Attack on freedom won’t stop with doctors’ conscience rights. Canadians must fight, says former MP
TORONTO, December 6, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) — Ontario’s draconian policy forcing doctors to either refer for or provide abortion and euthanasia against their religious beliefs and conscience offers evidence that Canada is no longer the home of the free, warns former Conservative MP and stanch pro-life advocate Stephen Woodworth.
The founder of Democracy Defence Initiative, Woodworth organized a rally on November 30 at front of Queen’s Park to protest the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario (CPSO) directive that doctors who object in conscience to abortion, euthanasia or prescribing abortifacient contraceptives must refer their patients to a non-objecting, accessible colleague.
The College policy also forces doctors to do abortions or kill by euthanasia themselves in unspecified “emergencies.” Physicians found in contravention of the policy could lose their medical license.
Woodworth, who practiced law for 30 years before sitting in the House of Commons from 2008 to 2015 for Kitchener Centre, accused the CPSO of wielding an “inflexible iron grip.”
“It is simply monstrous that any citizen should be punished for refusing orders to help arrange the death of any innocent human being,” he told about 40 people at the rally, many of whom came from outside Toronto, and from as far as Fergus, Kitchener-Waterloo, and Guelph.
“In the College of Physicians, we see an inflexible iron grip, we see a desire to punish those who disagree with them, we see a desire to break the spirit of those who merely dare to think for themselves – who merely dare to refuse orders to unwillingly push people along to their deaths,” Woodworth observed.
“When did any authority in Canada get that power?”
“It’s extremely disturbing,” said rally-goer Josh MacMillan, who told LifeSiteNews he has a number of friends in the medical community worried about the consequences of the CPSO policy.
“If we start giving up our freedoms and our rights as Canadians and we go along with the cultural norms, it’s not going to end well for any Canadian,” noted MacMillan, who recently started the position of campus coordinator for south-western Ontario with the National Campus Life Network.
“But I don’t think anyone really understands that,” he said.
“They’re too clouded by the ideologies of the day and aren’t considering the ramifications of those decisions, which will ultimately come to force them to do things that they do not believe in.”
Peter Vogel, deputy leader of the Christian Heritage Party, echoed this.
“Eventually, it affects all of us,” he told LifeSiteNews. “If people are being forced against their conscience to help people commit suicide, to kill people, that is not the sign of a free country, that is a sign of an authoritarian government, that’s the sign of a loss of freedom.”
The rally ended with a march to the CPSO office, where Woodworth dropped off a letter calling on the College to rescind its policy.
“Hopefully, the visibility of our procession of placards from Queen’s Park to the CPSO office and back will have helped arrange awareness,” he told LifeSiteNews.
His six-month-old organization, the Democracy Defence Initiative, is a non-partisan “agency we’ve set up to promote political action across Canada in defence of freedom,” he said.
As an MP, Woodworth unsuccessfully put forward controversial Motion 312 in 2012, which asked for a special House of Commons committee to examine scientific evidence of when an unborn child became a human being.
His first DDI rally was in Vancouver in May, where he lambasted the law societies of British Columbia, Ontario, and Nova Scotia for refusing to recognize future graduates of a proposed law school at Trinity Western University.
The Christian university’s requirement that students and staff sign a covenant to live Christian chastity, meaning no sex other than within a marriage between one man and one woman, was deemed discriminatory to homosexual persons.
TWU won in Nova Scotia and BC but lost in Ontario; all three decisions are expected to be appealed to the Supreme Court in 2017.
Meanwhile, five Ontario doctors and three physicians’ societies have taken the CPSO to court and are appealing for funds and political support for this landmark Charter challenge.
“I think that legal avenues are essential and it would be wise and prudent to support those applications to the court,” Woodworth told LifeSiteNews.
“But in my heart I also know that no court has the right to tell me or you or anyone else whether they can be free or not, that freedom is something that people must rise up and defend for themselves.”
His Democracy Defence Initiative is intended to give people the means to do that, Woodworth said, but first, it’s raising the alarm.
“People have to get their heads around the fact that doctors are being ordered to act against their conscience, churches are being order to admit into their congregations people who don’t share their beliefs…and people are being penalized for voicing their opinions in public,” he told LifeSiteNews.
“Canadians have to stand up and repeatedly, vocally and visibly demonstrate their support for freedom.”
For information on the lawsuit against the CPSO, go to the Coalition for HealthCARE and Conscience website, here.