More than six-dozen pro-abortion women who are professors and experts in various fields, along with one man, will address what organizers are dubbing the world’s first international conference on abortion next month, happening in Canada’s abortion-free province, Prince Edward Island.
The conference will cover topics ranging from “abortion rights activism and reproductive justice” and “barriers to abortion access” to “historical constructions of the fetus” and “abortion in the classroom: pedagogy and politics.”
“This is a cheer-leading session for those who choose to kill their unborn child in the womb,” Jim Hughes, national president of Campaign Life Coalition, told LifeSiteNews. “This conference should be labeled truthfully as a ‘pro-abortion’ conference, because it offers only one side, the radical feminist, pro-abortion point of view.”
The conference, titled “Abortion: The Unfinished Revolution,” will be held in Charlottetown August 7-8.
PEI is perhaps best known around the world as the home of L. M. Montgomery’s fictional heroine Anne of Green Gables, who has won the hearts of readers for her optimism, resilience, and the belief that humanity is essentially good. Despite starting out as an abandoned orphan, Anne held that “life is worth living.” While her girlish actions often landed her in the “depths of despair,” she expressed she was “glad to be alive” and that the world was a “very lovely” place to be.
Presenters at the conference share one belief in common, namely that being a woman entails having the legal option to kill one’s offspring.
“Presentations from around the globe highlight the work that remains for us in creating the space for women to access safe abortions and the opportunities to share knowledge about reproductive justice,” states the conference’s website.
“Packed in between these inspirational leaders are two days of scholarship, learning, and celebrations of women's power to change the world to achieve reproductive justice.”
A logo for the conference includes a blue female gender symbol, but with a footprint in the center, becoming what appears to be a foot stepping on an upside down cross.
The planned presentations are varied.
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Erica Rose Millar from the University of Melbourne’s Faculty of Arts will examine the problem of the “foetus” as a “grievable life.” New laws, she says, formalize and strengthen a “normative regime whereby the foetus appears as an inherently grievable object.” Abortion advocates must be made aware of the “regulatory and political effects of constructing the foetus as an inherently grievable object.”
Professor Lena Hann from the University of Iowa’s College of Public Health will speak about mothers viewing their dead children after abortion as an “important component of feminist health care and public health practice.”
“As abortion is a highly-stigmatized practice, and there is limited literature about women‘s ability to interact with POC [products of conception], this research is important in understanding how viewing the fetus shapes expectations during the abortion process,” she wrote about her presentation.
A few women will address the lack of abortion on Prince Edward Island and the recent closure of the Morgentaler Clinic in New Brunswick.
Dr. Kevin J. Arsenault of Fort Augustus, PEI, said the conference will be a one-sided affair.
“It is clear that this conference is not a typical academic conference at all: it is, in fact, a gathering of international academic abortion activists committed to further promoting the cultural and political acceptance of abortion,” he wrote in a piece that appeared in the Journal Pioneer.
“Those promoting the right for women to end the lives of their unborn children don't speak plainly about what a woman is actually doing because they instinctively know that it would be far more difficult to convince others that abortion is a morally acceptable and truly healthy choice.”
LifeSiteNews asked conference organizer Dr. Colleen MacQuarrie from the University of PEI for comment, but did not receive a response by press time.
Holly Pierlot, director of PEI Right to Life told LifeSiteNews that it is no coincidence the conference is happening in abortion-free PEI, often toted as a “life sanctuary.”
“The provincial, national and international forces that are conspiring upon PEI appear to be outraged that a place as small as PEI dares to stand up to the pro-abortion lobby groups and the big-business interests of the American abortion industry. I think in their minds if they conquer us, they conquer the world.”
Hughes agrees: “The location of the conference is also very telling. Prince Edward Island is the only Canadian province where abortions do not take place and those who advocate death to the innocent cannot tolerate a haven where their views are not accepted.”
While PEI’s government funds so-called 'medical necessary’ abortions, they happen in facilities off-island.
Pierlot said her group is educating Islanders about the “dignity of all human life,” about the lack of any abortion law in Canada, and about the “serious long-term consequences of abortion that women are experiencing.”
“After 40 years of an abortion culture, the research is coming in: Abortion harms women, and women need to know,” she said.
The group has also distributed 16,000 postcards to Islanders asking them to send a message to Premier Robert Ghiz to remain firm in preventing abortion-on-demand in the province.
Hughes hopes that despite the international pro-abortion conference, PEI will remain a life sanctuary.
“We pray that PEI will stand firm,” he said.