For Immediate Release
Surrey, BC – May 1, 2012: On the heels of a historic abortion debate in Parliament last week, a new and interactive campaign called weneedaLAW.ca has been launched with the sole purpose of advancing abortion laws in Canada.
“Canada needs federal abortion legislation”, said campaign director, Mike Schouten. “It’s high time this country came into line with our international counterparts in recognizing that a law is needed to protect children in the womb.”
This morning, open letters were sent to Prime Minister Stephen Harper and to the Leader of the Opposition Thomas Mulcair. Mike Schouten, campaign director for weneedaLAW.ca, questions why they continue to suppress open debate on the topic of abortion and let their personal views of abortion get in the way of parliament discussing the issue.
He addressed Mr. Mulcair by saying, “As opposition leader in this great democracy, you should welcome open debate in Parliament. On the topic of abortion, the position you hold is in conflict with the majority of Canadians, is out of step with every other civilized nation, and defies directions from the highest court in the land.”
Prime Minister Harper was sent a similar letter. Schouten challenges him stating, “You have made it clear that you don’t want this country to talk about abortion. But the Canadian public, the international community, and even the Supreme Court of Canada all call us to end the legislative vacuum that has existed for over 20 years in Canada. You are standing in the way of a discussion that this country wants and needs.”
Schouten makes the case for legislation by noting that, with the exception of North Korea and China, Canada is the only country without abortion legislation. “You must be aware”, he writes to both Harper and Mulcair, “ that most Canadians believe that aborting a fetus, simply because it is a girl, is repugnant.” Schouten even refers to abortion activist, Dr. Henry Morgentaler, in stating that “most Canadians, including Dr. Henry Morgentaler, find it morally unacceptable that a foetus can be aborted, for any reason, in the third trimester.”
The rhetoric surrounding a women’s right to abortion at the exclusion of any recognition of the foetus is also dispelled by Schouten when he says to the two leaders, “The Supreme Court decision in R. v. Morgentaler (1988) is saturated with references to Parliament’s duty and legitimate interest in protecting the foetus. Chief Justice Dickson said, “I agree [with Justice Beetz and Wilson] 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.”
Mr. Schouten concludes by urging both leaders to listen to the will of the people and show the leadership required in order to change the current reality that, “Canada sits in the embarrassingly ridiculous position as the only democracy with no law protecting foetal rights.”