“Let’s not abort debate on the rights of the fetus” – Vancouver Sun

08/05/2012 / blog posts 


Re: “Abortion debate is over regardless of when life begins” – Letters, May 1

Trevor Amon’s emphatic statement that the “debate is over, whether any person likes it or not”, is an elementary display of ignorance and misguided understanding. The Supreme Court in 1988 never granted Canadian women the “right” to abort their children.

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What the Court did do, was strike down section 251 of the Criminal Code because it didn’t allow for equal access to abortion services.

It then gave explicit instructions that the debate continue in the House of Commons so that Parliament could come up with a new law.

Justice Dickson said, “I agree that protection of foetal interests by Parliament is also a valid governmental objective. It follows that balancing these interests, with the lives and health of women a major factor, is clearly an important governmental objective.”

This is only one statement from the Supreme Court decision that is saturated with references to the duty of Parliament to protect foetal rights at some point during the pregnancy.

To frame the abortion issue as solely about a women’s right to choose, is to make a grave mistake. Our society does everything it can to balance conflicting rights and we do well to apply that same principle to this debate.

Mike Schouten

Campaign Director, weneedaLAW.ca

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