Peter Baklinski

Morgentaler Decision turns 25: a ‘day of shame for Canada’

Peter Baklinski
Peter Baklinski
Image

OTTAWA, Ontario, 28 January, 2013 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Imagine if someone were to take one Loonie (a Canadian dollar coin) for every one of the 2.6 million abortions in Canada since 1988 and place them, one after another, along a stretch of highway. There would be a mind-boggling 70 kilometers of coins, about 43.5 miles. If someone were to add to this the number of abortions since 1969, when the deadly procedure was first decriminalized, over 3.4 million coins would line 90 kilometers of highway, about 56 miles.

January 28, 2013 marks the 25-year anniversary of the Morgentaler Decision. On this day in 1988, the Supreme Court of Canada struck down the few remaining protections still afforded to unborn babies by the 1969 Liberal government’s “Omnibus Bill,” which already permitted abortion under permissive circumstances.

The passage of the 1969 “Omnibus Bill”, remembered by pro-lifers as Canada’s “Day of Infamy,” let loose the floodgates of legal abortion in Canada, practically allowing abortion-on-demand. The 1988 Morgentaler Decision then opened the floodgates of abortion on-demand to their maximum capacity. 

The Morgentaler Decision meant that a pregnant woman could legally terminate the life of her unborn child during all nine months of pregnancy, for any reason whatsoever. The decision placed Canada alongside communist China in having no legislation whatsoever protecting young human life in a mother’s womb.

Nine years after the decision, the number of abortions in Canada increased by a staggering 53.4%.

Jim Hughes, President of Campaign Life Coalition, called the anniversary a “day of shame for Canada”.

"As a global leader in human rights, it’s a disgrace that for the last 25 years, this country’s government has neglected to put an end to the greatest human rights violation of our time, the killing of children before birth,” he said in a press release.

Canadian women speak out against the decision

Stephanie Gray, executive director of the Canadian Centre for Bio-Ethical Reform, called the anniversary a “solemn day that impacts every Canadian.” She said Canadians have “failed miserably to live up to the standards of our Constitution,” which guarantees everyone a right to life, including the “youngest of our kind”.

“Due to R. v. Morgentaler, our streets are emptier, our pre-born brothers and sisters live tenuously in a state of constant danger, and a generation of girls has been sold the insidious lie that their sons and daughters are disposable for any arbitrary reason at all,” she told LifeSiteNews (LSN). 

Andrea Mrozek, manager of research at Institute of Marriage and Family Canada, called the anniversary a day to “mourn the sorrow and pain Morgentaler caused [to women] precisely because the decision made abortion mainstream.”

“Morgentaler chose to ‘treat’ a woman’s suffering with the death of her unborn child,” she told LSN.

Faye Sonier, legal counsel for The Evangelical Fellowship of Canada, said that the Morgentaler decision “robbed Canada of part of itself. 

Jakki Jeffs, executive director or Alliance for Life Ontario, remembers clearly the day she learned that the Supreme Court had struck down existing abortion laws.

“That call stopped the baking, stopped the family chatter, stopped me in my tracks, I could not believe the Court would abandon Canada’s little ones,” she said.

Canada’s ‘Father of Abortion’

Dr. Henry Morgentaler, a militant atheist, has been referred to as ‘Canada’s Father of Abortion’. Pro-life advocates have pointed out that Morgentaler, more than any other single person, is responsible for the current legal vacuum that every unborn baby in the country faces.

Morgentaler, approaching 90, is no stranger to brutality. He was incarcerated as a young man at a Nazi concentration camp for his Jewish ancestry. In 1950 Morgentaler immigrated to Canada and practiced medicine. He very soon came to devote his energies to spreading contraception, becoming one of the country’s first doctors to perform vasectomies, insert IUDs, and provide unmarried women with the pill.

Click "like" if you are PRO-LIFE!

By 1973, Morgentaler claimed to have performed over 5000 illegal abortions. Numerous attempts to bring him to justice before the law proved futile since mounting public sentiment was on his side. 

Morgentaler was charged in 1983 with performing ‘illegal abortions’ after opening English Canada’s first abortion clinic in Toronto. His case reached the Supreme Court of Canada in 1986.

In 1988, the Supreme Court ruled in Morgentaler’s favor, striking down the existing abortion law for procedural reasons on the grounds that such law threatened a women’s “security of person,” which is protected by the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

The Supreme Court Justices allegedly removed all restrictions on abortion without considering available evidence at the time that the life in a mother’s womb is not ‘her own body’, but a unique unrepeatable human being.

Pro-life advocates have pointed out that unlike the 1973 Roe V. Wade of the United States, the 1988 Morgentaler Decision did not give women a constitutional ‘right’ to abortion, but simply declared as ‘unconstitutional’ Section 251 of the Criminal Code that governed abortion.

The court in fact left the “abortion question” to Parliament to “pronounce on and to direct social policy”.

While the decision encouraged Parliament to enact a new law governing abortion, Canada remains lawless regarding abortion to this day, despite a controversial attempt in 1989 to legislate on abortion during the Mulroney Progressive Conservative government. Pro-life organizations around the country saw Bill C-43 as a phony effort to legislate on abortion that would offer no real protection to human life in the womb.

For his work in securing legal abortion on-demand for Canadian women, Morgentaler was awarded the Order of Canada in 2008.

Pro-lifers will ‘press on’

Jakki Jeffs reflected on the up-hill struggle the pro-life movement has faced in the past 25 years to “engage the whole of this country in a debate”.

“What we have done is constantly and consistently raised our voices against the slaughter, continued to prick the conscience of this great nation, be a thorn in the side of her politicians and a challenge to the medical profession and pro-abortion advocates,” she said. 

Jeffs criticized the “moral and ethical cowardice” of many Canadian doctors who place women and their offspring into “abortion harm’s way” by remaining “content to confirm the belief in the public eye that children before birth are a part of their mothers, like a toe or a fingernail.”

Despite the uphill struggle in winning public opinion to favor new life in the womb, Jeffs remains determined to fight on behalf of those who have no voice.

“Our voice will continue to shout out a challenge,” she said. “Our efforts will provide support and options. Our activities will remind Canadians that we really are all created equal before and under the law until they get it and stop the killing.”

Stephanie Gray, agreeing with Jeffs, said that pro-lifers must keep-up the pressure in the fight for the right-to-life of pre-born children.

“January 28 is a reminder that we in the pro-life movement have not yet earned the right to rest, not as long as pre-born children are being tortured to death across our country every day.”

“On January 28 we reflect. And on January 29, we press on,” she said.

Andrea Mrozek believes that more and more women are beginning to distance themselves from abortion.

“For every feminist out there who claims ‘abortion is a woman’s right’ I will rise up forcefully to declare they do not represent me.”

A 2011 Environics poll showed that 72% of Canadians want legal protection for children in the womb, with 28% supporting protections from conception. 

Mrozek said that many Canadians, including a growing number of women, are becoming emboldened to make their views against abortion public.

“The anniversary of the Morgentaler decision is a sombre occasion but a reminder to keep on fighting,” she said. 

Only 6 days remain!

Support pro-life news. Help us reach our critical spring fundraising goal by April 1!


Share this article

Advertisement
Featured Image
Indiana Gov. Mike Pence signs the state's Religious Freedom Restoration Act.
Ben Johnson Ben Johnson Follow Ben

, ,

Indiana faces backlash as it becomes 20th state to protect religious liberty

Ben Johnson Ben Johnson Follow Ben
By Ben Johnson

INDIANAPOLIS, IN, March 27, 2015 (LifeSiteNews.com) – On Thursday, Indiana became the 20th state to prevent the government from forcing people of faith to violate their religious beliefs in business or the public square.

Gov. Mike Pence signed the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (SB 101) into law, saying the freedom of religion is a preeminent American value.

“The Constitution of the United States and the Indiana Constitution both provide strong recognition of the freedom of religion, but today, many people of faith feel their religious liberty is under attack by government action,” Pence said.

Gov. Pence, a possible dark horse candidate for president in 2016, cited court cases brought by religious organizations and employers, including Catholic universities, against the HHS mandate. “One need look no further than the recent litigation concerning the Affordable Care Act. A private business and our own University of Notre Dame had to file lawsuits challenging provisions that required them to offer insurance coverage in violation of their religious views.”

The new law could also prevent Christian business owners from being compelled to bake a cake or take photographs of a same-sex "marriage" ceremony, if doing so violates their faith. In recent years, business owners have seen an increased level of prosecution for denying such services, despite their religious and moral beliefs.

The state's pro-life organization applauded Pence for his stance. "Indiana's pro-life community is grateful to Gov. Mike Pence for signing the Religious Freedom Restoration Act into law,” said Indiana Right to Life's president and CEO Mike Fichter. “This bill will give pro-lifers a necessary legal recourse if they are pressured to support abortion against their deeply-held religious beliefs.”

“RFRA is an important bill to protect the religious freedom of Hoosiers who believe the right to life comes from God, not government,” he said.

The state RFRA is based on the federal bill introduced by Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-NY, and signed into law by President Bill Clinton in 1993. The Supreme Court cited the federal law when it ruled that Hobby Lobby had the right to refuse to fund abortion-inducing drugs, if doing so violated its owners' sincerely held religious beliefs.

In signing the measure – similar to the one Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer vetoed – Pence and the state of Indiana have faced a torrent of venom from opponents of the bill, who claim it grants a “right to discriminate” and raises the spectre of segregation.

"They've basically said, as long as your religion tells you to, it's OK to discriminate against people," said Sarah Warbelow, legal director of the Human Rights Campaign, a national homosexual pressure group.

The Disciples of Christ, a liberal Protestant denomination based in the state capital, has said it will move its 2017 annual convention if the RFRA became state law. The NCAA warned the bill's adoption “might affect future events” in the Hoosier state.

Pence denied such concerns, saying, "This bill is not about discrimination, and if I thought it legalized discrimination in any way I would've vetoed it."

The bill's supporters say that, under the Obama administration, it is Christians who are most likely to suffer discrimination.

"Originally RFRA laws were intended to protect small religious groups from undue burdens on practicing their faith in public life,” said Mark Tooley, president of the Institute on Religion and Democracy. “It was not imagined there would come a day when laws might seek to jail or financially destroy nuns, rabbis or Christian camp counselors who prefer to abstain from the next wave of sexual and gender experimentation. And there's always a next wave.”

The bill's supporters note that it does not end the government's right to coerce people of faith into violating their conscience in every situation. However, it requires that doing so has to serve a compelling government interest and the government must use the least restrictive means possible. “There will be times when a state or federal government can show it has a compelling reason for burdening religious expression – to ensure public safety, for instance,” said Sarah Torre, an expert at the Heritage Foundation. “But Religious Freedom Restoration Acts set a high bar for the government to meet in order to restrict religious freedom.”

Restricting the ability of government to interfere in people's private decisions, especially their religious decisions, is the very purpose of the Constitution, its supporters say.

"Religious freedom is the cornerstone of all liberty for all people,” Tooley said. “Deny or reduce it, and there are no ultimate limits on the state's power to coerce."

Advertisement
Featured Image
Fight pornography. Beat pornography. And join the ranks of those who support their fellow men and women still fighting.
Jonathon van Maren Jonathon van Maren Follow Jonathon

Porn is transforming our men from protectors into predators. Fight back.

Jonathon van Maren Jonathon van Maren Follow Jonathon
By Jonathon van Maren

Since I’ve gotten involved in anti-pornography work, I’ve met countless men who struggle, fight, or have beaten pornography. Each person seems to deal with the guilt and shame that accompanies porn use in a different way—some deny that it’s “all that bad,” others pretend that they could “stop whenever they want,” many insist that “everyone is doing it,” and most, when pressed, admit to a deep sense of self-loathing.

One worry surfaces often in conversation: What do my past or current struggles with pornography say about me as a man? Can I ever move past this and have a meaningful and fulfilling relationship?

I want to address this question just briefly, since I’ve encountered it so many times.

First, however, I’ve written before how I at times dislike the language of “struggling” with pornography or pornography “addiction,” not because they aren’t accurate but because too often they are used as an excuse rather than an explanation. It is true, many do in fact “struggle” with what can legitimately be considered an addiction, but when this language is used to describe an interminable battle with no end (and I’ve met dozens of men for whom this is the case), then I prefer we use terminology like “fighting my porn habit.” A semantic debate, certainly, but one I think is important. We need to stop struggling with porn and start fighting it.

Secondly, pornography does do devastating things to one’s sense of masculinity. We know this. Pornography enslaves men by the millions, perverting their role as protector and defender of the more vulnerable and turning them into sexual cannibals, consuming those they see on-screen to satisfy their sexual appetites.

What often starts as mere curiosity or an accidental encounter can turn into something that invades the mind and twists even the most basic attractions. I’ve met porn users who can’t believe the types of things they want to watch. They haven’t simply been using porn. Porn has actively reshaped them into something they don’t recognize and don’t like. 

Follow Jonathon van Maren on Facebook

Porn is this generation’s great assault on masculinity and the role of men in society. It is essential that we win this battle for the sake of society’s survival. Contrary to what the gender-bending and family-morphing progressive elites claim, good husbands and good fathers and good church leaders are necessary for a healthy society. But pornography is destroying marriages, creating distant and disconnected fathers, and, metaphoricaclly castrating men, hindering their ability and desire to make a positive difference in the society around us.

So, with this sobering set of facts in mind let’s return to the question: what do pornography struggles, past and present, say about a man?

The proper way to respond is with everything that is good about masculinity. We have to fight pornography as men have fought countless evils throughout the ages. We need to fight pornography to protect women, and wives, and children, and our society at large. This is how pornography threatens society, by castrating men, and turning them from protectors into predators. Rooting out the evil in our own lives allows us to better fulfill the role we are called to perform in the lives of others. Battling our own demons enables us to battle the wider cultural demons. Every day without porn is another bit of virtue built. Virtue is not something you’re born with. Virtues are habits that you build. And one day without porn is the first step towards the virtue of being porn-free.

Many men ask me if men who have had past porn addictions are cut out for being in a relationship or working in the pro-life movement or in other areas where we are called to protect and defend the weak and vulnerable. And the answer to that is an unequivocal yes. Our society needs men who know what it means to fight battles and win. Our society needs men who can say that they fought porn and they beat porn, because their families and their friends were too important to risk. Our society needs men who rose to the challenge that the evils of their generation threw at them, and became better men as the result. And our society needs men who can help their friends and their sons and those around them fight the plague of pornography and free themselves from it, too—and who can understand better and offer encouragement more relevant than someone who has fought and been freed themselves?

So the answer to men is yes. Fight pornography. Beat pornography. And join the ranks of those who support their fellow men and women still fighting. Lend them support and encouragement. We cannot change the fact that porn has left an enormous path of destruction in its wake. But we can change the fact that too many people aren’t fighting it. We can change our own involvement. And we can rise to the challenge and face this threat to masculinity with all that is good about masculinity.

Follow Jonathon van Maren on Facebook

Share this article

Advertisement
Featured Image
Shutterstock.com
John-Henry Westen John-Henry Westen Follow John-Henry

Red Alert!

John-Henry Westen John-Henry Westen Follow John-Henry
By John-Henry Westen

I don’t like having to do this, but we have always found it best to be totally upfront with our readers: our Spring fundraising campaign is now worrying us! 

You see, with just 6 days remaining, we have only raised 30% of our goal, with $125,000 still left to raise. That is a long ways to go yet.

We have no choice but to reach our minimum goal of $175,000 if we are going to be able to continue serving the 5+ million readers who rely on us every month for investigative and groundbreaking news reports on life, faith and family issues.

Every year, LifeSite readership continues to grow by leaps and bounds. This year, we are again experiencing record-breaking interest, with over 6 million people visiting our website last month alone!

This unprecedented growth in turn creates its own demand for increased staff and resources, as we struggle to serve these millions of new readers.

And especially keep this in mind. As many more people read LifeSite, our mission of bringing about cultural change gets boosted. Our ultimate goal has always been to educate and activate the public to take well-informed, needed actions.

Another upside to our huge growth in readers is that it should be that much easier to reach our goal. To put it simply: if each person who read this one email donated whatever they could (even just $10) we would easily surpass our goal! 

Today, I hope you will join the many heroes who keep this ship afloat, and enable us to proclaim the truth through our reporting to tens of millions of people every year!

Your donations to LifeSite cause major things to happen! We see that every day and it is very exciting. Please join with us in making a cultural impact with a donation of ANY AMOUNT right now. 

You can also donate by phone or mail. We would love to hear from you!

Thank you so much for your support. 

Share this article

Advertisement

Customize your experience.

Login with Facebook