With a week to go in the New Brunswick election campaign it looks as though, barring any serious gaffes, Brian Gallant and his Liberals will form the next government. In this campaign, abortion has been a major platform issue, all the more significant since New Brunswick represents the last province with any restrictions on abortion.. Mr. Gallant has promised to act swiftly to remove Regulation 84-20 which simply stipulates that in order for an abortion to be publicly funded it needs to be performed in a hospital and it needs to be approved by two doctors.
Gallant’s position seems largely influenced by federal Liberal leader Justin Trudeau. For months now Trudeau has been talking nonsense about the legal status of abortion in Canada. He is either ignorant of the jurisprudence or is intentionally misrepresenting what the law says. Even as late as this past weekend, the flamboyant Trudeau was on CBC’s Sunday Edition telling listeners that his party is “a party of the Charter” and he will defend women’s rights at all costs. Does he really think all women are pro-abortion? As one female supporter said to me, “If he isn’t assuming that [all women are pro-abortion], then I’m offended as a citizen that he would strip me of democracy. We shouldn’t be putting up with this kind of patronizing attempt at leadership in a post-feminist Canada.”
The question that needs to be asked is “where are all the pro-life leaders?” David Alward is a pro-life leader and it looks like his four-year tenure as premier of New Brunswick is about done. Why isn’t he countering Gallant’s pro-choice platform? As the leader of the Progressive Conservatives surely he must know that nearly three-quarters of his province is opposed to the very thing Gallant is proposing – unrestricted access to publicly funded abortion for any reason at any time throughout a pregnancy. Certainly a large number of those 75% have always voted Liberal. But is Alward going to sit idly by while they all go into the voting booth next week and not do anything to court their vote? While there are still some hard-core abortion advocates who make the news once in a while, they are a minority who cannot morally, scientifically or logically defend the new Liberal position.
Canada has no legal protection for children before birth. The legal restriction in New Brunswick may result in fewer abortions, but it does not protect pre-born children. The last time we had any protections for pre-born children in Canada was before January 28,1988.
Canadians concerned about human rights for all members of the human family are making progress in advocating for laws protecting pre-born children at some stage of pregnancy. This is not an extreme position and politicians should not be afraid to debate it.
It is time for politicians not just to say they are pro-life, but to be pro-life. Dietrich Bonhoeffer, a martyr under the Nazi regime, once said, “Silence in the face of evil is itself evil: God will not hold us guiltless. Not to speak is to speak. Not to act is to act.” Politicians at both federal and provincial levels – be emboldened!