Tuesday April 20, 2010

Canadian Pro-Abort Group Calls for Criminalizing of Pro-Life Activism

By Patrick B. Craine

OTTAWA, Ontario, April 20, 2010 ( – The Abortion Rights Coalition of Canada (ARCC) has responded to Conservative MP Rod Bruinooge’s proposed bill to ban coercive abortion, unveiled in a press conference last week, by calling instead for a ban on “coerced childbirth,” and even suggesting that Canada outlaw pro-life activism.

“The entire anti-choice movement has been trying to force women into pregnancy and motherhood for decades, by working to outlaw or restrict abortion,” said Joyce Arthur, ARCC’s coordinator, in a Monday press release. “Perhaps we need to protect women from this coercion by criminalizing anti-choice activism!”

In the release, Arthur admits that coerced abortions do occur in Canada, but claims that they do “not occur on the grand scale often claimed by anti-choice propagandists.” She maintains, however, that women must be protected from “coercive childbirth,” based on a U.S. study, available on the website of Planned Parenthood’s Guttmacher Institute, that indicates that some women are “pressured” by their partners to bear their child.

The ARCC has opposed Bill C-510, also known as “Roxanne’s Law,” which was introduced as a private members bill to the House by Bruinooge last Wednesday. The bill is named after Roxanne Fernando, who was killed by her boyfriend in 2007 after she refused to obtain an abortion.

As part of their call for a ban on ‘coercive childbirth’ and pro-life activism, the ARCC has also called for the prohibition of Canada’s pregnancy care centres, which have been set up to offer a supportive environment to women who become pregnant in difficult circumstances. They have also called for a ban on sidewalk counsellors, who peacefully attempt to offer support and prayer to women as they enter or leave abortuaries.

“A law against coerced childbirth would be a great opportunity to put a stop to some of the most egregious violations of women’s integrity perpetrated by the anti-choice movement,” stated Judy Burwell, an ARCC spokesperson.

“This is outrageous!” said Campaign Life Coalition’s (CLC) National Organizer, Mary-Ellen Douglas, in response to ARCC’s press release. “It is clear to me that Joyce Arthur and the Canadian pro-abortion movement have nothing but contempt for democracy. Already this week we have seen a group of young pro-life students threatened with expulsion from the University of Calgary, simply for exercising their freedom of expression. And now this!”

“Canadians everywhere, no matter what their views on abortion, should be appalled by the extremism of Canada’s pro-abortion movement, which would not only seek to censor and even criminalize certain Canadians because of their views, but which will also do everything in its power to ensure that pregnant women are not offered the aid and support they need.”

LifeSiteNews contacted Joyce Arthur for comment, but she refused to speak with us.