23 Apr 2012 SimpleMail #2 – How does Canada compare to other Western nations?
Canada is the only Western nation without restrictions on when a woman can request and receive an abortion. In fact, to the best of our knowledge, we possess this onerous distinction with only two other countries in the world: North Korea and China.
When we look to European countries, which are often seen as more progressive than Canada, we observe that they understand very well that there is a need for protecting the rights of the child in the womb by restricting abortions. The restrictions that are in place are not simply ‘policy guidelines’ like the Canadian Medical Association policy on viability of a fetus, but they are restrictions that are enforced by law.
In France, abortions are legal up to 12 weeks gestation, but only if the woman is judged to be in a ‘state of distress’ because of her pregnancy. Germany has similar laws, except the determination to abort can only be made after the woman has had a mandatory counselling appointment accompanied by a compulsory 3 day waiting period.
Not only is Canada out of line with other Western nations, we are also contravening the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (1989), which stipulates that children need, “special safeguards and care, including appropriate legal protection, before as well as after birth”.
It’s high time that Canada fell in line with other civilized nations by introducing federal abortion legislation.
Dear, (Name of MP)
It is deeply troubling to me that Canada is the only democratic nation without a law protecting children in the womb. In fact, China and North Korea are the only other countries in the same position as Canada!
In 1988 the Supreme Court struck down the existing abortion legislation, but they didn’t say that limits on abortion where unconstitutional. Rather, they ruled that the old law was unconstitutional because of the unequal access by women to hospitals that performed abortions. In fact, they correctly stated that the “precise point in the development of the fetus at which the state’s interest in its protection becomes compelling”, is best left in the, “informed judgement of the legislature…”
European countries, which are arguably more secular than Canada, all have laws against abortion. Most of them limit it to 12 weeks gestation and some, such as Poland and Ireland, only allow abortions when the life of the mother is in danger. There is no reason why Canada shouldn’t have federal legislation in place that restricts abortion. The status quo of abortion on demand through all 9 months of pregnancy is morally unacceptable to most Canadians, and we need an abortion law to change this.
Canada is well below international standards with respect to abortion legislation. This is a deplorable reality that needs to be changed, and, as the Supreme Court advised, is best done in the legislature, of which you are a part. I realize that you are only one of many who form the government of Canada, but I want to encourage you to stand up to the ongoing violation of pre-born human rights. More and more Canadians support an abortion law and WeNeedaLAW.ca, a public awareness campaign that I recommend you take a look at, is doing all it can to build a groundswell of support for such legislation.
I want to encourage you to embrace new opportunities to discuss, debate and decide on important matters. You are undoubtedly faced with many in your office as MP and I ask that you consider pre-born human rights as one of them.
Looking forward to your reply.