Wednesday, February 09, 2011

KW Right to Life Marks Tragic Anniversary

On January 28th approximately 100 people joined KW Right to Life to mark the anniversary of the Morgentaler decision that struck down Canada’s abortion laws and created the legal vacuum where preborn children have no legal protection in this country until the time of their birth.

The format was much different than in years past when we would hold an hour long silent vigil in front of Grand River hospital. This year we moved a few blocks south in front of Kitchener city hall, where the outdoor skating rink and the lights of downtown provided a fun and energetic atmosphere.

After a half hour we walked to St. Mary’s Roman Catholic Church where we were graciously hosted. There we had a half hour of prayer and reflection.

The highlight for me this year was in the reflection delivered by Harold Albrecht, Conservative MP for Kitchener Conestoga. In a heartfelt address, Harold explained how his personal experiences have led him to place a high value on life at every stage from conception to natural death. They were powerful examples:

• He spoke of a grandson who was born extremely prematurely. The baby did not survive but the impact of the loss on the parents and extended family left little doubt that this was more than just product of conception. This little one was a very real person who remains missed.

• He spoke of the disabled, particularly children, youth and adults with Down ’s syndrome mentioning that they are often so joyful and unconditionally friendly. These special people have enriched the lives of their families and community, -- it would be a shame to end their lives prematurely – and miss out on the special joy they bring to our world simply because we have the technology to screen in utero.

• He spoke of visiting the elderly in nursing homes and hearing their stories of pain and loneliness. He said that’s why we must focus on providing quality comfort measures, palliative care and emotional support for the elderly rather than open the door to euthanasia.

• Finally he spoke of the mentally ill and the depressed, of a colleague who committed suicide and of how he was personally shaken by the news of Nadia Kajouji. Nadia was an 18 year old university student who committed suicide in March 2008. During the investigation into Kajouji's death, police discovered that a 47-year-old male nurse from Minnesota — who was posing as a 28-year-old woman online — might have encouraged Kajouji via an internet chat room to commit suicide. No charges have been laid in the case under Canadian law.

Harold explained that Section 241 of the Canadian Criminal Code says "everyone who … counsels a person to commit suicide, or aids or abets a person to commit suicide, whether suicide ensues or not, is guilty of an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding fourteen years." His concern though is that it is not clear whether encouraging someone to commit suicide via the internet is a crime.

On November 18, the House of Commons voted unanimously in favour of a motion (M388) Harold put forward calling for change in how the Criminal Code deals with people who counsel others over the internet to commit suicide. He is hopeful that the measure will prevent another case similar to Nadia’s.

Harold thanked everyone present for the work they have done to protect life, and noted that our most important task is to change the hearts and minds of our friends and neighbours. He noted that in his experience even a simple example of sharing an image of a preborn child can start a conversation that will help convince people of the humanity of preborn children and know that they need our protection.

After hearing Harold’s message, many of us left with a renewed sense of purpose.

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

Morgentaler has since got the OOC medal even after he told the Media that his access to Abortion for non-white females on welfare has help reduce the Crime rates in canada by one less Criminal being born into poverty.
WOW,when I read it I then watched for the CBC to hang him out to dry, but no.....not one word from non-white females in Government housing that are to blame for pumping out criminals on welfare.

hunter said...

Neither the government nor the supreme court can legislate against abortion. It must be the morals of our country, our values that stop the killing.

We have to shift the message from the militant "my body, my choice" to a more uplifting message of hope for all people. A message of support for young teenagers who are pregnant, not of message of death, like the feminists shout.

Anonymous said...

The term 'preborn child' is an absurd contradiction of terms. There is no scientific evidence of personhood so it has no rights.

And the description of Downs syndrome patients is sickening. Yeah, I'm sure a mother and father would love to waste their lives raising a retard. Oh the 'special' joy of not being able to understand your child's subhuman psyche (even more so for other disabled children). I'm sure that parents who abort their unborn retards do so because they are 'overjoyed' to hear that they will have one.

Patrick O'Neil said...

Anon #2. What is personhood then? Also if I had your level of intelligence, I'd be a little more kind to 'retards.'

Patrick O'Neil said...

Hunter,

I agree. We need to place an emphasis on changing the values in our country. That was part of Harold's message too.

At the same time, I do think our society could easily form a consensus that some extreme late stage abortion (say after 20 weeks)and that our laws should reflect society's morals.