OTTAWA, May 14, 2001 ( – Most March for Life activities this year took place on Friday, May 11, but the day before, in conjunction with the March, the Parliamentary Pro-Life Caucus (PPLC) held a press conference to affirm their support for pro-life values. The three co-chairs, Maurice Vellacott, Elsie Wayne and Paul Steckle all issued statements.

Mr. Steckle, the Liberal co-chair, mentioned the recent majority support given by Parliament to a motion about the need to combat Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. He noted the hypocrisy of such a vote in light of Parliament’s refusal to acknowledge the humanity of the unborn child who is being affected by his mother’s alcohol consumption. Mr. Steckle also talked about the tragedy of abortion in the face of the demand for adoptive children, adding that he and his wife have adopted a child. “Those who know a better way have the responsibility to speak out and help those who feel trapped in difficult situations”, he said. Liberal backbencher Dan McTeague, who officiated at the press conference, also noted that he was adopted and that he had two adopted children of his own.

Mrs. Wayne, the Progressive Conservative co-chair, praised Bernard Lord, the Tory Premier of her province, New Brunswick, for standing against the pressure to give abortionist Henry Morgentaler more government funds for the abortions performed in his private “clinic”. “You know the province of New Brunswick still will not pay Morgentaler, and I give Bernard Lord full marks for that. [He] does not want to have Morgentaler there killing babies every day,” she said. She likened abortion to a situation she experienced when visiting Romania, where she saw deformed babies and those with AIDS being thrown into garbage cans to die. During her talk, Mrs. Wayne praised Campaign Life Coalition president, Jim Hughes, and national public affairs director, Karen Murawsky, for their pro-life work.

Maurice Vellacott commented on his hope that the current debate over reproductive technologies will force Parliament to face the issue of the humanity of unborn children, despite the attempt of recent governments to avoid the issue altogether. “Wiser minds will raise life issues” as they pertain to reproductive technologies, he said. When asked about the popularity of the pro-life position in Canada, he noted that most Canadians are somewhere in the middle of the issue in terms of their personal views. This, he indicated, gives hope for legislative movement on the issue away from the rabid pro-abortion position that Canada is doing fine without any law at all to do with the protection of unborn children.

Alliance MP Reed Elley also spoke briefly regarding the work of the PPLC, noting the private members initiatives on conscience legislation and, more recently, Garry Breitkreuz’s motion concerning the redefinition of the human being to include unborn children. No details were released in terms of any upcoming work that the caucus was prepared to make public.


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