The following article written by Mike Schouten is a response to recent media publications which attempt to minimize the tragedy of the 491 babies who passed away after being born alive following an attempted late-term abortion.
Many headlines over the last few months have referenced the rights of pre-born Canadians. The past week has seen a marked increase in public discussion resulting from a letter sent by three MPs to RCMP Commissioner Bob Paulson. The concern of the Messrs. Vellacott, Benoit and Lizon is that Statistics Canada reported 491 deaths of babies born alive following failed late-term abortions. While I don’t think anyone is comfortable with the thought of newborn babies being left to die in clinics or hospitals, the responses of some media personalities have been particularly callous. Earlier this week, National Post columnist Tristan Hopper attempted to minimize the effect of this devastating revelation by referencing one tragic experience with a late-term abortion. Describing Carol’s late-term abortion, Mr. Hopper states, “In Canada, the only fetuses terminated in late-stage abortions are those whose fates are already sealed.” (Emphasis mine).
I’ll grant that Tristan outlines a heart-wrenching case. But there is a major problem to using one case out of 491 to justify inaction. We are left with the question, “What about the other 490?” Are we so certain that all 491 deaths do not warrant investigation? It is easy to counter that assumption with another example to justify an investigation and taking some action.
As has already been reported on the pages of the National Post, there are documented cases of late-term abortions due to abnormalities that are readily corrected through minor surgery. This is the quagmire that results when one person has legal impunity to end the life of another.
Discussions concerning human rights should never be rooted in how ‘perfect’ someone is. Rather they should be based on the fact that everyone has intrinsic value and the right to live ought to be paramount. Every human being has purpose, and while we may not know what that purpose is at a certain point in time, all should have the opportunity to experience the magic we know as ‘life’. The ongoing campaign by the Canadian Down Syndrome Society encouraging us to ‘See the ability” is a testament to that intrinsic value.
What makes this all the more interesting is the assertion by Jesse Kline in yesterday’s paper that, “Sometimes, questions of morality need to be left to the people whose lives are being affected.” The reality is the status quo in Canada doesn’t allow for consideration of the rights of the human being most directly affected. Pre-born humans aren’t asked whether or not they would acquiesce to the end of their existence at the hands of an abortionist. Just as blacks didn’t choose slavery and Jews didn’t choose the holocaust, babies don’t choose abortion. Why is it that everyone gets a choice, but the victim?
Twenty-five years ago the Supreme Court of Canada left the door open for Parliament to enact legislation protecting the pre-born child. Whether Carolyn Bennett likes it or not, the truth is that all other Western democracies do, at various stages of gestation, recognize the rights of pre-born children. And the women in those countries are certainly no worse off than Canadian women. We are not best served by the status quo. It’s time for Canada to start addressing the injustice resulting from unfettered ‘choice’.