Patrick Craine


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

Patrick Craine
Patrick Craine

OTTAWA, Jan. 31, 2013 ( - 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
[email protected]

Justice Minister Rob Nicholson
[email protected]
(613) 957-4222

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

Steve Jalsevac Steve Jalsevac Follow Steve

Today’s chuckle: Rubio, Fiorina and Carson pardon a Thanksgiving turkey

Steve Jalsevac Steve Jalsevac Follow Steve
By Steve Jalsevac

A little bit of humour now and then is a good thing.

Happy Thanksgiving to all our American readers.

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Building of the European Court of Human Rights.
Lianne Laurence


BREAKING: Europe’s top human rights court slaps down German ban on pro-life leafletting

Lianne Laurence
By Lianne Laurence

STRASBOURG, France, November 26, 2015 (LifeSiteNews) – The European Court of Human Rights ruled Thursday that a German regional court violated a pro-life activist’s freedom of expression when it barred him from leafleting in front of an abortion center.

It further ruled the German court’s order that Klaus Gunter Annen not list the names of two abortion doctors on his website likewise violated the 64-year-old pro-life advocate’s right to freedom of expression.

The court’s November 26 decision is “a real moral victory,” says Gregor Puppinck, director of the Strasbourg-based European Center for Law and Justice, which intervened in Annen’s case. “It really upholds the freedom of speech for pro-life activists in Europe.”

Annen, a father of two from Weinam, a mid-sized city in the Rhine-Neckar triangle, has appealed to the Strasbourg-based European Court of Human Rights at least two times before, Puppinck told LifeSiteNews.

“This is the first time he made it,” he said, noting that this time around, Annen had support from the ECLJ and Alliance Defense Fund and the German Pro-life Federation (BVL). “I think he got more support, better arguments and so I think this helped.”

The court also ordered the German government to pay Annen costs of 13,696.87 EUR, or 14,530 USD.

Annen started distributing pamphlets outside a German abortion center ten years ago, ECLJ stated in a press release.

His leaflets contained the names and addresses of the two abortionists at the center, declared they were doing “unlawful abortions,” and stated in smaller print that, “the abortions were allowed by the German legislators and were not subject to criminal liability.”

Annen’s leaflets also stated that, “The murder of human beings in Auschwitz was unlawful, but the morally degraded NS State allowed the murder of innocent people and did not make it subject to criminal liability.” They referred to Annen’s website,, which listed a number of abortionists, including the two at the site he was leafleting.

In 2007, a German regional court barred Annen from pamphleteering in the vicinity of the abortion center, and ordered him to drop the name of the two abortion doctors from his website.

But the European Court of Human Rights ruled Thursday that the German courts had "failed to strike a fair balance between [Annen’s] right to freedom of expression and the doctor’s personality rights.”

The Court stated that, “there can be no doubt as to the acute sensitivity of the moral and ethical issues raised by the question of abortion or as to the importance of the public interest at stake.”

That means, stated ECLJ, that “freedom of expression in regard to abortion shall enjoy a full protection.”

ECLJ stated that the court noted Annen’s leaflets “made clear that the abortions performed in the clinic were not subject to criminal liability. Therefore, the statement that ‘unlawful abortions’ were being performed in the clinic was correct from a legal point of view.”

As for the Holocaust reference, the court stated that, “the applicant did not – at least not explicitly – equate abortion with the Holocaust.”  Rather, the reference was “a way of creating awareness of the more general fact that law might diverge from morality.”

The November 26 decision “is a quite good level of protection of freedom of speech for pro-life people,” observed Puppinck.

First, the European Court of Human Rights has permitted leafleting “in the direct proximate vicinity of the clinic, so there is no issue of zoning,” he told LifeSiteNews. “And second, the leaflets were mentioning the names of the doctors, and moreover, were mentioning the issue of the Holocaust, which made them quite strong leaflets.”

“And the court protected that.”

Annen has persevered in his pro-life awareness campaign through the years despite the restraints on his freedom.

“He did continue, and he did adapt,” Puppinck told LifeSiteNews. “He kept his freedom of speech as much as he could, but he continued to be sanctioned by the German authorities, and each time he went to the court of human rights. And this time, he won.”

ECLJ’s statement notes that “any party” has three months to appeal the November 26 decision.

However, as it stands, the European Court of Human Rights’s ruling affects “all the national courts,” noted Puppinck, and these will now “have to protect freedom of speech, recognize the freedom of speech for pro-lifers.”

“In the past, the courts have not always been very supportive of the freedom of speech of pro-life,” he said, so the ruling is “significant.”

As for Annen’s pro-life ministry, Pubbinck added: “He can continue to go and do, and I’m sure that he does, because he always did.”  

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A vibrant church in Africa. Pierre-Yves Babelon /
Pete Baklinski Pete Baklinski Follow Pete

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‘Soft racism’: German Bishops’ website attributes African Catholics’ strong faith to simplemindedness

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By Pete Baklinski

GERMANY, November 26, 2015 (LifeSiteNews) --  The only reason the Catholic Church is growing in Africa is because the people have a “rather low level” of education and accept “simple answers to difficult questions” involving marriage and sexuality, posited an article on the official website of the German Bishops' Conference posted yesterday. The article targeted particularly Cardinal Robert Sarah of Guinea, the Vatican's prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and ardent defender of Catholic tradition.

First Things blogger Leroy Huizenga, who translated a portion of the article, criticized the article's view as “soft racism.”

In his article, titled “The Romantic, Poor Church,” editor Björn Odendahl writes: 

So also in Africa. Of course the Church is growing there. It grows because the people are socially dependent and often have nothing else but their faith. It grows because the educational situation there is on average at a rather low level and the people accept simple answers to difficult questions (of faith) [sic]. Answers like those that Cardinal Sarah of Guinea provides. And even the growing number of priests is a result not only of missionary power but also a result of the fact that the priesthood is one of the few possibilities for social security on the dark continent.

Huizenga said that such an article has no place on a bishops’ conference website. 

“We all know that the German Bishops' Conference is one of the most progressive in the world. But it nevertheless beggars belief that such a statement would appear on the Conference's official website, with its lazy slander of African Christians and priests as poor and uneducated (Odendahl might as well have added ‘easy to command’) and its gratuitous swipe at Cardinal Sarah,” he wrote. 

“Natürlich progressives could never be guilty of such a sin and crime, but these words sure do suggest soft racism, the racism of elite white Western paternalism,” he added. 

African prelates have gained a solid reputation for being strong defenders of Catholic sexual morality because of their unwavering orthodox input into the recently concluded Synod on the Family in Rome. 

At one point during the Synod, Cardinal Robert Sarah urged Catholic leaders to recognize as the greatest modern enemies of the family what he called the twin “demonic” “apocalyptic beasts” of “the idolatry of Western freedom” and “Islamic fundamentalism.”

STORY: Cardinal Danneels warns African bishops to avoid ‘triumphalism’

“What Nazi-Fascism and Communism were in the 20th century, Western homosexual and abortion ideologies and Islamic fanaticism are today,” he said during his speech at the Synod last month. 

But African prelates’ adherence to orthodoxy has earned them enemies, especially from the camp of Western prelates bent on forming the Catholic Church in their own image and likeness, not according to Scripture, tradition, and the teaching magisterium of the Church. 

During last year’s Synod, German Cardinal Walter Kasper went as far as stating that the voice of African Catholics in the area of Church teaching on homosexuality should simply be dismissed.

African cardinals “should not tell us too much what we have to do,” he said in an October 2014 interview with ZENIT, adding that African countries are "very different, especially about gays.” 

Earlier this month Belgian Cardinal Godfried Danneels, instead of praising Africa for its vibrant and flourishing Catholicism, said that African prelates will one day have to look to Europe to get what he called “useful tips” on how to deal with “secularization” and “individualism.” 

The statement was criticized by one pro-family advocate as “patronizing of the worst kind” in light of the facts that numerous European churches are practically empty, vocations to the priesthood and religious life are stagnant, and the Catholic faith in Europe, especially in Belgium, is overall in decline.

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