "jolt a complacent public" into discussing abortion from a more fact-based point of view.
Gray explains that the pictures, "finally strike a healthy debate among people in the public square. We have to shock them into thinking about it."
McQueen goes on to admit that "most media outlets" regularly downplay the size of the annual March for Life in Ottawa, or "blacking out coverage" completely, an annual news topic for LifeSiteNews.com. "Other forms of protest" such as Life Chain, she writes, "are usually ignored."
In a rare moment in Canadian journalism, in a second article on Saturday, McQueen reveals the blunt statistic that "some 3.5 million" Canadian children have been killed by abortion since its effective legalization in 1969.
She quotes Mary Ellen Douglas of Campaign Life Coalition, "the political arm of the anti-abortion movement" saying, "What do you think happens when you remove 3.5 million people from the centre of the population over this period of time? Some of them would be doctors now." (http://www.torontosun.com/News/Canada/2007/12/15/pf-4726027.html)
McQueen allows Dr. Henry Morgentaler, Canada’s most notorious abortionist and campaigner, his usual retort that the only children aborted were destined to become criminals anyway and that society is better off without them. "Basically my thesis is that abortion has eliminated many of the ills that befell society, because children are unwanted," he told McQueen. "Very often they’ve been mishandled to the point where they became antisocial, and accumulated so much hostility and hate in themselves, that eventually they take it out on other people, so they will become criminals." (http://calsun.canoe.ca/News/Features/2007/12/17/4728323-sun.html)
Hollywood’s attempts at tackling the issue of teen pregnancy, she writes, have often tended in the past to downplay the moral seriousness of abortion or avoid the issue in its lighter comedic fare. But she relates that, despite some of the film industry’s more obvious pro-abortion propaganda attempts like Cider House Rules and Vera Drake set when abortion was still illegal, the subject is treated more seriously now.
She cites two popular programmes, "Friends" and "Sex and the City" where main characters refused abortions. She notes that when abortion is dealt with on television programmes airing in both countries, it is controversial "not in Canada, but in the US."
"Both scenarios serve as a reminder that though much of our art and culture are shared, Canadian and American sensitivities are very different. Polls show Americans are almost evenly divided on the issue of a woman’s right to choose, whereas Canadians are more weighted to the pro-abortion side."
Yesterday, the article titled "Issue Divides Doctors" gives far more weight to the statements and statistics of abortionists than pro-life physicians. (http://calsun.canoe.ca/News/Features/2007/12/16/4727058-sun.html)
In today’s Sun newpapers a spokesman for each side is given the opportunity to present their case in an unedited guest column. Joyce Arthur represents the pro-abortion side and Jim Hughes, president of Campaign Life Coalition presents the pro-life perspective.
Arthur emphasizes her movement’s successes in having the killing of unborn babies recognized as "essential healthcare" for their mothers. Arthur praises Canada’s total absence of restrictions on how and when unborn babies may be killed with full taxpayer funding as "the envy of many people around the world." She nevertheless issues a call for abortions to be made even more accessible and easier to obtain in all parts of Canada. (http://www.torontosun.com/Comment/2007/12/17/4728186-sun.html)
Jim Hughes gives an overview of the pro-life movement and its activities as a counter to the misinformation or information blackouts that have been the mainstream media’s normal treatment of those on the politically incorrect side of moral issues. (http://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2007/dec/07121701.html)