Baby-killing Canada no land of compassion

Rory Leishman, London Free Press


In last week's Canada Day address, Prime Minister Paul Martin lauded the alleged virtues of the Canadian people, claiming: "Our compassion toward those in need and the inclusive nature of our society are second to no other."

Is that right? A truly compassionate and inclusive people would safeguard the lives of all innocent human beings in their society. But do we Canadians fulfil this primordial obligation? Evidently not.

Thanks to the calamitous decision of the Supreme Court of Canada in Regina v. Morgentaler in 1988, Canada is the only purported democracy in the world that provides no legal protection for the lives of the most vulnerable and neediest of our fellow human beings -- babies in the womb. In Canada, it's perfectly legal to deliberately kill even a healthy boy or girl within seconds before birth.

In the United States, the commission of such a barbaric act is a criminal offence, thanks to congressional enactment of the Partial Birth Abortion Act. In signing the act into law, President George W. Bush described partial-birth abortion as involving "the partial delivery of a live boy or girl, and a sudden, violent end of that life.

"Our nation owes its children a different and better welcome," Bush said. "The bill I am about to sign protecting innocent new life from this practice reflects the compassion and humanity of America."

What has Martin done to outlaw partial-birth abortion in Canada? Absolutely nothing. Worse, neither he nor any of the other major party leader promised during the recent election campaign -- perhaps the tawdriest in Canadian history -- to do anything to end the disgraceful lack of legal safeguards for the lives of pre-born babies.

To the contrary, Martin declared: "As a legislator, I believe that women should have the right to choose."

Conservative Leader Stephen Harper refused to take a stand on the issue other than to promise: "A Harper Conservative government would not legislate on abortion."

Granted, the views of Canadian politicians on such controversial moral issues are largely irrelevant. Through arbitrary interpretations of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, the Supreme Court of Canada has taken it upon itself to determine public policies in defiance of the express will of Parliament and the provincial legislatures.

A corresponding disposition of judges in the United States to subvert the legislative process does not sit well with Bush. Referring to the Partial Birth Abortion Act, he vowed: "The executive branch will vigorously defend this law against any who would try to overturn it in the courts."

In contrast, Martin has promised that he would never invoke the notwithstanding clause to prevent the courts from striking down duly enacted laws on abortion, gay marriage, child pornography or any other issue. Martin subscribes to the perverse view that unelected judges, rather than elected representatives of the people should determine public policy on crucial moral questions.

In signing the Partial Birth Abortion Act, Bush observed: "The wide agreement amongst men and women on this issue, regardless of political party, shows that bitterness in political debate can be overcome by compassion and the power of conscience." Quite so.

Why, then, has Canada failed to outlaw this atrocious abortion procedure?

Let's face it: Despite our moral pretensions, we Canadians now have less compassion and power of conscience than our neighbours to the south.